Press/Journalists

Media Alert
October 8, 2009

Truman Grandson to Unveil Bess Truman Letters for the First Time at the National Archives October 14

WHAT: One-time only, exclusive opportunity for the media to photograph and film eight original, letters written by Bess Truman to her husband in 1923 and 1925 that have never been opened to the public before. The Truman’s eldest grandson Clifton Truman Daniel will unveil and discuss the letters, which he wrote about the Fall issue of the National Archives’ official magazine, Prologue.

WHO: Truman grandson Clifton Truman Daniel
Director of the Truman Presidential Library, Michael Devine
Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries, Sharon Fawcett

WHERE: Room 105, National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

Press should use Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 10 A.M.
A public lecture by Clifton Daniel will follow the media event at noon on October 14.

Please Note: Cameras May Use Available Light Only

Background

Harry S. Truman was a legendary letter-writer and his letters have been mined by historians for years as a chronicle of his life and the post-World War II years when he was President. Some 1,300 of the letters are to his wife, Bess, written between 1910 and 1959.

Until now, her side of the correspondence has not been published or opened to the public. In the Fall issue of Prologue Magazine, published by the National Archives, Clifton Truman Daniel writes that his grandmother was a very private person and felt that “her business was her own damn business and nobody else’s.”

True to her credo, she burned most of the approximately 1,300 letters she wrote to Harry, except for 180 that were found several years ago scattered throughout the Truman home. They are now part of the holdings of the Truman Library in Independence, MO.

The Prologue article, “Dear Harry . . . Love, Bess,” is available on Scribd.com, as is the entire Fall issue. Single print copies of Prologue can be purchased at The Archives Shop in the National Archives Building in Washington, several news stores in the Washington area, at several Presidential library shops, and several news stores in the Washington area including Politics and Prose, Georgetown University Bookshop, The News Room, One Stop News, and News Express.

To learn more about Prologue or to subscribe, go to www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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