When next Wednesday's old postcard is published here we will know who won the 2008 Presidential election.
Did You Know?
The office of the vice president became vacant when Harry Truman succeeded to the presidency in 1945. The office remained vacant until Alban Barkley of Kentucky was elected as Harry Truman’s vice president in 1948.- from National Park Service website
(NPS DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO)
The Truman Home is located at 219 Delaware Street in Independence (Truman Home Visitor Center is at Truman Road and Main Street). It is not a part of the Truman Presidential Library.
One of twelve Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, the Truman Presidential Museum and Library is located elsewhere in Independence at Highway 24 and Delaware. Click here for the online version of Harry S. Truman: The Presidential Years. And here for the online version of Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times. Both are permanent exhibits at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
This is fascinating insight into Truman's impression of the real White House, from a diary entry dated January 6, 1947:
Arose at 5:45 A.M.[,] read the papers and at 7:10 walked to the station to meet the family. Took 35 minutes. It was a good walk. Sure is fine to have them back. This great white jail is a hell of a place in which to be alone. While I work from early morning until late at night, it is a ghostly place. The floors pop and crack all night long. Anyone with imagination can see old Jim Buchanan walking up and down worrying about conditions not of his making. Then there's Van Buren who inherited a terrible mess from his predecessor as did poor old James Madison. Of course Andrew Johnson was the worst mistreated of any of them. But they all walk up and down the halls of this place and moan about what they should have done and didn't. So-you see. I've only named a few. The ones who had Boswells and New England historians are too busy trying to control heaven and hell to come back here. So the tortured souls who were and are misrepresented in history are the ones who come back. It's a hell of a place.
Read my annual message. It was good if I do say it myself. Outlines by me to begin with, the cabinet, the little cabinet, Sam Rosenman, the Chief Justice all added criticisms. Clark Clifford did most of the work. He's a nice boy and will go places.
- excerpt, President Harry S. Truman's 1947 Diary Book
From the National Archives website this is a recording of President Truman addressing the American people on September 1, 1945, after the signing of the terms of unconditional surrender by Japan. (You can listen to other podcasts of presidential addresses at the website.)
Decision to Drop the Atomic Bombs
Since President Harry S. Truman neglected to even once mention the victims of the two bombs in his address to the nation that day I'm letting one of them speak through his poetry, through time.....
At the First-Aid Station
Who weep although you have no ducts for tears
Who cry although you have no lips for words
Who wish to clasp
Although you have no skin to touch
Limbs twitching, oozing blood and foul secretions
Eyes all puffed-up slits of white
Tatters of underwear
Your only clothing now
Yet with no thought of shame
Ah! How fresh and lovely you all were
A flash of time ago
When you were school girls, a flash ago
Who could believe it now?
Out from the murky, quivering flames
Of burning, festering Hiroshima
You step, unrecognizable
even to yourselves
You leap and crawl, one by one
Onto this grassy plot
Wisps of hair on bronze bald heads
Into the dust of agony
Why have you had to suffer this?
Why this, the cruelest of inflictions?
Was there some purpose?
You look so monstrous, but could not know
How far removed you are now from mankind
Perhaps you think
Of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters
Could even they know you now?
Of sleeping and waking, of breakfast and home
Where the flowers in the hedge scattered in a flash
And even the ashes now have gone
Thinking, thinking, you are thinking
Trapped with friends
who ceased to move, one by one
Thinking when once you were a daughter
A daughter of humanity
- Toge Sankichi
Toge Sankichi, born in Japan in 1917, started writing poems at the age of eighteen. He was twenty-eight when the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. He died at age thirty-six, of leukemia resulting from the A-bomb. He became the leading Hiroshima poet in Japan due to his first hand experience of the bomb, and his realistic insight gained from the experience. He had a passion for peace.
Additional information about the bombs, including interviews with survivors, is available here. I said a prayer after spending some time at that site.