Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Susan Medler
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Truman Library to Open the Edwin Pauley Papers for Research

Also included in the opening are new films and sound recordings of Harry S. Truman's candid reflections on his life and years as chief executive and new documents from the George Elsey Papers

INDEPENDENCE, MO-On Monday, December 3, 2007, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum will open for research the Edwin Pauley Papers, additional films from the Screen Gems Collection, and new documents from the papers of George Elsey. These materials provide valuable new insights into the Korean conflict, the 1948 Whistle Stop campaign, and other historical topics relating to Truman's years in the White House.

"The Truman Library is pleased to add these important new materials to the documentation of the life and presidency of Harry S. Truman," Truman Library director, Michael Devine, said. "These new documents and recordings remind us that we still have much to learn about Harry Truman and his remarkable achievements and leadership."

Edwin Pauley Papers
The Pauley Papers contain correspondence, printed materials, transcripts, photographs, an autobiography, and memorabilia relating to Pauley's government service, business career, personal affairs, and association with President Truman. The collection contains about 40,000 pages of material dating approximately from 1930 to 1995.

Edwin W. Pauley (1903-1981), a California businessman, oil industry entrepreneur, and Democratic Party leader, was a longtime friend and associate of President Harry S. Truman. In 1944, Pauley helped bring about Truman's nomination for Vice President on the Democratic ticket, replacing the incumbent Vice President, Henry A. Wallace. When Truman became President in April 1945, he named Pauley as his personal representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations, with the rank of Ambassador. Over the next two years, Pauley traveled through Europe and Asia, assessing German and Japanese assets and determining how much the defeated Axis powers should pay in reparations after World War II. One of his inspection trips was to the Northern part of Korea, an area occupied by the Soviet Union. Pauley's dealings with the Soviets convinced him that they were determined to establish a Communist regime in North Korea, and he became an early advocate of firm resistance to aggressive Soviet policies.

Early in 1946, Truman nominated Pauley for the post of Under Secretary of the Navy. The nomination was opposed by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, who resigned from the Cabinet and publicly accused Pauley of improper lobbying in behalf of oil interests. This triggered a major political controversy and weeks of testimony by Pauley, Ickes, and others before the Senate Naval Affairs Committee. Pauley vigorously defended himself against the charges, while his critics insisted that it would be a conflict of interest for an oil industry executive to serve in a high position with the Navy Department. Although the Senate Committee absolved him of wrongdoing, Pauley ultimately asked the President to withdraw his nomination. He later served in the Truman administration as Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on Reparations and as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army.

In 1953, Pauley and his family hosted former President Truman, Mrs. Truman, and their daughter, Margaret, at the Pauley vacation home on Coconut Island in Hawaii. Pauley served as Vice President of the Harry S. Truman Library, Inc., and was instrumental in raising funds to build the Truman Library. He also was a member of the University of California Board of Regents for many years; Pauley Pavilion, the home of the UCLA Bruins basketball team, is named in his honor.

A finding aid to the Pauley Papers will be available on the Truman Library's website at www.trumanlibrary.org. Research Room hours and location may be found at the end of this news release.

Screen Gems Films
The Truman Library is opening a fourth segment of outtakes from The Screen Gems Collection. The Screen Gems Collection consists of outtakes that were created during the production in 1961-1963 of the twenty-six part television documentary series, Decisions - The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman. Truman is often featured speaking off the script or without a script during his time on camera and before the microphone.

The new outtakes, all film, total about forty-five minutes of running time. They show former President Truman talking about World War I, Truman's experience in the U.S. Senate, the atomic bomb, the Japanese Emperor, the founding of Israel, the role of the President, the Middle East, Truman's loyalty program, and other topics. In one outtake, he talks about the White House breakfast that Mrs. Truman prepared for incoming President Eisenhower on Inauguration Day, 1953: "Mr. Eisenhower was supposed to come to that breakfast, which he didn't do." In another segment, Truman says of the atomic bomb, "I wanted to make that bomb the last great weapon of the war, and end it if it could possibly be done that way." In another, he says of Displaced Persons after World War II, "It was my opinion that the American government couldn't stand idly by while the people who had been displaced by Hitler were allowed to starve to death somewhere else."

These new films will be added to the Screen Gems Collection, available for research in the Truman Library's audiovisual research room. Some of the outtakes of the Screen Gems Collection are accessible via the Internet at www.trumanlibrary.org/decision/screengems.htm. An updated finding aid to the Screen Gems Collection will be available on the Truman Library's website at www.trumanlibrary.org.

George Elsey Papers
The Truman Library will open approximately 600 pages of new documents from the George Elsey Papers. Elsey served on President Truman's White House staff. These interesting documents include President Truman's electoral vote forecast for the 1948 election. This handwritten document, which Truman dictated to Elsey aboard the Presidential railroad car, the Ferdinand Magellan, weeks before the election, contains Truman's own remarkably accurate estimates of how many electoral votes he and his opponents would receive on Election Day. Also included is a one-page handwritten memorandum from President Truman to Elsey in which Truman reflects on his place in history and the treatment he hopes to receive from historians.

These new documents will be added to the Elsey Papers currently available for research at the Truman Library. An updated finding aid will be available on the Truman Library's website at www.trumanlibrary.org/hstpaper/elseygm.htm.

The research room at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is located at 500 W. U.S. Highway 24, Independence, Mo., and is open Monday - Friday, 8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Much of the archival collection is available via the Internet, including the online photo database, at www.trumanlibrary.org.

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is one of 12 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by its not-for-profit partner, the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. To learn more, please visit www.trumanlibrary.org.


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