One of the places I have always wanted to visit is the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO. From what some people have told me, it's one of the best presidential libraries in the country. I just recently started to explore the Truman Library's website. During my searches, I've discovered a podcast series with actual recordings made of him during speeches and visits.
Four recordings are of interest to many of us. President Truman addressed the Imperial Council Session of the Shrine of North America, a group of Masons at a breakfast at the Statler Hotel honoring Frank S. Land (doesn't sound like pancakes were present), at the 100th anniversary of the cornerstone laying of the Washington Monument, and finally, at the dedication of the large statue of George Washington at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. You can download the iTunes version of the three speeches here, here, here, and here. I was really interested that a sitting president would address the Shrine. In fact, throughout the podcast series (which you should subscribe to by clicking here), President Truman addresses a number of civic and patriotic organizations.
In his speech to the Imperial Shrine, President Truman highlights the need for a strong international response in the growing threat of undemocratic regimes. I was a little shocked and confused by the seemingly political speech at an assembly of Masons but, at the same time, it was refreshing to hear discussions of international relations during the transition period just after the Second World War. The transcript can be found here.
In his speech to an assembled breakfast crowd of Masons, President Truman gave an informal address at an annual Frank S. Land breakfast (Land being the founder of the Order of Demolay). It takes a while to get through the introductions of his staff but ultimately, we get to a rather good and interesting discussion of both Freemasonry and also, the stones and arrows great presidents have lobbed at them during and after their terms. I really enjoyed his discussion of a prominent Philadelphia newspaper's opinion of George Washington.
|Dedication of George Washington Statue at the GWMMM|
|At the 100th Anniversary of the Cornerstone Laying|
I am so thankful to the Truman Library for having so many resources available to the curious researcher. I have been getting a better understanding of Truman with each page I read.
You can learn more about my thoughts on Truman by watching Episode 65 of the Masonic Roundtable.
And I also recommend two books, Truman by David McCullough and Brother Truman by Allen Roberts.
And I'll leave you with one of my favorite President Truman quotes:
"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first."What do you think? Leave a comment below.