Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


 

Oral History Interviews with
Matthew Connelly

Chief investigator for the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (the Truman Committee), 1941-44, Executive Assistant to Senator and Vice President Truman, July 1944-April 1945; and Appointments Secretary to the President, 1945-53.
Interview Transcripts
November 28, 1967 | November 30, 1967 | August 21, 1968
By Jerry N. Hess
[Notices and Restrictions | List of Subjects Discussed]


NOTICE
These are transcripts of tape-recorded interviews conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of each transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that these are essentially transcripts of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

RESTRICTIONS
These oral history transcripts may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. They may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.


List of Subjects Discussed

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z

    Abels, Jules, 137, 293
    Acheson, Dean, 391, 395

      cabinet member for Harry S. Truman, 330-331
    Adams, Sherman, 128
    Air Corps, 38, 39
    Air Force, 223
    Alabama, 1, 7, 8
    Albany, Indiana, 36
    Alcoa Company, 51-52
    Allen, George, 94-95, 102, 103, 107, 122, 123, 150
      in the administration of Harry S. Truman, 242-244
    Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), 51-52
    Amberg, Julius H., 26, 27
    American Federation of Labor (AFL), 104-105
    American Legion, 344
    American Overseas Air Line, 443, 444, 446
    American Trust and Banking Company, 196
    Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), 276
      Truman, Harry S., attitude toward, 428-429
    Anderson, Clinton P. J. 370
    Anderson, Howard S., 306
    Anderson, Jack, 440
    Andrews, Russell P., 215
    Ansberry, Peter, 56-57
    Argentina, 284
    Arizona, 65
    Arlington National Cemetery, 398
    Army Camps, construction of:
      Connelly, Matthew J., investigates, 32-37
      Truman, Harry S., investigates, 29
    Arvey, Jacob M. (Jake), 275
    Associated Gas and Electric Company, 18
    Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), 46, 398
    Ayers, Eben, 185-186

    Ball, Senator Joseph, H., 67
    Baltimore, Maryland, 395
    Baltimore Sun, 183
    Barkley, Vice President Alben W., 77, 81, 82, 166, 167, 225, 272, 417, 422

      and the Democratic National Convention, 1948, 276-279
      Democratic National Convention, 1952, difficulties with delegates, 418-419
    Barnes, James M., 188-189
    Barrows, Roberta, on staff of Harry S. Truman, 250-252
    Barry, Francis (Frank), 306
    Batt, William L., Jr., 292
    Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 103
    Bell, David E., 155, 209-211, 302, 426
    Bethesda Navy Hospital, 343
    Biddle, Francis, 357-358
    Biffle, Leslie, 227, 277, 418-419, 421, 422
    Big Four Powers, 223, 224, 227-228
    Bilbo, Senator Theodore, 391
    Birkhead, Kenneth, 292
    Bixler, Catherine, 139, 141
    Blair-Lee House, 173, 395, 398, 400, 420, 437
    B'nai B'rith, 430
    Boston, Massachusetts, 105, 110, 387
    Boyle, William M., Jr., 11, 43, 86-87, 139, 292, 295, 307, 408
    Bradley, General Omar N., 400-401
    Brandt, Pete, 172
    Brannan, Charles F., 290
      as Cabinet member for Harry S. Truman, 370-372
    Brannan Plan, 371-372
    Bray, William J. (Bill), 299-300
      Truman, Harry S., on staff of, 215-218
    Brazil, 289
    Brewster, Senator Owen, 17, 23, 49, 69-71
    Bridges, Senator Styles, 72, 451, 452
    Brightman, Sam, 410
    Brown, Tillie, 175
    Brown, Wilson, 232, 236
    Brownell, Herbert, 451
    Bruce, James, 289
    Budget Bureau, 203, 210, 352
    Burton, Harold, 72-73
    Byrnes, James F., 97, 373, 431, 433-434
      Truman, Harry S., in Cabinet of, 327-329

    Cadillac Square, (Detroit), 104, 105, 280, 309, 311, 355
    California, University of, 265-266
    Campaign Expenditures, the Gillette Committee to Investigate, 16, 57
    Canfil, Fred A., 14

      Truman Committee, investigates the Hanford, Washington, Plant, 75-77
    Cannon, Clarence, 7
    Canol project, 40, 82
    Carey, Idaho, 263-264
    Carton Hotel (Washington, DC), 266
    Carr, Albert, 295, 296-297
    Carroll, John A., 228
    Carter, John Franklin, 295, 297
    Casey, Joseph, 275
    Chandler. Albert B., investigation of the swimming pool of, 77-82
    Chandler, Mrs. Albert B., 80
    Chapman, Oscar, 261, 291, 416
      Truman, Harry S., in the Cabinet of, 368-369
    Chicago American, 107
    Chicago, Illinois, 2, 7, 91, 101, 106, 275, 280, 285, 328, 387, 410, 418, 422
    Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), 83, 443, 446
    Civil rights, 291-292
      Truman, Harry S.;
    Civil War, 29-30
    Clark, Bennett, 138
    Clark, Charles Patrick, 5, 9, 13, 22, 31, 42, 46, 50, 56, 60 Clark, Tom C., 162, 164, 358
    Clayton, William C., 390
    Cleveland, Mississippi, 391, 392
    Clifford, Clark, 150-151, 153, 155, 157, 158, 160, 167, 168, 194, 199, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210, 211, 214, 236,
      Israel, involvement in the recognition of, 383, 384, 385-386
      TransWorld Airlines (TWA), as a lawyer for, 443-444
      Truman, Harry S.:
    Cole, William S., 17
    Collett, John Caskie, 245
    Colorado, 229
    Committee to Investigate Campaign Expenditures, 5, 7, 16
    Congress, Eightieth, 273-275
    Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), 104-105, 430
    Congressional liaison during the Truman Administration, 221-229
    Connally, Senator Tom, 65, 149
    Connelly, Matthew J., 6, 12-13, 15, 102, 293, 294
      Appointments Secretary, duties as, 129-130
      Army camp construction, investigates, 32-37
      Cabinet meetings, duties at, 130, 131-132
      campaign expenditures, involved in the investigation of, 5, 7
      Chandler, Albert B., swimming pool of, investigated by Connelly, 77-82
      charges against, a discussion of, 448-452
      clipping file of, 304-305
      Committees in Congress, serves on, 6-8
      Democratic National Committee, discusses the various chairmen of, 403-410
      Kelley Nash machine in Chicago, investigates, 7
      MacArthur, Douglas, a discussion of the dismissal of, 399-401
      non-political trip of June 1948, duties during, 261
      Presidency, ideas for changing the, 437
      Presidential election of 1944, part played in, 102
      Presidential election of 1948:
        election evening activities of, 306-308
        Truman, Harry S., a discussion of his confidence in winning, 308-310, 311-313
      relief programs for Washington, D. C., an investigation of, 6-7
      Roosevelt, Franklin D., learns of the death of, 124, 125-126
      State Department, a discussion of, 380-383
      Truman, Harry S.:
        assassination attempt on, 397-399
        congressional liaison for, 222-224
        evaluation of, 440
        executive assistant to, 115-116
        first meeting with Connelly, 1-3
        influence on Connelly, 411-413
        Postmaster General position, offers to Connelly, 314-316
        in Presidential campaign, 1944, accompanied by Connelly, 102
        Presidential election, 1948, confident of victory in, 308-310, 311-313
        staff of, Connelly reports jealousies among, 441-443
        Vice Presidential campaign, assisted by Connelly, 85
      and Truman Committee, 8-9
      and Vinson, Fred M., comments on the proposed mission of, 302-304
      and Willow Run Plant, investigates, 37-39
    Constitution Hall, 179
    Cox Broadcasting Company, 147
    Cox Enterprises, 176
    Cox, James, 176
    Currie, Lauchlin, 189
    Curtiss Wright Corporation, 40, 82-83
    Gallup Poll, 290
    Garvin, Tom, 416-417
    Georgetown, University 16, 46, 56
    Georgia, 32, 33
    Gillette Committee, 5, 7, 16
    Gillette, Senator Guy M., 5, 7
    Godwin, Earl, 272
    Goldwyn, Sam, 296
    Grand Coulee Dam, 393-394
    Gray, Gordon, 351
    Greece, 390
    Green, Shirley, 141
    Green, Theodore, 406
    Griffis, Stanton, 289
    Halleck, Charles, 451, 452
    Halley, Rudolph, 5, 19-20
    Halverstadt, Dallas, 219
    Hanford, Washington, 75
    Hannegan, Robert, 86, 117, 125-126, 200-201, 295, 411
      Democratic National Committee, as chairman of, 403-405
      Truman, Harry S.:
        Cabinet member for, 364-365
        Vice President, 1944, supports for nomination as, 89-91, 92, 93-94
    Harlem, New York, 298
    Harriman W. Averell, 374-375
    Harvard University, 42, 56, 221, 392
    Hassett, William C., 170, 253, 254
      Truman, Harry S., duties during the administration of, 168-169
    Hatch, Senator Carl A., 71, 81-82
    Hayden, Senator Carl, 65
    Hechler, Kenneth, 220
    Hehmeyer, Walter, 20, 21
    Henderson, Loy, 381-383
    Hercules Powder Company, 36
    Herring, Senator Clyde L., 71
    Higgins, Eddie, 406-407, 408
    Hill, Senator Lister, 1, 7-8
    Hillman, William, 181, 296 Hoeber, Johannes, 292
    Hollywood, California, 296
    Hopkins, Harry L. 193, 194, 387 Houston Chronicle, 304
    Hume, Paul, 179
    Humphrey-Biemiller civil rights plank (1948 convention), 270
    Humphreys, Bob, 80-81
    Hyde Park, New York, 121
    Ickes, Harold L., 366-367
    Illinois, 416
    The Independence (Presidential aircraft), 395
    Independence, Missouri, 305
    Indian Treaty Room, 257
    Indiana, 35, 36, 94, 409
    Indiantown Gap, PA., 32
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 200, 201
    Investigation of Campaign Expenditures, Committee for, 5, 7
    Iowa, 5, 71, 94, 280-281, 312
    Irvin, Robert L., 22, 62, 381
    Israel, recognition of, 194-198, 383-386, 387
    Jackson, Charles, 219
    Jackson, Robert H., 18
    Jackson, Samuel, 94
    Jacobson, Edward (Eddie), 385
    Jenner, Senator William E., 427
    Jewish vote, in the 1948 Presidential election, 387-388
    Johnson, Louis A., 285, 354
      Military budget cuts, 344-346
      Truman, Harry S.: in Cabinet of, 343-347
      Treasurer for the Presidential Campaign of 1948, 285, 287-289
    Jones, Jesse, 119, 304
      and Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 50-53
    Justice Department, 18, 358
    Pace, Frank, 203 Pan American Airways, 443, 444, 446
    Parks, Franklin N., 46, 229-230
    Patterson, Robert P., 117
      in Cabinet of President Truman, 339-340
    Pauley, Edwin W., 92, 265, 355
    Pawley, William, 289-290
    Pearson, Drew, 182, 440
    Pendergast, Thomas J., funeral of, 116-118
    Pennsylvania, 32
    Pentagon, 33
    Peoria, Illinois, 105, 106-107
    Pepper, Senator Claude, 278
    Perkins, Francis, 376-377
    Perlmeter, Irving, 184-185
    Philadelphia, 118, 271, 364
    Phillips, Cabell, 350, 411, 421, 423
    Point IV, 393, 438
    Pontiac, Michigan, 312
    Porter, Paul, 117
    Postmaster General of the United States, 215, 314-316
    Potsdam, East Germany, 143
    Presidential election campaign, 1944, Harry S. Truman as a campaigner, 102
    Presidential election campaign, 1948:
      Cabinet members of President Truman, involvement in campaign, 290-291
      Campaign train: Clifford, Clark speculates on outcome of, 447-448
      Connelly, Matthew J., belief that Truman would win, 308-310, 311-313
      contributions, shortage of, 284-289
      crowds, reaction of, 298-300
      Democrats, opposition from, 275-276
      Dewey, Thomas, campaign train of, 293
      Election evening, 306-308, 310
      Harlem; New York, 298
      Itinerary, 279-281
      Jewish vote, the importance of, 387-388
      Maloney, James J., joins the Dewey campaign, 305-306
      Wallace, Henry A., campaign of, 283-284
      writers assisting in the campaign, 295-297
    Presidential election campaign, 1952:
      Stevenson, Adlai E., relationship with Harry S. Truman, 420-425
      Truman, Harry S.:
        choice for a successor, 415-418
        decision not to run, 413-415
        Stevenson, Adlai E., relationship with, 420-425
    President's Committee on Civil Rights, 268
    Price Administration, Office of, 80
    Progressive Party, 283
    Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 394
    Pulitzer. Joseph, 174
    Pulitzer Prize, 401
    Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company, 182
    Quartermaster Corps, 33
    Tabor, Representative John, 7
    Taft-Hartley Act, 44
    Ten Point Civil Rights Message, 206, 268
    Tennessee Valley Authority, 367
    Texas, 65, 102, 149
    Thomas, Senator Elbert, 7
    Thurmond, Senator J. Strom, 291
    Tobin, Maurice, 290, 377-378
    Toomey, Marion, 55
    Toulmin, Harry Aubrey, Jr., 3-4, 5, 23-24
    TransWorld Airlines (TWA), 443-446
    Treasury Department, 54
    Truman, Harry S., 12, 16, 26, 39, 41, 44, 47, 49, 52, 75-76, 81, 152, 283-284
      Acheson, Dean, in Cabinet of, 330-331
      administration of, his conduct of the office, 452-453
      Allen, George E., in the administration of, 242-244
      Americans for Democratic Action, opinion of, 428-429
      Anderson, Clinton P., in the Cabinet of, 370
      army camp visits, 28-29
      assassination attempt, 397-399
      Ayers, Eben, in the administration of, 185-186

      Barnes, James M., on the staff of, 188-189
      Barrows, Robert A., in the administration of, 250-252
      Bell, David E., on the staff of, 209-211
      Biddle, Francis, in the Cabinet of, 357-358
      Boyle, William, Jr., relationship with, 11-12
      Brannan, Charles, in the Cabinet of, 370-372
      Bray, William, on the staff of, 215-217, 218
      Brown, Wilson, in the administration of, 232, 236
      Brynes, James F., in the Cabinet of, 327-329
        relationship with, 95-98

      Cabinet of, 130-133, 134-136, 325 and Chandler, Albert B., 77-82
      Chapman, Oscar, in the Cabinet of, 368-369
      Clark, Bennett, relationship with, 138
      Civil rights: Clifford, Clark: Collett, John Caskie, in the administration of, 245
      Congressional liaison during the administration of, 221-229
      Connelly, Matthew J.:
        and congressional liaison, 222-229
        evaluates Truman as President, 440
        as an executive assistant, 115-116
        first meeting with Truman, 1-3
        influence on Truman, 411-413
        Postmaster General position, offer of, 314-316
      Currie, Lauchlin, on the staff of, 189

      and Daniels, Jonathan, 189-192
      and Davies, Joseph, 245-246
      Dawson, Donald, on the staff of, 202-203
      decision maker, as a, 434
      Democratic National Convention, 1948, 270-273
      and Dennison, Robert L., 233-235
      Donaldson, Jesse M., in the Cabinet of, 365-366

      Eightieth Congress, recalled for a special session by, 273-275
      Eisenhower, Dwight D., transition from administration of, 127, 128
      Elsey, George, on the staff of, 205-206


      and Finletter, Thomas, 356-357
      Forrestal, James, in the Cabinet of, 340-343
      and Foskett, James A., 232, 234
      Frederick, J. Lawton, on staff of, 203-204
      Fritchey, Clayton, on the staff of, 211
      Fulton, Hugh, difficulties involving, 121-124

      Government operation, views on, 436
      Grand Coulee Dam, attends rededication of, 393-394

      Hannegan, Robert E., in the Cabinet of, 364-365
      Harriman, W. Averell, in the Cabinet of, 374-375
      and Hassett, William D., 168-169
      and Hillman, William, 431-434
      and Hopkins, Harry L., 245-246
      and Hume, Paul, 179-180

      Ickes, Harold L., in the Cabinet of, 366-367

      Johnson, Louis A., in the Cabinet of, 343-347

      Keech, Richmond B., on the staff of, 202
      Key West, Florida, vacations at, 313-314, 316-320
      and Kimball, Dan, 355
      Korean invasion, attitude concerning, 396
      Krug, Julius A., in the Cabinet of, 366-368

      and Landry, Robert B., 237-238, 239
      and Leahy,William B., 231-232
      Lloyd, David D., on the staff of, 208
      Locke, Edwin A., Jr., on the staff of, 219-220
      Lovett, Robert A., in the Cabinet of, 348
      and Lowenthal, Max, 83-84

      MacArthur, General Douglas, and Wake Island conference with, 321-324, 401-402
      McCarthy, Joseph, makes charges against Truman staff members, 435-436
      McGrath, J. Howard, in the administration of, 358-363
      McKim, Edward D., on the staff of, 246-249
      McReynolds, William, on the staff of, 186-187
      Marshall, George C., in the Cabinet of, 329-330, 347-348, 349
      Matthews, Francis, in the administration of, 354-355
      Meader, George, on the staff of, 45-46
      Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., in the Cabinet of, 332-334
      Murphy, Charles S., on the staff of, 165-168

      Nash, Philleo, on the staff of, 198-199
      Niles, David K., on the staff of, 193-194
      non-political trip of June, 1948, 258, 259-266

      Pace, Frank, in the administration of, 352-353
      Parks, Franklin N., on the staff of, 46
      Patterson, Robert P., in the Cabinet of, 339-340
      Pendergast, Thomas J., funeral, 116-118
      Perkins, Francis, in the Cabinet of, 376-377
      Perlmeter, Irving, on the staff of, 184-185
      press conferences, 257-258
      pre-press conferences of, 256-257
      press leaks during the administration of, 431
      and pressure groups, 429-430
      public opinion mail, 430-431
      Presidential election campaign, 1944:

        campaigns during, 102
        Roosevelt, Franklin D., communications with Truman during, 119-120
      Presidential election campaign, 1948, 279-281, 290-291, Also See Presidential election campaign, 1948
      Presidential election campaign, 1952:

      Rigdon, William M., in the administration of, 236-237
      Roosevelt, Franklin D.:

        communication with Truman in 1944 campaign,119
        communication with Vice President Truman, 120, 127
        death of, 124-125
        health of, 111
      Rosenman, Judge Samuel I., in the administration of, 156-160
      Ross, Charles G., on the staff of, 172-179
      Royall, Kenneth C., on the staff of, 340, 349-351

      Sawyer, Charles, in the Cabinet of, 375-376
      Schwellenbach, Lewis B., in the Cabinet of, 377
      and Senators involving the Truman Committee, 64-74
      Schoeneman, George J., on the staff of, 200-201
      Short, Joseph, as a staff assistant to, 182-184
      Snyder, John W.:

        in the Truman Cabinet, 337-338
        relationship with Truman, 53-55
      Somervell. Brehon B., relations with, 30-31 Spingarn, Stephen J., on the staff of, 206-208
      staff members, 139-143, 144-145 Steelman, Dr. John R., on the staff of, 204
      Stettinius, Edward R., Jr., in the Cabinet of, 325-327
      Stevenson, Adlai E., Presidential election campaign, 1952: Stimson, Henry L „ in the Cabinet of, 339
      Stowe, David H., on the staff of, 204
      and Sullivan, John L., 354
      Symington, Senator W. Stuart, in the administration of, 356

      Tobin, Maurice, in the Cabinet of, 377-378
      Tubby, Roger, on the staff of, 184-185

      and Vice Presidential nomination in 1944, 89-94
      Vinson, Fred, in the Cabinet of, 334-337

      Wake Island conference, 321-324, 401-402
      Walker, Frank, in the Cabinet of, 364
      Wallace, Henry A.:

        in the Truman Cabinet, 372
        relationship with Truman, 113-114
      Walsh, Senator David, relationship with, 109-111
      White House reorganization, 437-438
      Wickard, Claude R., in the Cabinet of, 369-370

      Zimmerman, Raymond R., on the staff of, 201-202

    Truman, Mrs. Harry S. (Bess), 153, 173, 420, 421
    Truman Committee, 90

      Anskerry, Peter, on the staff of, 56-57
      assignments, procedure for, 12-14
      atomic energy, research plant at Hanover, Washington, 75-77
      budget for, 96-97
      committee reports, 67-68
      Connelly, Matthew J., hiring of and chief investigator for, 1-3, 8-9
      defense housing investigation, 43-44
      field investigations, 39-41
      and Lasken, Morris, 56
      and Locke, Edwin A., Jr., 64
      and Maletz, Herbert, 41-43
      and Mead, James, 65-66
      members of, 9-12, 15, 41-43, 45-50, 55-57
      meetings of, 60-61
      and Navy Department, 24-25, 31
      and Nelson, Donald M., 61-62
      and press, 20-21
      and Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), 50-53
      recruiting for, 13
      Robinson, Harold G., on the staff of, 47-48
      Sawyer, Haven, on the staff of, 49
      Senators on the committee and their relationship with Committee members, 64-74
      Sparks, Wilbur, on the staff of, 49-50
      staffing of, 4-6
      and Suydum, Hendrix, 50
      Toomey, Marion on the staff of, 55
      Truman, Harry S.:
        as chairman of, 88-89
        discussion on the purpose of, 29-30
        relationship with the staff, 57
      War Department relations, 24-28, 30-31
      War Production Board, relations with, 61-63
      Truman Doctrine, 390
      Truman, Margaret, 179
      Truman Presidency, The, 350
      Tubby, Roger, 170, 184-185
    Tully, Grace, 93
    Turkey, 390
    Turner, Roy, 286, 287
    Twenty-one point message, 152-153
    Tyree, John, Jr., 236
    United Nations, 173
    University of California, 265-266
    University of Michigan, 18, 22

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