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National Press Club Luncheon Speakers

Image: Harry S. Truman with John P. Cosgrove
Harry S. Truman (left) with John P. Cosgrove (right), November 2, 1961. Photo by Benjamin E. Forte, News Associates, Inc. National Press Club Archives

Harry S. Truman

May 10, 1954 | April 12, 1958 | December 8, 1958 | November 2, 1961

Following his presidency, Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) visited the National Press Club on a number of occasions during return trips to Washington from his home in Independence, Missouri. As he often told the press, he liked and respected the working reporters who covered his administration and valued the institution of the press conference. As president, he tried to hold weekly press conferences, giving a total of 324 during his two terms (1945-1953). The four post-presidential National Press Club talks presented here exhibit an air of camaraderie and friendly challenge that he clearly enjoyed.... More [PDF; 174 KB]

Speech of May 10, 1954

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-08:25
Speech: 08:26-31:49
Q & A: 31:59-54:50

Topics of the Talk

  • Need for Bipartisanship in Foreign Policy: 11:14-13:10
  • Bipartisanship under Roosevelt and Truman Administrations: 13:11-15:17
  • Responsibility of Executive Branch and Minority Party in Bipartisan Foreign Policy: 15:37-18:07
  • Mutual Cooperation of Politicians in Bipartisan Foreign Policy: 18:09-23:01
  • Dangers of Lack of Bipartisan Foreign Policy and Communism: 24:23-25:23
  • Responsibility of President in the Absence of Bipartisan Foreign Policy: 26:57-31:49
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy and Army-McCarthy Hearings: 36:45-37:58; 42:59-43:45
  • Government’s Role in Hydrogen Bomb Program: 41:54-42:50
  • Role of Former President: 49:33-50:43
  • Television’s Role in Campaigning: 51:31-52:36

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Speech of April 12, 1958

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-03:40
Speech: 03:41-19:23

Topics of the Talk

  • Dedication of Truman Presidential Library: 10:53-14:22
  • Historical Importance of Presidential Papers: 14:23-16:22

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Speech of December 8, 1958

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-06:23
Speech: 06:24-18:51
Q & A: 18:52-45:10

Topics of the Talk

  • Propaganda in Newspaper Editorial Pages: 09:53-12:34
  • Importance of Civics Education: 14:40-15:44
  • 1960 Presidential Election: 18:52-21:48
  • River Flood Control: 23:16-24:49
  • Funding Government Programs: 25:46-27:53
  • Need to Overhaul the Tax Structure: 27:53-29:13
  • Russia Breaking Yalta and Potsdam Agreements: 29:14-30:36
  • Russia’s Knowledge That U.S. Developed the Atom Bomb: 30:37-31:37
  • Assuming the Presidency after the Death of Franklin Roosevelt: 36:50-40:02

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Speech of November 2, 1961

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-12:15
Speech: 12:16-43:26
Q & A: 43:50-01:03:15

Topics

  • Churchill on Truman Sending Troops to Korea: 10:28-11:24
  • Truman on President Kennedy’s Election: 20:33-22:10
  • Expenses of Senator and President: 22:10-22:48
  • 1948 Presidential Campaign: 24:34-26:41; 29:03-31:32
  • Budget Deficits and National Debt under President Eisenhower’s Administration: 36:32-38:36
  • Legislation Passed During President Kennedy’s Administration: 38:37-41:17
  • Current Challenges for the Federal Government: 41:18-43:26
  • 1962 California Gubernatorial Election: 45:25-45:43
  • President Truman’s Use of the Atomic Bomb: 45:44-47:39
  • Potsdam Conference: 48:18:49:11
  • 1960 Televised Presidential Debate: 52:25-53:07
  • Khrushchev and Eisenhower Talks on Cuba: 54:25-54:58
  • Importance of Presidential Libraries: 57:30-01:02:05
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  October 17, 2016
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