Truman, Harry. S. (1884 - 1972)

Signed Inaugural Invitation with Portraits and Program

Signed invitation to the 1949 inauguration of the 33rd President of the United States, who has inscribed "It was a great day!/ Harry Truman/ Independence/ July 28, 1958," together with inserted portraits of Truman and his Vice President Alben Barkley (1877–1956) and an unsigned program for the ceremony.  "Independence" refers to Independence, Missouri, location of the Truman Library & Museum and Truman's home for much of his life.  Invitation 4 pp., rippling to right edge which does not affect signature, else fine.  Program 4 pp., bound together with a patriotic ribbon, in fine condition.  Each approx. 6.5 x 10 inches (16.5 x 25.5 cm.).

The 41st presidential inauguration was held on Thursday, January 20, 1949, at the East Portico of the U.S. Capital, and marked the beginning of Truman's only full term in office.  Attended by an estimated 1.3 million people, it was the first U.S. presidential inauguration to be televised, the first to include an air parade, and the first with an official inaugural ball since Taft's inauguration in 1909.  The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, and President Truman delivered what is now known as the Four Points speech, outlining plans for economic growth and to oppose Communism around the world.  Members of Congress were late to arrive, which may have created a break in succession; a Presidential term expires at 12:00 on January 20th, and Truman was not sworn in until 12:29.  By this interpretation, for six minutes after taking his Vice Presidential oath, Barkley served as the President of the United States. (18862)

Signed Document/Item
History & Historiography