Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Harry S. Truman Papers
Staff Member and Office Files:
Robert L. Dennison Files

Dates: 1946-1953

Naval Aide to the President, 1948-1953

The files of Robert L. Dennison document some aspects of his service as Naval Aide to President Truman from 1948 to 1953. The collection consists of documents pertaining to the American President Lines dispute, proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Merchant Marine, the administrative jurisdiction over the islands of Saipan and Tinian, segregation at the Charleston and Norfolk Navy Yards, and veterans' hospitals.

See also the Robert L. Dennison Papers and oral history.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 2.4 linear feet (about 4,800 pages)
Access: Open
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States government. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs. Processed by: Philip D. Lagerquist (1956); Jeremy D. Spencer and David Clark (2003).

The creation of this online resource was made possible in part by funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1901 (April 13) Born, Warren, Pennsylvania
1923 BS, United States Naval Academy
1930 M.S., Pennsylvania State College
1935 D. Eng., Johns Hopkins University
1935 Commander, USS Ortolan (submarine rescue vessel)
1937 (May 10) Married Mildred Fenton Mooney Neely
1937-1938 Commander, USS Cuttlefish (submarine)
1940-1941 Commander, USS John D. Ford (destroyer)
1944-1945 Member, Joint War Plans Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff
1945-1947 Assistant Chief of Naval Operations
1947-1948 Commander, USS Missouri (battleship)
1948-1953 Naval Aide to President Truman
1956-1958 Commander, First Fleet, U.S. Pacific Fleet
1959 Promoted to rank of Admiral
1959-1960 Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean
1960-1963 Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic
1963-1973 Executive, Copley Newspapers
1980 (March 14) Died, Bethesda Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Robert L. Dennison Files, part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers, document some of his service as Naval Aide to President Harry S. Truman. Dennison left the material in these files at the conclusion of his government service and when the administration ended in 1953, his files were shipped to Kansas City as part of Mr. Truman's presidential papers, which Truman subsequently donated to the United States government. The collection consists of one series, a Subject File.

The Subject File consists of documents pertaining to the American President Lines dispute, proposed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Merchant Marine, the administrative jurisdiction over the islands of Saipan and Tinian, segregation at the Charleston and Norfolk Navy Yards, and veterans' hospitals. The American President Lines documents consist of correspondence, memorandums and reports pertaining to litigation over disputed stock in the company. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 materials include correspondence and drafts of legislation relating to proposed amendments to the Wage-Hour Law in order to clarify the geographical coverage of the act, pertaining particularly to Guam. The Fair Labor Standards Act correspondents include Frederick Lawton of the Bureau of the Budget and Charles A. Coolidge of the Department of Defense.

The largest part of the series pertains to the Merchant Marine. These records consist of telegrams, correspondence, drafts of legislation, legal documents, memorandums, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, printed materials, hearings, audit reports, and transcripts pertaining to budget requests, long range shipping, shipping policies, selling and purchasing of ships, shipbuilding, ship repair industries, blue collar employees, the Maritime Commission, employment, expenditures, lists of vessels, appointments to positions, subsidies, personnel matters, the United States Lines Company and cases decided by the Federal Maritime Board from 1950 to 1953. Dennison's correspondents included Frank Pace, Charles Sawyer, unions, and shipping companies.

The Saipan and Tinian documents include correspondence and an executive order pertaining to the potential transfer of administrative jurisdiction over the islands from the Department of the Interior to the Department of the Navy. The Charleston and Norfolk Navy Yards records include correspondence and memorandums pertaining to segregation of facilities at these Navy Yards.

The Veterans' Hospital records include telegrams, correspondence, memorandums, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, and legislation pertaining to operating budgets, hospitalization of veterans, construction of hospitals, closing of hospitals, transfer of military hospitals to the Veterans Administration, bed shortages, conditions in hospitals, disabled veterans, benefits, hospital facilities and costs, shortage of medical specialists and the reorganization of the Veterans Administration from 1946 to1952.

Related holdings at the Truman Library include the Robert L. Dennison Papers, the Robert L. Dennison oral history interview, the Naval Aide to the President Files, and the White House Central Files: President's Personal File 4574.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-6 SUBJECT FILE, 1946-1953.
Correspondence, executive orders, hearings, legislation, legal documents, memorandums, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, printed materials, reports, and telegrams. Arranged alphabetically by subject, thereunder chronologically.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

  • American President Lines
  • Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, Proposed Amendments to
  • Merchant Marine-January-February 1950
  • Merchant Marine-March-May 1950
  • Merchant Marine-June-August 1950
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Merchant Marine-September-December 1950

Box 2

  • Merchant Marine-January-February 1951
  • Merchant Marine-March-June 1951
  • Merchant Marine-July-September 1951
  • Merchant Marine-October-December 1951
  • Merchant Marine-January-February 1952

Box 3

  • Merchant Marine-March-April 1952
  • Merchant Marine-May-June 15, 1952
  • Merchant Marine-June 16-August 1952
  • Merchant Marine-September-October 1952
  • Merchant Marine and the Tax-Policy Report-November 1, 1952
      [1 of 2]

Box 4

      [2 of 2]
  • Merchant Marine-November 1952
  • Merchant Marine-December 1952-January 1953
  • Saipan and Tinian
  • Segregation-Charleston and Norfolk Navy Yards
  • Veterans Hospitals-1946-February 1950

Box 5

  • Veterans Hospitals-March-May 1950
  • Veterans Hospitals-June 1950
  • Veterans Hospitals-July-December 1950
  • Veterans Hospitals-January-February 1951
  • Veterans Hospitals-March-December 1951

Box 6

  • Veterans Hospitals-January-June 1952
  • Veterans Hospitals-July-December 1952

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