The buck -- and President Truman's grandson --- stops here May 17

Posted by Pat Kinney on Tuesday, April 11, 2023

President Harry S. Truman made it here in 1952. His grandson will be here May 17, 2023. Clifton Truman Daniel (pictured below), the older grandson of President Truman, will be at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum for a 7 p.m. program.

A former newspaper journalist, Daniel is a son of the late E. Clifton Daniel Jr., former managing editor of The New York Times, and best-selling mystery writer Margaret Truman. He has been director of public relations for Truman College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. He's also honorary chairman of the Truman Library Insititute. He has authored books on his grandfather and gives also oni the Truman presidency.

His grandfather gave at talk here on Oct. 19, 1952, just a few blocks from the museum.

President Truman spoke from the back of a train near the Rock Island train depot on West Fourth Street. He had decided not to seek re-election and was campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson of Illinois and other Democratic candidates. But he was still, true to his nickname, "Give 'Em Hell Harry," doing just that to the Republican establishment.

A portion of the crowd, estimated at more than 10,000, that turned out to see President Truman on a "whistle stop" speech in Waterloo Oct. 19, 1952.

He said if the "reactionary Republican Old Guard" was put in place it would result in World War III, which he said U.S. and U.N. forces there were trying to prevent by containing the Korean conflict. He also blasted congressional Republicans for opposing farm price supports (a minimum $1.60 bushel for corn) and for passing the Taft-Hartley Act, which he said threatened the gains of organized labor.

A Republican "truth squad" of Midwestern senators shadowing Truman on his tour, labeled his charges "silly," "poor arithmetic," and said his speech was "disjointed and inaccurate as usual."
Local politicos also lined up on either side of the fence. Among the local Democrats riding on Truman's train from Manly to Waterloo were developer Max Guernsey and attorney Ed Gallagher. Among locals joining the Republican "truth squad" were attorney W. Louis Beecher and Congressman H.R. Gross.

Truman apparently took no direct jabs at Republican presidential nominee and his eventual successor, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, but did have a barb for Ike's running mate, Richard Nixon.
Someone in the crowd shouted, "Are you going to talk any more about Nixon?" Truman replied, "No, I'm only talking about the issues. I don't go down to lower levels."

President Harry Truman is shown here in Waterloo, Oct. 19, 1952. The president beamed a smile when a member of the crowd asked him if he was going to comment on Republican vice presidential nominee Richard Nixon. Truman responded, "No, I'm only talking about the issues. I don't go down to lower levels." (Waterloo Courier photo)The Trumans from Independence -- Missouri, not Iowa -- make it to Waterloo every once in a while.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of several major initiatives in President Truman's administration, including the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift and the president's executive order desegregating the U.S. military. Mr. Daniel is well versed on all those topics - and more -- and has interesting stories on home life growing up with an ex-president as a grandfather. He also has authored multiple books on his grandparents.

Retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Evan "Curly" Hultman of Waterloo, a World War II veteran and his daughter, retired U.S. Army Col. Heidi Warrington, attended the centennial of the founding of the Reserve Officers Association of America in Washington, D.C. in October. President Truman, as a World War I veteran, was a co-founder of that organization and grandson Clifton was the featured speaker of that event. Gen. Hultman's comment to Grout staff, after hearing Mr. Daniel speak, were, "You're getting a good one." 

We are eagerly anticipating this program.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $35 for members. Museum admission is included in the ticket price, allowing guests to tour the museum and see the newly renovated spaces. There will be a cash bar. A table of eight with snacks and drink coupons may be reserved for $400. Registration may be made online here.

Event sponsors are:
American Legion of Iowa Foundation
Merwin Anders Memorial Fund, in memory of Alden Pearl Anders, WWII MIA 
Gallagher Family Foundation
Evan "Curly" Hultman
Bob and Liz Beecher Petersen
David Greene
Michael Butler 
Robert J Hibbs VFW Post 3896 Cedar Falls 
E.J. Gallagher III

About The Author

Pat is the Oral Historian for the Grout Museum District.