Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


 

E. Clifton Daniel

Oral History Interview with
E. Clifton Daniel

Associate editor of the Daily Bulletin, Dunn, N.C., 1933-34; reporter for the News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C., 1933-37; with the Associated Press in New York City, Washington, D.C., Bern, Switzerland, and London, England, 1937-43; with the New York Times, 1944 to the present, serving in SHAEF Headquarters in Paris, in the Middle East, in Germany, in the U.S.S.R. (1954-55), and in New York (1955-1972). In New York Mr. Daniel has served as assistant to the foreign news editor, 1955-57, and to the managing editor, 1957-59; as asst. managing editor, 1959-64; managing editor, 1964-69; associate editor, 1969-72; and chief of the Washington bureau, 1972-present. Mr. Daniel married Margaret Truman, daughter of former President Harry S. Truman, in 1956.

New York City
May 3 and May 4, 1972
By J. R. Fuchs

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]


NOTICE
This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript 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
This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened March, 1973
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]



Oral History Interview with
E. Clifton Daniel

New York City
May 3, 1972
By J. R. Fuchs

[1]

FUCHS: To start, would you give us a brief resume of your background, when and where you were born, perhaps, your education, and then the various positions you've held up to the time that we're interested in, when you became acquainted with Mr. Truman?

DANIEL: It's too bad that I don't have with me, and I don't know whether I even have a copy of it anywhere, I may, a letter I wrote to President Truman in 1956 when I became engaged to his daughter, because I set out in that letter very briefly my own career, the background of my family, and some of my professional achievements, because I thought President Truman and Mrs. Truman were entitled to know something about the man their daughter was marrying. Moreover, I'm a bit old-fashioned, I thought it proper in a way, not exactly to ask for his daughter's hand, which is a little bit beyond what people do

[2]

nowadays, but at least to give him the opportunity to say to me, "I don't think I like this, that or the other," or "Could you explain this, that or the other for me, for my family." Or to say to his daughter, "It doesn't look to me as if this is the sort of man you ought to be marrying." Actually, he happily didn't say that. In fact, I don't know that he ever said anything in response to that letter. I don't recall that he did.

But very briefly, my background, in a sense, is not vastly different from his. We both came from farm families. My father was the son of a tobacco farmer in North Carolina whose name was William Daniel, and he grew up in a very small town, or near a very small town, called Wakefield, in eastern North Carolina, about twenty miles east of Raleigh, the capital. He was employed -- before he was twenty, I think -- in a drugstore which was operated by a local doctor named Dr. Z. M. (Z. for Zebulon, actually), Z. M. Caviness. He subsequently completed his education by studying pharmacy in a pharmacy school in Greensboro, North Carolina, and became a registered pharmacist, and was the operator of that drugstore, which he eventually came to own himself, for more than sixty years in Wakefield, and the little community of Zebulon, which grew up two miles away because the railroad passed two miles to

[3]

the south; and the town, in effect, moved down to the railroad. The town was a real estate development, really, built along the railroad, and it was called Zebulonin honor of Zebulon Baird Vance, who was a Civil War veteran in North Carolina, and so many things -- he was very popular -- and many things in North Carolina were named for him. They even got down to the point, as you can see, of using his first name, because there was already a Vance County, and Vanceboro and Bairdsville, and so on.

To go back a moment, I jokingly tell people I was the first white child born in that town. Actually I wasn't, I was about the third or fourth. The town was very young, not much older than I am, and I was born in 1912. I grew up there. My father ran this drugstore. He was active and a leading citizen of the town. He was mayor of it twice. I remember that he had the first telephone in town, and the telephone number was number 1. In those days when we had a hand-operated switchboard that served the town.

I went to school there. The school was located between Zebulon and Wakefield, and had a name that was made up of a combination of the two, called Wakelon School. It was both a primary, secondary and a high school, and a rather good one for that part of the country, good enough so that some children

[4]

from some distance away came to school there. They would board in the community and go to school there, because the school was thought to be a rather good one for its time and place.

My father, as I said, was a leading citizen, but he didn't escape the hazards of business any more than a lot of other people did. His business went bankrupt during the depression, which hit North Carolina and the agricultural belt, particularly North Carolina and other states, much sooner than it hit Wall Street. He didn't lose his business, but it went into bankruptcy and had to be reorganized.

It subsequently prospered and my father became, eventually, not only the head of that business, but the president of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association, which for him, in his profession, was quite an honor. He also was chosen Pharmacist of the Year by the Association. He received its Fifty Year Award, all of these honors that come to a man in his own profession. He died -- I have trouble remembering the year -- when he was about eighty-three years old, now about four years ago.

I went to the local school, as I said, and from there to the University of North Carolina, at the worst possible time, namely 1929, when there was no money anywhere, but to the

[5]

credit of my mother and father they scraped together what they could, and I worked some myself, and we managed to get me a college education.

I was vice president of the student body at the University of North Carolina. I was one of the editors, although not the editor, of the college daily newspaper, and I was the editor of the college magazine. Those were my highest honors, I suppose. I should have been a Phi Beta Kappa student, but I wasn't because I flunked Latin in my freshman year. I got interested in campus politics and journalism and neglected my work my first year, much to the dismay and disappointment of my parents who had always known me as a good student. My average, aside from that one F, was, I would say, a B+, let's say, certainly good enough for a Phi Beta Kappa.

I got the notion rather early in my life of going into journalism, and I think I really picked up this notion from sort of reading about various careers in boys' magazines, and I seem to recall reading advice in Boy's Life or something like that, to the effect that if you wanted to be a newspaperman the way to become one is to start being a newspaperman, that is, to start writing. And I did so. I wrote up, as I remember school athletic events and that sort of thing for the local weekly paper which was called the Zebulon

[6]

Record. Some of these things were published, which was fatal, because I never recovered from the delights of seeing my name in print and my words in print, and I have been in that business ever since. In fact, if you include my part-time work in high school and college, I suppose I have been in journalism now since 1927 or '28. I couldn't say exactly. I went to college in '29. I finished in 1933. I went to work that summer on a small newspaper in Dunn, North Carolina, on a newspaper established by a friend of mine who had a little money, and was interested in establishing a small town paper. The paper did not succeed, but before it finally expired I went away to work in Raleigh on the News and Observer, which was owned by Josephus Daniels, and his family -- Josephus Daniels being the man who was Secretary of the Navy during the First World War, and at the time I went there he was Franklin Roosevelt's Ambassador to Mexico. His son, Jonathan, a well-known writer and newspaper editor, was then the editor of the paper.

FUCHS: To go back just a minute, did they have a school of journalism in North Carolina, and was that your major?

DANIEL: They had a school of journalism at the University of North Carolina -- I beg your pardon, they did not have a school of journalism; they had a department, which was a very small

[7]

one. It was run by an extremely effective man, a professional newspaperman, by the name of O. J. Coffin, and a graduate of the university. Mr. Coffin was really the whole department when I first went there. He taught courses in journalism. I took some of them, and journalism was my minor, but I majored in English. I was interested in English composition and English literature, and I majored in English rather than in journalism. More than that, I had already had experience in journalism. These courses were rather practical in nature. Now they have a full-scale journalism school at the University of North Carolina, housed, incidentally, in what used to be the pharmacy school, which has a fine new building of its own, and my father played something of a role in getting that new building and in effecting the transfer of the journalism school into the old building. He was a very devoted friend of the university, although he did not attend it and didn't graduate from it. He also, incidentally, was one of the founders of the Institute of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, which is a research organization supported by the pharmacists of North Carolina, and the pharmaceutical manufacturers.

After I graduated from the University of North Carolina, worked in Dunn, worked in Raleigh, I joined the Associated Press in New York in 1937. I worked here in New York. I

[8]

went in 1939, actually the day before the British declared war against the Germans, I went to Washington to work for the Associated Press there, and remained there during most of the first year of World War II, covering many things. I was a general handyman. I was the youngest man in the office. I covered many things, but conspicuously including what was then called the Munitions Building, where the War and Navy Departments were; so I had an early indoctrination into the issues and problems of the United States in connection with the Second World War. I was there, for example, when the British-American deal in which we exchanged over-aged destroyers for British bases in Bermuda and elsewhere, I was there when that deal was arranged.

So, the following year, that is, as I recall, about November 1940 -- well, I can tell you the exact day, now that I think of it, because it was precisely one year to the day before Pearl Harbor, and Pearl Harbor was December 7, 1941. On December 7, 1940, I left the United States and went to work in Europe and I stayed fifteen years. I first of all worked in Switzerland for one year. That was at the very center of Europe, and a good listening post, but relatively inactive, because Switzerland was a neutral country. I asked to be sent somewhere else, and I ended up in London where I

[9]

stayed until finally the allied forces landed on the Continent; and I spent some time, not a very long time, but some time then at allied headquarters in Paris, and a short time at the front. I was not essentially a war correspondent, front-line correspondent, I was more of what you might say it's called a rewrite man and an editor. I sort of got to be the chief editor of the New York Times bureau, not the head of the bureau, but the chief editor of it in the brief time that I was there in London.

My first postwar assignment was in the Middle East, which was a very exciting one, because, especially, of the impending troubles in Palestine. I was there during the buildup which eventually led to the Israeli war of liberation, if you want to call it that, in 1948. I've been back there some time since on short assignments. I was in Egypt at the time when they were really building up to the subsequent break with the British, and their overthrow of the monarchy and the installation of the republic under Nasser. In other words, it was an interesting and exciting time in the Middle East.

I went back to London again, a place which I loved very much. I remained there until 1953 when I went to Germany for a very short period. I stayed in Germany a short time only because the Moscow post became vacant and they were having

[10]

trouble filling it, and they offered it to me. I considered Moscow then and now one of the two or three most important capitals in the world. I thought that it was a place that I'd like to see and know about, and I spent a year in Moscow.

Again my assignment was cut short because I was taken ill there, I think mainly from working too much, sleeping too little, because I was the only man in Moscow at a time when it was extremely busy. I was there during the rise of Krushchev, which was a very dramatic period, first of all because of the disappearance of Stalin from the scene, which opened up all kinds of new possibilities for the Soviet Union, and the advent of Krushchev, who was a very rough, tough, somewhat crude, but very active political personality.

I went to Geneva for the 1955 summit conference between Mr. Krushchev and President Eisenhower, Anthony Eden, the British Prime Minister, and I forget who the French Prime Minister was at that time. They change so often it's a little difficult for me to remember which one was which.

That about terminated my foreign career. I came back to the United States with the idea of being prepared for and training for executive responsibilities here, and I went from one to another, beginning with the modest job of assistant to the Foreign News Editor, and I finished up here in 1964 as Managing Editor of the New York Times, which is the position

[11]

that directs -- well, let's put it this way, the Managing Editor of this paper directs the gathering and presentation of all the news that appears in the newspaper every day. I held that job for five years, at the end of which I was given my present assignment of an Associate Editor, which is a kind of a minister without portfolio, in that I do not have any major departmental responsibilities, but I take on various assignments that are given to me by the publisher of the paper, and his immediate associates. For example, I've had a hand in helping to redesign some of the sections of the Sunday paper. I have had a hand in our efforts to get into broadcasting, both in television and radio, and I myself do a radio program every evening for half an hour on our own radio station. Things of that sort. I exercised supervision for some time also over the New York Times news service which supplies news from the New York Times to more than 200 newspapers in this country, and more than 100 abroad, including Canada, some 310 newspapers, approximately. So my responsibilities have been more varied in this present assignment, and they tend to change, as I say, from time to time depending on what the boss wants me to do.

Now, that brings us really to where we are at this moment.

[12]

FUCHS: Yes, very good. There were a couple of things that occurred to me. I wonder if you recall your subjective, say, viewpoint of the over-aged destroyer deal at the time. Do you recall if you had any feelings about...

DANIEL: Well, we have to begin by the fact that I, for reasons that need not be explained, I suppose, was pro-British, so I was very pro-ally, pro-British, pro-French, it's a common American attitude, and therefore I felt that anything that we could do to assist the British was desirable, and I felt that this would assist them, and I felt this was the thing that we should be doing. I would say, speaking subjectively, I had the feeling when I was in Washington during that period at the Munitions Building and going occasionally to the White house at a press conference where President Roosevelt announced his intention to build 50,000 American aircraft, military aircraft, a program to build 50,000 aircraft. Well, that was unheard of. Nobody could imagine such a thing in those days. I had the distinct feeling that although the President was preaching neutrality and saying "Our boys will never go and fight," and that sort of thing, all the political things that a President sometimes feels he has to say, that the President was very distinctly preparing this country for participation in the war. He knew it was coming, or felt that it should

[13]

come, and was preparing the country. To that extent his critics, the isolationists, were right. I think he was preparing the country for war. I don't mean by this that he did anything so reprehensible as inviting the Pearl Harbor attack, which has been charged against him by some people, in order to get us in the war. I know that when I went abroad and was in Switzerland in 1940 and ' 41, one thing that people always asked me was, "Will the United States come into the war and when?" I ventured the prediction that the United States would be in the war in about two to three years, because I felt that that's how long it would take President Roosevelt to gear the country up for a war effort. I didn't count on Pearl harbor which came in December 1941, and galvanized this country and pushed it into war much earlier than I think President Roosevelt wanted to go. But I had no doubt that we were headed for entry into the war. Pearl Harbor, in a sense, was a very useful event if you believed that we should be in the war and on the side of the allies, because it did galvanize the country. Of course, the outpouring of material, the war material, that followed that was absolutely fantastic, the production in this country. We thought 50,000 planes was enormous. That was nothing to what we subsequently did. The capacity of this country to produce was one of the decisive factors in the war. There's no question about it. It helped

[14]

save the Russians as well as Western Europe.

FUCHS: Did you cover the White House press conferences regularly?

DANIEL: No, I was at the Munitions Building, and we had the procedure there, as you have in many news organizations, that if you know there's going to be some announcement made at the White House related to your particular area of interest or activity or coverage, you may go to the White House. That's why I was at the White House that day, because we were expecting an announcement on the planes. I did not regularly cover the White House, because it was not my assignment.

I remember going to the White House on another occasion when Joseph Kennedy, the father of the late President Kennedy, came there from England to see President Roosevelt. He came to breakfast one morning. I remember standing -- in those days -- you'd be astonished with all the security there is around the White House now, you'd be astonished at how informal it was. I walked up to the White House early in the morning. Mr. Kennedy was staying at the Carlton Hotel, which was just a block or so away from the White House across Lafayette Square and down 16th Street, I believe it is, two blocks away maybe. He was staying there and I went to the White House to see if he'd have anything to say after seeing the President. I walked in through the gates and up the gravel driveway and

[15]

stood under the portico of the White House, unmolested by anybody. I suppose there must have been a policeman standing about, but I don't remember one. And I stood there -- I think there was also a photographer there -- I stood there and Mr. Kennedy came along walking pretty soon, himself. He walked in, went up and rang the front doorbell, went in and had breakfast with the President, and we all waited until breakfast was over and he came out and he told us briefly what he had said to the President, what they had discussed, not anything substantive, but just an indication.

Of course we know at that time that Mr. Kennedy was very pessimistic about the chances of the British to survive against the Germans, and he was disliked by the British on account of his lack of confidence in them, and his advice to the White House to this effect. I didn't know that at the time that I saw Mr. Kennedy, but I subsequently came to know it.

But I did know that pessimistic predictions were being made, but that pessimism wasn't shared, incidentally, in the War Department. I remember General Marshall giving us rather optimistic reports of the air battle over Britain. They knew that the British were doing quite well, better than we were led to believe by the reports one saw in the papers, and certainly better than we were led to believe by the claims of

[16]

the Germans. Better than we were led to believe by the rather pessimistic assessments of people like then Colonel Lindbergh, and then Ambassador Kennedy.

FUCHS: Did you have some views on Ambassador Kennedy, whom as you know, I'm sure better than I, was not one of your father-in-law's favorite persons?

DANIEL: I had no very pronounced views on Ambassador Kennedy, certainly not at that time. I later got to know Ambassador Kennedy slightly, and he fitted the general description that we know of him. He was a very ambitious man, ambitious for not only himself, but particularly ambitious for his children. I think he drove them or inspired them, whichever you want to call it, I expect he probably did both, to excel. I did not share his views about the British. I think he was quite mistaken. I did not particularly admire what might be called his predatory business practices. I call them predatory. He certainly wouldn't call them that. But he was really a very tough businessman. I don't know that I particularly admired that, and there are some aspects of his private life that I have no particular admiration for. I've always heard that Ambassador Kennedy was great with the girls. I don't generally have any moral objections to that. I just didn't find it very

[17]

admirable in a public man, that's all.

FUCHS: Did you have occasion to come in contact with Mr. Truman as Senator Truman prior to the formation of the Truman Committee?

DANIEL: Let's go directly to that. When President Truman was a Senator, I knew him only by reputation, and frankly when I worked in Washington, I wasn't even conscious that he was there, because Bennett Clark was the best-known Senator from Missouri. He was the senior Senator, he was Champ Clark's son; his father was famous, and he, while not famous, was a very well-known Senator of long service, and Senator Truman was new and inconspicuous when I was there. He became prominent, as you know much better than I do, only when he formed. this investigating committee to pass on our war contracts, and I said a moment ago what a magnificent job of production we did. I might add that in my view, President Truman helped to insure that the job of production was done with reasonable economy and efficiency. There was a vast amount of waste in it, but he did, I think, a great deal to reduce that.

But I wasn't conscious of him, and I had no particular thoughts about Senator Truman. He came to my consciousness really only when he became Vice President, and the picture

[18]

of him then was a very indistinct one in my mind, because I was a long way away. Franklin Roosevelt, whom I admired greatly, so dominated my thinking about the Presidency, that I didn't think much about President Truman.

This was true also of the people around me. The British tremendously admired Franklin Roosevelt. I remember the night he died. We had our office in those days, the New York Times office in the Savoy Hotel, which was very convenient, because we had all the amenities of a hotel and the conveniences of a hotel, which was very important in war. You could get food and drink at all hours. There wasn't much to eat, and there wasn't much to drink, but what there was you could get it at all hours of the day and night. It was very convenient for people who worked through the night. If you cared to sleep in a bomb shelter, they had one under the hotel. There were many advantages to it. I didn't care to sleep in it because it gave me claustrophobia. But there were many advantages there. We lived in the hotel. And when word came that President Roosevelt had died I told Kathleen McLaughlin, who has now retired from this newspaper, to go down -- she'd been in Washington, and I had in fact known her in Washington before I joined the New York Times -- I told Kathleen to go immediately to the lobby, actually the coffee room off the lobby of the Savoy

[19]

Hotel in London, to watch people as they listened to the 11 o'clock news, which was the last news broadcast of the evening, and everybody who was awake turned it on to see what the latest news was. People gathered in that room to hear it every night, such people as were up and around in the lobby. She went down and the emotion was very strong indeed. Women burst into tears, and it was a very emotional scene. I remember what Kathleen said at the moment, and this was perhaps typical of the way people felt about President Roosevelt in those days. Kathleen, when she heard the news that President Roosevelt had died, she sort of gasped and she said, "My God, Harry Truman is President." I imagine a lot of people felt that way. They simply couldn't conceive of a man of such little reputation, I suppose you would say, stepping into this job held by this man who so commanded the affection and respect not only of his own country, but of all the allied countries, and was really a great and towering figure. Fortunately for us all, President Truman turned out to be a big man, too, but we didn't know it at the time.

FUCHS: Yes. There was a great contrast there.

DANIEL: A great contrast, there was a great difference between them, and we never thought much about I hadn't thought much

[20]

about, President Truman. I had seen him in newsreels a few times and then, subsequently began to see him more, of course, in newsreels. In those days we had no television, and you saw people in the newsreels. I subsequently saw him and he made no great, profound impression on me. I remember one oddity about him, that is in an English movie house, with an English audience, his accent sounded really very strange, you know. It was very, very American and very middle western, and it particularly stuck out in that context much more than it would in this country where I don't think most people considered that he had an odd accent; he talked like everybody else.

I first met President Truman -- I met him before I ever met his daughter -- I first met President Truman when I came here from my post in London before I went to my rather short assignment in Germany. I had never seen President Truman; I had seen him in the newsreels, as I said, and I was curious about him. So I set out to satisfy my curiosity. His Press Secretary at the time was Joe Short, Joseph Short, who had been a colleague of mine on the Associated Press. So I called up Joe and said, "I'd like to come to one of the President's press conferences," and he told me when the next one would be and I went. It was in the old Indian Treaty Room in the State Department, where

[21]

press conferences were then being held. In President Roosevelt's day they were held around his desk in the White House.

FUCHS: This would have been what year?

DANIEL: This would have been about 1950 -- I may have the date wrong -- it could have been as early as 1950, I have a bad memory.

FUCHS: No, Charlie Ross died in '50, and Short came in.

DANIEL: That's about right. No, I am mistaken. It was while I was still working in London in that case, and it was a couple of years before I went to Germany. But I asked Joe if I could come because I wanted to see the President, and he told me by all means to come along. Again, things were still informal in those days. You didn't have to be checked out by the FBI in order to be admitted to a press conference. Anyway, I went to the old Indian Treaty Room and Joe Short had arranged a seat up front for me, and I sat up close. I remember that most of all I was impressed with the incisiveness of President Truman's responses to questions. I hadn't known from my own knowledge and experience that he was such a decisive man, that he was so much in command of the facts of government, if you like, and so much in command of his audience. He was like a drill sergeant in the way he replied to questions.

[22]

After the press conference, Joe asked me to step into the anteroom, which I did, and there I met President Truman for the first time. As it happened, Harrison Salisbury, who later was a very close associate of mine on this newspaper, was also there that same day, for the same purpose, to see the President and to meet him. The President chatted with us very briefly. I remember he asked me something about the situation in England and I also remember my reply, which was to the effect, "Have you read Anne O'Hare McCormick's column in the New York Times this morning?"

He said he had not.

I said, "If you can spare the time, that will tell you more, and more precisely and more graphically, what the situation is in England than I can tell you. It's an excellent column." I realized that the President didn't have time to listen to me expound on the situation in England for ten minutes; indeed, I'm quite sure that he would have been appalled if I had attempted to do so, because he was really just being polite.

But I had two very good impressions of him: One was of his incisiveness on the one hand; and secondly, the way he received me, in a very pleasant way, and showed some interest in what I was doing. In other words, he knew who I was, where I had been, he had been briefed, but he was properly briefed

[23]

and he knew who I was and what I was doing and expressed some interest.

Now, later, when we met on a different basis, he had no recollection of this. There was no reason why he should. He met hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people in similar circumstances. In fact, I don't even know whether I ever recalled it to him, although I think I may have said, "Joe Short did bring me to one of your press conferences once."

FUCHS: Could you contrast Roosevelt's press conferences as against President Truman's?

DANIEL: Well, the Roosevelt press conference was much more of a -- it was in one sense more informal, because it was held around the President's desk. The President was pretty well confined to his desk because of his physical disability, and he sat in that big chair at that desk, I think, all day long until he went off to his lunch or to his nap, or whatever he did. The press gathered in and gathered around the desk and it was a great crush, and unless you got forward you might not hear exactly what the President was saying; or unless you were tall, you might not be able to see him even, because he sat behind his desk with that famous cigarette holder in his teeth, cocked up at an angle. He was a very engaging, free and easy, bantering fellow. He always had some humorous,

[24]

light remarks to make to people around, the old hands, the ones in the front row.

President Truman's performance was much more formalized because it was staged in an amphitheater with people sitting on seats raked up, which was much better for the purpose, because you could see and hear. As I recall, he had a microphone. So it was less intimate, I would say it was probably the word that I'm seeking -- less intimate than President Roosevelt's press conferences, less jolly, less casual. But I was impressed with President Truman's performance, because I had no occasion to see him operate before in such a context. I don't know exactly what I expected, but I was agreeably pleased by what I saw.

FUCHS: As a newsman, how would you look at the utility of the Roosevelt as compared to the Truman press conference?

DANIEL: I think that both of the press conferences were very useful. I would say that President Roosevelt probably was more intimately in touch with the press corps at the White House than President Truman was. I would guess that was so, although I was not there in those days. Because they all were just outside the door and could be called in at any moment when the President wanted to say anything. Press conferences

[25]

in those days were regularly scheduled, but also it was much easier to arrange one informally. Nowadays, they're very highly stylized. They're staged. President Nixon is not at ease, it strikes me, with this free and easy association with the press. President Kennedy was better at that by far than President Nixon. But I don't suppose these days with the size of the press corps, and the importance of the issues involved and the amounts of money that you have to deal with, and the delicacy of some of the things to be handled, I suppose you probably couldn't do it the way you did in President Roosevelt's day. You remember I said how informal it was just to go into the White House. You could walk up to the front door and ring the doorbell if you felt like it. You might get thrown out but you could at least get to the front door.

Nowadays you can't get past the guard post, unless you have business there and can identify yourself or unless you're expected. It's the difference in time. Frankly, I don't know whether President Nixon could handle the kind of press conference President Roosevelt did with any grace and ease.

Now, we know President Truman had a certain capacity in that respect, because after he left the White House, he took up this habit of having peripatetic press conferences as he walked along the street. This was really kind of a form of

[26]

publicity, in a way, for him and his views; it was an opportunity for him to say what was on his mind. It got to be kind of an early morning game or contest. It wasn't always serious, although serious issues were frequently discussed and serious comments were made, but it was kind of a social event as well as a political event, these morning strolls that he used to take. Incidentally, I have been on one of those. I went on one only once. I don't remember exactly why I went. Partly out of curiosity, I suppose; but also partly because I think the President in those days had no Secret Service protection and I think that Mrs. Truman rather preferred that somebody go along with him. He was getting along in years then and to have somebody sort of keep an eye on the crossings for him, you know.

FUCHS: This was in New York after you...

DANIEL: This was in New York, yes.

FUCHS: ...had married Margaret.

DANIEL: Yes, yes.

FUCHS: It wasn't the one in which he threw out the remark about the period after the "S" in his name, was it?

[27]

DANIEL: About what?

FUCHS: On one of his press conferences, I believe it was in New York (I think it was in New York and not Florida), he was walking along and he started the bit about there being no period after the "S" in his name?

DANIEL: I don't remember that, no.

FUCHS: There's been a lot of interest in that.

DANIEL: I wasn't along on that one. I went with him twice in Florida but this was mainly to take my sons along to let them see this performance, which had gotten to be kind of an American institution. I think I went on those walks only three times. I'm not an early riser. It doesn't amuse me to get out and walk early in the morning. I'd rather sit down and have my coffee and read my newspaper.

FUCHS: President Roosevelt, I believe, held press conferences twice a week and Mr. Truman, of course, as President, reduced them to once a week, and I believe there was some comment about that, but now there's...

DANIEL: And President Nixon has reduced them even more.

FUCHS: I was just going to ask you about the tendency by each

[28]

of the successive Presidents, apparently, to reduce the number of press conferences. Do you share the despair of a lot of the newspaperman about this, or do you feel...

DANIEL: Well, I was going to say before we were interrupted by that telephone call from Saigon, that you remarked that President Roosevelt used to hold press conferences twice a week. I did not recall, in fact, that that was the case, although I had the general feeling that he held them more frequently, and as I say, it was easier in a way for him to hold them. He was sitting there at his desk, a relatively small press corps was just next door, he sent his Press Secretary out, Steve Early, his Press Secretary in those days, to bring the press in, and it was very simple to gather them around the desk and hold a press conference. President Truman moved the thing across the street, it became more institutionalized, and you say he cut it down to one a week, I didn't know that either. But President Nixon holds even fewer and my recollection is that in his entire administration, so far, he's only held about twenty to twenty-five press conferences. That, in my view, is not enough. The President ought to be communicating more often with the people than that. He does communicate. I don't mean to say that the press conference is the only device by which the President can communicate

[29]

with the press. President Nixon is making use of new techniques, and he is applying his own experience and his own particular techniques and talent. He thinks that he gets more mileage, and he's probably right about this, by going on television and addressing the vast audience in his own way and in his own words, than he would be if he held a press conference which would not be reproduced in full on television most of the time, certainly not if they were held frequently. Then there he is subject to unexpected questions and sometimes embarrassing ones, and he is not able to shape the presentation in his own way. Maybe he's right from his point of view, but from the point of view of the press, and I think from the point of view of the people, it is, to my way of thinking, a less satisfactory way of communicating between the White House and the public.

FUCHS: President Johnson held some of these peripatetic press conferences. Do you have a comment about that?

DANIEL: Well, I wasn't in Washington very much when President Johnson was there, although I knew President Johnson and had visited him in the White House. But I wasn't working there as a journalist and I don't have much to say about them, except that President Johnson obviously was not as graceful in his

[30]

conduct of those press conferences and in his speeches as his immediate predecessor, and he suffered from this. President Johnson has a very positive, definite personality which doesn't always come across in the most attractive and charming way. Although to me and my family he was always a very generous and charming host, and I think almost anybody who knows him would say the same thing about him. But President Johnson and President Nixon, I think, both suffer from comparison to President Kennedy and President Roosevelt.

FUCHS: What were your views of President Eisenhower's press conferences?

DANIEL: I never went to one, but I tried to read some of them, and President Eisenhower's syntax defies -- I was brought up to diagram sentences, you know. That was one way we were taught English grammar and English composition in my youth. You couldn't diagram one of General Eisenhower's more complex, or shall I say, more digressive sentences. It just couldn't be done. So, I didn't admire his syntax.

I will say this for General Eisenhower -- of course General Eisenhower was probably the most popular, or to put it another way, the least controversial President we've had in my lifetime. He had great personal charm when seen in person, and

[31]

I have met him, too. He was an attractive man. But I did not have the greatest admiration for him as a President, because I wouldn't call him a "do-nothing President," but I would call him a "do-little President."

FUCHS: Yes. I don't want to dwell too much on the press, but many of our students are deeply interested in this subject, and they sometimes draw comparisons of various press secretaries. Do you have any views on, say Charlie Ross as against Joe Short?

DANIEL: Well, you'll have to remember that I didn't spend much time, as I told you, I was in Washington a relatively short time in my career, and I spent very little time around the White House. I think it would not be useful even for me to compare press secretaries because I have so little basis for comparison. Joe Short was a friend of mine. I liked him very much, but I would say that he was not the greatest press secretary.

Jonathan Daniels was, when President Roosevelt died, you remember, was the acting White House press secretary, not the press secretary. I can't remember. He was my former boss. I wouldn't consider him probably the most desirable man to have as press secretary. I have always been told that Charlie Ross was a good one. I know Steve Early was a good one because

[32]

I saw him operate. I think Jim Hagerty, who used to work here on this newspaper, was a good press secretary. He served President Eisenhower very well. I watched him in operation on a number of occasions, notably at that conference in Geneva that I remarked about earlier. I know these three certainly were good press secretaries, although I know really very little about Charlie Ross, very little, only what the Trumans tell me, and they all admired him greatly. He came from a good newspaper, incidentally, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

FUCHS: You mentioned George Marshall earlier. How large was your acquaintance with him, and do you share your father-in-law's views about General George Marshall?

DANIEL: Well, let us say, you know my father-in-law's views. He considered him the greatest American of his time. I think my wife considered General Marshall -- General Marshall was her favorite of all the people in Washington in her time. There's no question about that. Next to her father, I think she admired and liked him more than any other man in Washington, and she still speaks of him with great affection. She has lots of anecdotes about him. I share their regard for General Marshall, because I considered him one of the most intelligent men I've ever met in Washington. He was in thorough command of the facts

[33]

of his job. He could expound them with great clarity; he thought with great clarity. He was, to my way of thinking, a first-rate military leader. He was a no-nonsense man; there was nothing trivial or frivolous about him. He had great dignity, but most important of all, he was a real professional in my view. Now when you come to speak of him as Secretary of State, I can't tell you anything, because I never saw him in that role. But I'm thinking of him -- he came to the War Department as the Chief of Staff when I was there, and I remember distinctly writing about how he was raised in rank above all those generals who were above him when he was appointed. When he was appointed Chief of Staff, he was only a Brigadier General. On a given morning the War Department orders for that day, I've forgotten what they call them now, I suppose they're "the orders," were signed by "Brigadier General George C. Marshall, promoted to Major General." It was signed, "George C. Marshall, Brigadier General, Chief of Staff." The next day it said, "Major General George C. Marshall, promoted to Full General" and it was signed again by Marshall, Major General. He didn't promote himself; of course, he was promoted by the President, but these promotions were announced. It was a wonderful choice. I think we owe so much of our success in World War II to him, and I think it was fortunate in a way

[34]

that he didn't succumb to the temptation to go and take command in the field as he was offered on some occasions, or as he wanted to go on some occasions. I think the President told him he had to stay in Washington. Incidentally, I consider him a much superior man to General Eisenhower, whom I did know, and General MacArthur, whom I didn't.

FUCHS: You covered SHAEF, of course.

DANIEL: Yes, yes, I knew General Eisenhower. I was not there regularly. I was not, as I said, by trade, a war correspondent, but I saw quite a lot of the General, and I don't mean by this that I didn't find admirable qualities in him. I met General Eisenhower before his name was widely known. I met him with friends in his suite in the Dorchester Hotel when he first came to England to take over the command. It was in a very informal setting, so I knew him from that time on. It's again one of those cases where I knew him better than he knew me, you know, but I had a chance to observe him.

FUCHS: I think perhaps we ought to get into more what we originally contemplated. If we have time, why, there are some other things I'd like to ask about events that touched your career. I guess your next meeting, after going to the White House press conference, with Mr. Truman, was when you

[35]

came to meet him as your future father-in-law?

DANIEL: Well, I think my wife, whom I met in November 1955, I cannot remember the exact date, she knows it, it's written down somewhere. But in the subsequent January, I think, she and I had become interested in each other, and in the subsequent January or February, I should imagine, her father and mother were in New York. She was living in those days in the Carlyle Hotel, where she lived for about seven years, and President and Mrs. Truman used to stay there when they came to New York in order to be near her. They used to stay at the Waldorf originally, but then when she went to the Carlyle, they started going there. I was invited to come over one evening to meet them, and I remember the scene very well. They were sitting in Margaret's drawing room, a smallish room, with a piano, and family pictures and that sort of thing, a very attractive, nice room. They were sitting on a settee, and I was brought in and introduced to them, and then Margaret asked us what we'd all have to drink. President Truman said that he would have his usual, which was bourbon and water, and I don't remember what Mrs. Truman had, whether she had anything, or if she drank what she had. Margaret, in those days, tended to drink sherry, maybe a martini, but I think she probably had a glass of sherry. Then I was asked

[36]

what I was going to have, and I said, "A glass of milk." Well, Margaret claims that this was a great shock to her father. I think that's in a sense a kind of a family joke. I don't know whether he was shocked or not. She says he was, because he felt he was getting a teetotaler for a son-in-law, I was at that time. The fact of the matter is, as I told you, I had been ill in Russia, and it was thought that perhaps I had an ulcer, and I was put on the usual bland diet that was prescribed at that time for ulcers. Milk was one thing. So I asked for milk. For quite some months I didn't drink any alcohol of any sort.

FUCHS: What would your rathers have been there?

DANIEL: Well, I would always take scotch and soda at that time of day, and I do now, but in those days I followed doctor's orders and took milk. I don't know whether it shocked President Truman or not, but he soon discovered that I could and did drink on social occasions.

The first time I had a drink after I met him, incidentally, was the night he came here and on that spot right there (I'm pointing out the window now to a new building which stands on the site of the old Astor Hotel), and in the Astor Hotel, they held the annual Overseas Press Club Dinner. It's held

[37]

in the spring of the year, and that was 1956, and I won an award that year for my foreign reporting, my reporting from Russia. President Truman was persuaded to come and give a speech at the dinner, and I suspect he was persuaded because they said, "Your future son-in-law is going to win a prize." He never said this, but I imagine that that's what happened.

So I was there, and he was given a suite in the hotel for the occasion, what they called the Presidential suite, a big suite, and Margaret and I wanted to get away from the hullabaloo of the crowd at the reception for a little while, and I wanted to compose myself because I was going to have to go up and receive an award, and we went up to the Presidential Suite, and we were alone there, and I thought, "Well, this is an occasion to break the diet." So I had a drink. I had a scotch and soda. That was the first time I'd had one in, I suppose, six or eight months. So my drinking and non-drinking, on that occasion, was somewhat bound up with President Truman.

Incidentally, I might say about President Truman, I think he has an undeserved reputation for drinking rather a lot of bourbon and branch water, as they usually call it. My observation is that he doesn't do that. Nowadays, he is sort of rationed by Mrs. Truman on the advice of his doctor. The doctor says he should drink, that it's good for him, it's

[38]

relaxing for him, and that it's particularly good for people who are getting older and have hardening of the arteries or restricted circulation, and so forth. So, he is not only permitted to drink, but encouraged to drink, but of course not too much. Now, he drinks really very moderately indeed, but even when he wasn't on ration, I never observed him to drink heavily.

FUCHS: He wasn't the two-fisted drinker that some people think he was?

DANIEL: No, no. I think on a convivial evening, at a party that would go on all evening, and maybe playing poker and so forth, he certainly liked to drink, but I, in the time that I've known him, I've never seen him drink what I would call excessively, not at all. His usual drink before dinner was to have what most social drinkers have, a couple of drinks before dinner, you know. That's the end of it. He doesn't drink any more for the rest of the evening.

FUCHS: Was your taking a drink over there the first that he was apprised of your non-teetotaling attitude?

DANIEL: Well, he didn't know about my taking a drink over there. He wasn't even around. He was down at the reception that was

[39]

being given, shaking hands with people. I had escaped from the reception with my girlfriend, namely his daughter, and we were just up having a quiet drink by ourselves, rather than milling around with the multitude.

FUCHS: I was wondering if he had made some joke when he found that you…

DANIEL: No, no, I don't recall any jokes about that, no.

FUCHS: Do you recall anything else about that first meeting at the Carlyle with him?

DANIEL: Nothing except that one thing struck me about the Truman family, it struck me then and continues to impress itself on me, and that is that I would say the characteristic trait of the family as a family, is intense loyalty. I don't think I've ever seen a family group that was more closely knit and loyal. My wife is still very, very quick to respond and defend her father if anything is said that she conceives to be unfair or unfavorable to him. They are very protective of each other, and he, as we well know, from the historical record, was that way about her. That, to my view, explains the famous letter that he wrote to Hume about his criticism of Margaret's singing in Washington -- the critic of the Washington Post.

[40]

He has written other such letters to other people. One of them is preserved here in the archives of the New York Times, which was written to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, then the publisher of the New York Times. You might want sometime to acquire a photostatic copy of it for the Library.

FUCHS: Is this a handwritten letter?

DANIEL: I think so. And as I remember the circumstances, the New York Times wrote something that was critical, I can't remember the details, something that was critical of President Truman, and he objected to it. And the very next week, the New York Times Magazine wrote a very nice article about Margaret. He immediately sat down and wrote Mr. Sulzberger a letter saying that he had spoken in anger and haste before, and he said, "Now, you've touched me where I live, and I want to say that it was a marvelous article about my daughter. Thank you so much. Forgive my being so harsh before." Words to that effect.

Well, Mr. Sulzberger was amused by this, and he had the correspondence bound, and it is in a bound volume, which is either in his personal papers, or in the archives of the New York Times. I'm sure it can be obtained and would be of interest to the Library.

[41]

Now, the letters of that sort, both thanking people for their courtesies to his daughter, or giving them hell for what he considered their rudeness to her, was quite characteristic, but it expressed itself in many, many ways. You see it over and over again in little day-to-day incidents. I remember observing it that very first evening. I don't know what was said, I don't remember who said what, but I remember thinking when I went away, that I had never seen a family that seemed to be so intensely loyal to each other.

Mrs. Truman is a person of different quality and character, and she doesn't express her loyalty quite so trenchantly, let's say, as President Truman does, but she certainly shares in it.

FUCHS: One thing that has been remarked upon in connection with -- has some connection with this -- his defensive attitude about what you might call "his women," is that he was somewhat ill at ease among other women, that he didn't prefer the company of other women. Have you observed this?

DANIEL: Well, I would say this about President Truman. When I got to know him, you will have to remember that if he. had ever been given to flirtations, which I would very much doubt, that he was getting past the age of it, although some people never get past the age of it. Joe Kennedy, whom I mentioned

[42]

a while ago, I don't think ever got past it. Maybe he did when he was finally confined to a wheelchair, but I don't know. But in any case, President Truman impressed me as being a man not so much ill at ease in the presence of other women, but the sort of a man who would consider it improper to have any kind of an association with another woman that would cast any doubt on his affection arid his devotion and his -- what is the old-fashioned word I am seeking -- his faithfulness to his own wife and to his daughter. I think that he was just that kind of a man; he is that kind of a man. I found him perfectly at ease with women whom he knew, who were friends, mutually, of himself and Mrs. Truman. An example would be Mrs. Albert Lasker, Mary Lasker. He kidded her and joked with her affectionately and liked her and used to go and see her when he came here. He was not the sort who would come into a room and put his arm around her and give her a kiss. That was not his style. I mean, that's what people do now, but he wouldn't do that. My father was much more given to that. He was a much more demonstrative man, let's say, than President Truman. President Truman, I suppose that's a good word, he was not particularly demonstrative in his relations to women. He was much more demonstrative in his response to men, in the sense of shaking them warmly by the hand, slapping them on the back, or putting his arm around their shoulders, or making some

[43]

bantering or, you know, intentionally slighting remark about them. His relations with men have always been, to my observation, much more demonstrative in that sense.

There's an old-fashioned courtesy and dignity in his relation to women.

FUCHS: How did your impression of him in person differ, if it did, from your concept of him, preconceived, when you heard him on, say, radio or saw him briefly on television, although there wasn't too much television then?

DANIEL: Well, there are many differences between the private and the public man. I think the most conspicuous one is the difference between his public image as a peppery, profane fellow, you know, sort of "give 'em hell Harry" image. He is in private one of the mildest men that I know, in many, many respects. Certainly he is with his wife, and usually when she would reprove him in any way, or offer some strong opinion on some subject under discussion, about the strongest thing I've heard him say was, "Oh, Bess, I wouldn't worry about that," or something of that sort. He never expressed himself very strongly in private. I think, in going back to his relations to women, I think that on the whole he has thought it rather improper to use strong language or vulgar language in the presence of women. I couldn't imagine him

[44]

telling an off-color story in the presence of a woman. He might do so, certainly would laugh at one, in the presence of men, but not in the presence of women.

FUCHS: Have you ever observed him being more profane in the presence of men than the average guy like myself?

DANIEL: I don't know about your habits, but certainly no more profane than I am. He tends to use the expletives that one would use having served in the United States Army or having been in a lot of political backrooms in his life. They come naturally, normally. They don't mean very much, really.

FUCHS: Would you want to go on now?

DANIEL: I was just trying to think, if we go on now where we might go, just to review for my own purposes. I have told you a good deal about my own career, which I didn't really think we had come here to do, but if it's useful I'm glad to tell you about it.

I would say one thing, that I have been rather extensively and not always favorably written about in one book, and in a number of magazine articles. The book was The Kingdom and the Power by Gay Talese. I don't suppose I need to spell the name because the book was a bestseller for many, many months.

[45]

He used to work on the New York Times and he wrote a book, which originally started out as an article in Esquire about me and developed into a book about the New York Times. The book is not accurate in its entirety, and it is quite inaccurate in certain details, but it does give a great deal of information about me that is not available anywhere else. I just mention that for the benefit of scholars who might like to look at it.

FUCHS: Yes, I'm glad you did. In fact, I know of the book, but I haven't looked at it yet.

DANIEL: Someday when I don't have anything else to do, if there ever is such a day, I might sit down and I would put on record, orally or otherwise, some corrections to that book, just for the record, not with the idea of quarreling with it or publishing anything about it, but just to see that the historical record is kept straight.

FUCHS: That is something we could do when we undertake another interview, which at this point it appears we might.

DANIEL: Well, to do that, I would have to be prepared in the sense that I would have to sit down and go through the book thoroughly, make marginal notes on it, or make notes on it, and really do it properly, because it shouldn't be done just

[46]

off the top of my head.

FUCHS: Yes, well, I think it would be very worthwhile in the future.

DANIEL: If it interests you we can do it sometime.

FUCHS: Very good.

DANIEL: Now that, as I say, I went through my own life, and I told you about my initial meeting with President Truman, the first and second meetings, in fact, with him, my impressions of him on those two occasions. I think I've given you some impressions about his family relationship, particularly his relationship with his daughter; and I have also given you a little bit of a comment about his private attitudes, or his private behavior, to be more precise, as compared with his public image, saying that he is a much milder man in private, not at all contentious and argumentative, certainly not with his family. I don't want you to get the impression that he would not, that he had a different opinion in private than in public; mostly his public and private opinions were the same, and he was very quick to express them. His typical remark would be, if you mentioned some fellow with whom he had had a political quarrel, he would say, "That fellow is no good, and

[47]

he never was." You know, bluntly, flatly, just like that. "And he never will be:" I mean, these remarks he did make in private as well as public. I wouldn't want to suggest that he had a different view, but that his personality and his manner in private were much more placid, calm, unexcitable, than they were in public. I think he kind of, maybe even deliberately, created the public image, the public image of a peppery, little bantam cock kind of character. This was a good political image to have, and he won a great political campaign with it. It would have been unfortunate if he had just gone through the whole campaign mildly expressing some dissenting opinions from Mr. Dewey who was his opponent, instead of which he made a slugging campaign in 1948, and he was very successful. So I think that about brings us to where we finish today. Where we go from here I'll leave to you.

[48]

Second Oral History Interview with E. Clifton Daniel, New York City, May 4, 1972. By J. R. Fuchs, Harry S. Truman Library.

DANIEL: There are a couple of observations I would like to make: One of them is that I was interested on one occasion in talking with President Truman, to observe that -- it appeared to me that there was no great warmth between him and President Roosevelt. That is, perhaps, not very surprising as they were never friends or political associates. President Truman was picked as vice-presidential candidate by Mr. Roosevelt on the advice of others, I think; or to put it another way around, President Truman was picked because others were unacceptable to those around Mr. Roosevelt, notably labor leaders, I've always understood. They did not campaign together, in fact as I recall, Mr. Roosevelt -- I wasn't in this country, but as I recall, President Roosevelt campaigned very little, because he was engaged with the war, and his health was, by this time, deteriorating. The campaigning that year was left very much to President Truman, so they didn't see each other much during the campaign.

Then there was the relationship, of course, that existed in those days between the President and the Vice President. There was not the attempt that was subsequently made with other Vice Presidents to bring them more closely into the inner circle of the President, to use their abilities in the

[49]

service of the Presidency, and in a sense, prepare them for the Presidency. President Nixon had an excellent opportunity, but to the ill health of General Eisenhower, to acquaint himself with the Presidency, the office and its responsibilities and duties, in a way I should imagine that no other Vice President has ever had. I think he conducted himself, as far as I've always known, in an impeccable manner in that position. He didn't exceed the bounds of propriety, but he had an opportunity to, in effect, run the Presidency for some months on two occasions, as I remember.

In the light of that, if I may digress a moment, it seems odd to me that President Eisenhower should have said in San Francisco when he was asked whether Vice President Nixon had ever participated in any major decision made by his office (I believe that was the substance of the question), that he said, "Well, if you would give me a week I might think of one." It seemed a rather ungracious remark. I'm sure it was made off-the-cuff and not intended to be derogatory. In fact, President Eisenhower later retracted it to some degree, or explained it away, tried to explain it away, or somebody did for him. The fact of the matter is, President Nixon participated more actively in presidential affairs, if you could call them that, than any other Vice President in our history.

I was saying, before we were interrupted by the telephone,

[50]

that President Truman, for good reasons, was not close to President Roosevelt, and as we all know from the history books, he was not informed of some of the most momentous things that were happening in the country and in the war that he needed to know about the instant President Roosevelt died, the most conspicuous one being the research that led ultimately to the construction of the first atomic bomb and the atomic test in New Mexico and the subsequent bombing of the two cities in Japan. President Truman was taken utterly by surprise by those two things.

I mention all this background by way of introducing a very tiny incident that occurred with President Truman and myself. We were sitting in my apartment here in New York one day and we were talking about this relationship between himself and President Roosevelt. I remember very little of the conversation, but I remember the ultimate conclusion or the climax of the conversation, when President Truman said in effect, "He never thought I would be President," or "It never occurred to him that I might be President." The inflection in his voice was that President Roosevelt didn't really want him to be President, or had not picked him with the thought that someday he might be President. I found that very interesting. I don't know whether there are any other

[51]

reflections of that feeling that President Truman had about his relationship to President Roosevelt or not in any other published work or in the comments of any of his friends. But it's something that I mention, because scholars someday might want to look into it and pursue it.

FUCHS: There has been considerable interest in the fact that many thought, at the time, that when he picked a Vice President, he should have known from his own health situation that he might very well be succeeded by that man, and it's interesting to hear your comment. Many people we have interviewed said that when they saw Roosevelt at the time, they realized that he probably wouldn't last too much longer, and Mr. Truman would succeed.

DANIEL: He might not have known that. He might have been like the rest of us. He thought that his health would be restored, that all he needed was a week's rest, or for the war to be over, and he'd be healthy again. But the implication in President Truman's tone, and I don't remember the exact words, were that this thought really hadn't crossed Mr. Roosevelt's mind, and if it had crossed his mind, that Harry S. Truman would not have been the fellow he would have picked to succeed him. That was the implication one got.

FUCHS: There has been interest in the number of times Vice

[52]

President Truman saw President Roosevelt. Do you recall any conversation about that with the President?

DANIEL: I don't recall any specific conversations about how often he saw President Roosevelt, but my impression was he saw him very rarely. They were not close, in other words, politically or otherwise. They were certainly quite different men, and I should imagine that there were some traits in President Roosevelt's character -- I say I imagine this because President Truman never told it to me, but I think one should search his record to find out what he thought, or to speak to his remaining friends, his remaining, surviving friends, to find out what he thought -- I should imagine that there were some traits of Mr. Roosevelt's political character that would not have appealed to President Truman.

I told you at the beginning of this conversation, that loyalty was one of the strongest traits I observed in the Truman family the first time I met them. That loyalty, of course, extended not only to his family, but went beyond the family, to friends and allies and political supporters, and it's still manifested today. President Truman never turned his back, as we so well know from his relations with Tom Pendergast, on a political friend, or a politician who had assisted and helped him.

[53]

President Roosevelt had the reputation of sacrificing political allies and friends whenever it was necessary to do so for what he considered higher interests. I say this, I was a very great admirer of President Roosevelt, and I thought he was a cleverer politician than some politicians thought; but this trait seems to be too well-known to be denied, that he was not terribly loyal to his political allies if it served his purposes, and let's assume that those purposes were noble ones.

Another incident I want to tell you about was one that happened quite recently, in fact the last time I saw President Truman, which was between Christmas and New Year's, last December. As you know, my wife and our four boys and I went out to visit the Trumans for a few days, and among other things we went to the Truman Library and we saw the film that has been made of the Library which is shown to people who come there, I believe. It's kind of an indoctrination film, to show them what the Library contains, and so on. I thought it was very good. When we got back home, Margaret and I mentioned it to President and Mrs. Truman, and we found out that they had never seen it, because he had virtually ceased going to the Library, and she did not go very often. They had never seen this film. So we recommended that they see it.

[54]

That evening, which as I remember was a Wednesday evening, after everybody else had gone from the Library except Dr. Zobrist, the Director, we went to the Library and went into the auditorium and President Truman saw the film. I don't know whether this matter has been mentioned to the staff by Dr. Zobrist or not. If it hasn't been, well that is a matter of opinion, and that's a matter between him and the staff, in that sense. But it was at my specific request that nobody was around, because I didn't think he had the stamina then, President Truman, at that hour of the evening, to see a lot of people. We, therefore, didn't go while the public was there, which is always a problem, because they crowd around and want to shake hands with him; and also, I didn't think he had the stamina to meet and talk to a lot of people, but I thought he would like to see the film. and I will say that he enjoyed it very much. In fact, he said words to the effect that it was remarkable, he didn't see how they had done such a good job. What he liked and what I liked was that there was a capsule review of his career there, which was very good. It was done concisely, yet it gave you a sense of the importance of the man and his place in history and so forth, in about, less than thirty minutes the film ran, including all of the references to the Library itself. So the capsule history was probably fifteen minutes. I thought it was really quite

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good. I don't know who produced the film but he did a good job. It was narrated, incidentally, by Martin Gabel, who happens to be a friend of Margaret's and mine. We didn't even know he had narrated the film until we saw his name. He actually has an excellent voice for that sort of thing, and he did a good narration. We mentioned that later to his wife, incidentally, and she didn't know that he had narrated the film. His wife is Arlene Francis, who is an actress, a television and radio personality.

But to go back to President Truman. After we saw the film, he went around -- I'm sorry, before and after, I think, we saw the film, he went around and looked at some of the new exhibits in the Truman Library, including the White House limousine that had been obtained. He didn't recognize it as a particular one that he remembered. There's no reason why he should, I suppose; they all looked alike. And, interestingly enough, he didn't at first remember his own car which he used as Senator, which is there; but Mrs. Truman said, "Harry, you remember that car. When you were elected Vice President, you gave it to Mary."

And then he did recall it. But he drove that car, I believe, while he was Senator, and when he became Vice President and got an official car, he turned over that car, which was

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a Chrysler, to his sister, and it's in beautifully preserved condition, I must say.

Those are simply little asides that I wanted to mention. They're not, on the main point. The anecdote I really wanted to tell was that when we got ready to leave, I went out ahead of the rest of the group with President Truman. The others were hanging back looking at something, and he and I walked along the corridor there where all the pictures of the former Presidents, portraits of former Presidents, are displayed. He was making comments on this one, that one, and the other one. I don't remember all the comments, but I remember a general comment that he made which is very typical of him. He said, "Not many of these fellows were damn fools, but those who were made a good job of it," which is quite typical of him.

He made one remark that struck me, because as we got to the end of the line and as he came to, as I remember, on the right hand side, President Kennedy, he looked at him and he said, "He was a good boy." The remark struck me because, first of all, he thought of him still as a boy, although President Kennedy if he were alive today would be well into his fifties; and secondly, it was a kind of a verdict on President Kennedy that I had never heard him deliver before. It was interesting to me, because as you know, he opposed

[57]

the nomination of President Kennedy. He, in effect, asked that at the convention in 1960 that he step aside, and, in effect, wait his turn, that he was too young, the convention was being -- in President Truman's view -- the convention was being rigged ahead of time in order to produce a favorable vote for then Senator Kennedy, who later became President. It turned out to be a futile and useless gesture, politically, and subsequently relations between the two men were much improved.

They were particularly improved, I think, on the occasion when, really, not long after he took office, President Kennedy invited President and Mrs. Truman to come and be guests in the White House for the evening. They were invited to come to a dinner party in their honor, and an effort was made to get together survivors of the Truman administration and their wives, old friends, political friends and associates of the President, and there were about sixty people at this party, to attend.

After dinner the President and Mrs. Truman had been invited to spend the night in the White House, which they did. Subsequently, Mrs. Daniel and I, when we were invited to come to dinner, were asked if we wouldn't also like to stay at the White House, so we did. It was no great thrill

[58]

for my wife. She never much liked the White House. She regarded it as a kind of a public monument rather than a home. She never liked living there very much. She much preferred living in Blair House across the street during the time the White House was being reconstructed, because Blair House was smaller, more intimate, and much more like a family home; and in some ways, a rather prettier little house, inside certainly. But it was my first experience of sleeping in the White House. I had been there several times before, but never to spend the night. And aside from the formal aspects of the occasion, the informal ones were very pleasant. We went in before dinner and had a drink with the President and Mrs. Kennedy in that oval sitting room upstairs, which I think has been used variously as a sitting room or study and so forth by various Presidents. I believe that President Kennedy used it primarily as a sitting room, a place where he received visitors. I've seen many pictures of him taken in there. That's where we sat down that night and had a drink, and then we went down and joined the other guests. One's always making gaffes on such occasions, or thinks one is. My particular one was to step on Mrs. Kennedy. I was put in the procession coming down the staircase to go into the reception room downstairs -- I think we entered what was called the Red Room

[59]

or the Blue Room, I don't know which, one or the other, but one of the smaller rooms off the East Room where the guests had assembled; and I didn't know the procedure, I had never been in that position before. President and Mrs. Kennedy, well, I believe the two Presidents, President Kennedy and President Truman, marched out in front behind an honor guard, and then Margaret and myself, and there were aides along in the procession, too. I have a picture in the other room that will show you who was there. Suddenly the Marine Band orchestra which was playing for the occasion, struck up "Ruffles and Flourishes" or "Hail to the Chief," I believe, whatever they play on that occasion. At that moment, I had spied the press gallery, that is the group of ladies of the press mainly, who were gathered over to one side taking notes on all this, and I knew two or three of them, so I waved at them, and as I did, the column in front of me came to a dead halt which I hadn't been expecting, so I practically climbed right up Mrs. Kennedy's back. I was directly behind her. She didn't turn a hair, and I apologized, and stepped back, and as I told my wife later, "Why didn't you tell me this was going to happen?"

She said, "It never occurred to me. Now, I realize that you were the only one there who didn't know what was going to happen."

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So she didn't give me any warning of the procedure. I also didn't realize that when I went in I would be sort of ticked off to take a lady to dinner. I was just about to pick up the first lady I could find and go into dinner with her, but I found that I wasn't allowed to do that; I had to take one who was given to me to take into dinner.

The dinner itself was amusing in a way. It was one of the early dinners prepared by the French chef that Mrs. Kennedy had engaged, and I believe his name was Pepin, if I'm not mistaken, Rene Pepin, but I'm not sure. I subsequently met Mr. Pepin, who was one of the better-known French chefs in New York. That dinner was a very elaborate dinner in French style. It opened, I think, with a clear soup and something like a hot fish dish of some sort, I've forgotten what it was. I was just trying to remember; I can't. And the main course was, as I recall, woodcock.* I don't know where you get woodcock in this country. I suppose they probably breed them for sale someplace.

FUCHS: I imagine. I've tried to hunt them and have succeeded in only getting one or two.

*Note: I have checked the menu, and it was grouse, not woodcock -- Clifton Daniel.

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DANIEL: I think they probably breed them somewhere. Well, woodcock -- my wife said it was grouse, but my story is that it was woodcock. The woodcock came and each person had a bird, they were rather small, and I thought I was going to have my second catastrophe of the evening, my second gaffe, because when I tried to put my fork into this bird it jumped about two feet. I was very cautious and careful and tried again, and I got the fork in, and then I tried the knife and the knife simply slid off the bird; it wouldn't cut at all. I looked at the knife, and by this time I heard Mrs. Sam Rosenman, Judge Sam Rosenman's wife, Judge Rosenman having been, as everybody knows, adviser, counsel, speechwriter, and so forth, to both President Roosevelt and President Truman, Mrs. Rosenman who was sitting on my left, and who probably was the lady I took into dinner, laughed and said, "Are you having some trouble with your bird, Clifton?"

I looked and she was having the same problem. I damn near lost it in my lap, you know, because it jumped so high. She was having the same trouble and I looked around and everybody else was having trouble. Nobody could cut this bird. And at the head table, where Margaret was sitting opposite the President and her father, next to Bobby Kennedy, she heard President Kennedy giving his wife the devil because the bird was tough. Margaret turned to Bobby Kennedy and

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said, "Well, these White House knives would never cut anything," and Bobby laughed, and that was the end of it. The waiters eventually came and took the birds away, practically uneaten. I think I got one piece of meat off of mine, which I tried to eat and it was inedible. Well, this is rather distressing at the White House when you're giving a grand dinner. Actually there was plenty of food otherwise, because we had had the hot fish beforehand. There was good champagne, and a delicious dessert with, as Margaret says, that spun sugar all over it that they always used to have at the White House. But in any case, we had plenty to eat; we didn't go hungry, but we never did any of us eat the woodcock.

The next day, Margaret and I went to see her very old friend, Drucie Snyder Horton. She is the daughter of John Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury in President Truman's administration, who was one of the guests at the dinner, and her husband, John Horton, who is, I think, a public relations man, formerly in the motion picture business in Washington and in Hollywood. We went to see the Hortons, who are godparents to some of our children, Mrs. Horton was in our wedding, and so forth, very close friends. And we were telling them, we didn't tell anybody else, we didn't advertise the embarrassment of the life of Mrs. Kennedy in the White House, and we

[63]

certainly didn't mention it to Mrs. Kennedy. We were telling the Hortons about this disaster with the birds. Mrs. Horton is quite a good cook, interested in cooking, and she went out and got the Gourmet Cookbook, came back with it, and she looked up woodcock to see how you cooked woodcock. And there very plainly it said, "Once having cooked these birds you must not reheat them as the skin will become tough and you may not be able to cut it." Now, this French chef hadn't learned that. He had obviously, cooking for sixty people, cooked all the birds in the afternoon, and popped them back into the oven just before they were to be served, and had rendered them inedible. So that's what happened at the dinner.

After the dinner there was entertainment which was rather amusing, and as I recall President Truman was prevailed upon to play a few bars at the piano, but there was a pianist whom he knew and liked very much who had played -- and I forget his name, Margaret would know -- but who had played for him at Potsdam when he was there for the Potsdam Conference. He had been in the Army at the time, and was brought there to entertain in the evening...

FUCHS: Eugene List?

DANIEL: Eugene List, I think it was. That's right. So Eugene List played. A record of all this has been kept of this

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evening. I was just trying to tell of some aspects of it that I had seen that others had not seen.

I remember that -- I don't like champagne very much, it doesn't agree with me very much, and I drank rather too much champagne that evening. Afterwards, we went upstairs and in the long corridor up there, which the First Families have always used as a kind of a sitting room, one end of it, there was a piano, and Margaret and her father were persuaded by Mrs. Kennedy to sit down and play a little something, and they played a bit and we sang a little bit, and Mrs. Kennedy got out her real simple little Kodak and took some snapshots, literally, I mean, it was not a substantial camera at all. It looked like about a $25 camera, and she took some snapshots which she later sent to us, and which we have.

Then we all went to bed. The next morning, President Truman got up at more or less his usual hour, and we had a very early breakfast, which was served in the Truman suite, at what I suppose is the south end of the White House. That house runs north and south doesn't it? I'm not sure. No, no, south lawn, I beg your pardon, so it would be the east end of the White House.

FUCHS: The Executive Wing is in the west side.

DANIEL: That's right. Well, this was the opposite end of the

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White House, that's right, the east end. They had a suite in the east end of the second floor, which is the family floor of the White House. The Lincoln bedroom is at that end, and I have a notion that President Truman may have slept in it, but I'm not sure. In any case, we had breakfast there in the sitting room, it was brought up to us, brought in, and after breakfast we packed up and left. We went to the Mayflower Hotel where we had a second breakfast, because President Truman had agreed to meet with a group of Democratic women, or something of that sort, that morning at the Mayflower. We all went to that.

About 10 o'clock, Mrs. Kennedy called up and got Margaret on the phone and said, "Margaret, where are you?"

Margaret said, "Why, we're at the Mayflower Hotel."

She said, "Well, we didn't get a chance to say goodbye."

Margaret said, "Well, you may remember my father told you goodbye last night, because he didn't want to disturb you this morning. He knew you didn't want to get up as early as he did." Or words to that effect.

So, that was the end actually of that very pleasant experience, but it brings me back to where I started, which was to say that that evening did a great deal to restore relations, improve relations, between President Truman and

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President Kennedy; and I suppose was one of the things that prompted that remark, spontaneous remark, that President Truman made about President Kennedy the last time I saw him.

FUCHS: Very good. Do you recall any other remarks or anecdotes in connection with that, any remarks of President Truman's?

DANIEL: I don't recall any remarks that he made about specific Presidents. I got the impression -- and I don't remember exactly what he said -- I got the impression that he didn't like Teddy Roosevelt very much, and I never did find out why. President Truman was given to these short, blunt statements about people, you know. He'd say, "He was no good," and that's all. Unless you pursued the subject he wouldn't bother to tell you why. But I gather he didn't think much of Teddy Roosevelt. He said something like, "He was a big phony," or "He was a faker," or something like that. I don't know what he did say. I can only imagine -- I don't pretend to know -- I can only imagine, that he didn't think much of Teddy's bluster and showmanship and so on, but he never said.

That also could go back to his younger days, because he was a Democrat and he was a loyal Democrat becoming from the very beginning, thinking about active participation in politics, I imagine at the time Teddy Roosevelt was in the

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White House. That may have had something to do with his feeling about Roosevelt, but he didn't say that day. Otherwise, as I said, he had a fairly high opinion of all these Presidents.

FUCHS: Do you recall anything that President Truman might have said about the breach in amicable relations that he had with President Eisenhower?

DANIEL: Let me pause one moment to say one further thing. He did remark on John Tyler, as we walked past him, because the Trumans have a family connection with Tyler, and exactly what it is I don't know. It's very remote. But they think of Tyler as an ancestor which gives them another connection with the Presidency. He did remark on Tyler. He said something to the effect, "Well, there's our cousin," or "There's our ancestor," or something like that, I don't know what he said. It was when he was walking along the corridor. Here I would like to make one quite gratuitous remark. I think those pictures are terrible, those portraits. If I were the curator of that establishment -- I offer this advice absolutely free and unsolicited -- I would dispense with them. I think the idea of having pictures of the former Presidents is excellent, but there are better pictures available. Of all of them since Lincoln there are very good photographs, and of the ones before Lincoln, there are available very good etchings or

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prints or reproductions of paintings. I think that those you have there in the Library are very poor. I've forgotten who did them, some commercial artist I think who grinds them out.

FUCHS: I'll tell you the story about that after this is over.

DANIEL: Let me say about his relations with President Eisenhower. A great deal was made of the fact that there was a kind of a reconciliation, if you like, between President Eisenhower and President Truman at President Kennedy's funeral. Reconciliation is perhaps too broad or big a word. It's simply that they got together again by chance, and rather than sulking and renewing their feud or whatever, they were both much older, and a lot of water had gone over the dam, and my impression is simply that they were polite and pleasant and civil to each other; there's no reason why they shouldn't be after all those years. They had been very closely associated, and on that day they shared something very much in common; they shared with Jack Kennedy the fact that all of them had been President, and this engenders a greatness of spirit in people sometimes they don't otherwise have. I wasn't there. I stayed in New York because my duties here as the assistant managing editor didn't absolutely positively require me to stay in New York, but I

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felt I would be leaving my post if I did, so I stayed here, and my wife went to Washington with her father. Mrs. Truman did not go. So Margaret was there to sort of be with her father, keep him company, and to help represent the family. I was asked if I wanted to go and I said I did not. I was sorry to have missed that historic event. It would have been interesting to have participated in that funeral, to have witnessed it personally; but, you know, you have to make your choices in life, and that was mine, to stay here and work. But my wife has related this and she may have related it in print. If she hasn't already done so she probably will relate it in print.

What happened, as I recall, was that when they were leaving the cathedral after the funeral service to go to Arlington Cemetery behind the caisson that was carrying the body of President Kennedy, they were directed, and I don't know -- by design I suppose -- they were directed to the same car, the two former Presidents; and they got in this car, and Margaret got in, and Mrs. Eisenhower got in with them. They spoke and shook hands. There's a picture of them on the stair in front of the cathedral at the time they were getting into the car. They rode out to the cemetery together, and then they rode back from the cemetery together, chatting

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all the while. And coming on back, one of them, they asked the Eisenhowers what they were going to do afterwards, and the Eisenhowers said they were going to drive back directly to the farm at Gettysburg; and President Truman or Margaret, one of the other or both of them, said, "Well, it's a long drive, wouldn't you like to come back to Blair House" -- which is where the Trumans were staying, father and daughter -- "Wouldn't you like to come back to Blair House with us and have a drink and a sandwich, you know, it's been a long, hard day," and they had had no luncheon, these people; as you remember, the proceedings went through lunch. So the Eisenhowers accepted the invitation, and rode back to Blair House and they all went in and had a little social gathering and conversation. It wasn't a big reconciliation scene, I gather. Nobody fell into anybody else's arms and said, "Let's forgive and forget." Nothing of that sort. It was just civil behavior on the part of both parties, I would say, a pleasant meeting, people who had once been closely associated and friends, but had not exactly drifted apart, but had busted apart. That's the only thing I really know about President Truman's later relations with President Eisenhower.

Now, I was present the first time he ever shook hands with President Nixon after their big feud. As you know,

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President Nixon, in the course of campaigning for the Vice Presidency, if my memory is not tricking me, and anybody who ever writes about this can easily check it out in published works, Mr. Nixon, in effect, accused President Truman of treason, or of treasonable behavior, I say, in effect or by implication, because he didn't say it flatly in those words, but that's the way President Truman and his partisans chose to interpret it. Well, of course, it was, in my view, an obvious piece of campaign hyperbole, and I'm sure that Mr. Nixon didn't mean it literally, but it's not the sort of thing that sets very well with a man of President Truman's temperament. He doesn't care to have his integrity and his patriotism impugned, as who does, and particularly not by a man whose record in these respects is no better than his own. But in any case, that led him and his friends and his family to be very hostile to Mr. Nixon.

Some years later after Mr. Nixon had ceased to be Vice President, and President Truman was visiting here in New York, we found ourselves sitting in a theater here on opposite sides of the aisle: The Trumans and Margaret and myself on one side of the aisle, and Mr. Nixon and Mrs. Nixon, alone, the two of them, on the other side of the aisle. Nobody spoke to anybody else. The Nixons didn't come over and say "Good

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evening," and the Trumans certainly didn't go over and say anything to them, and everybody just pretended they didn't see each other. The audience saw all this and was quite intrigued by it. I don't know whether they realized the depth of the feeling there.

But after the performance as happens on these occasions, the press agent for the show had come along and asked if the Trumans would like to go backstage, or if they would go backstage and meet the cast, which is a privilege and honor for the cast to have a former President come back. So we went backstage, all of us. As I remember, the play was "The Happy Millionaire," or what was it called "The Happiest Millionaire," or something like that.

FUCHS: "Most Happy Millionaire?"

DANIEL: Something like that. It was a play about Colonel Biddle written by his daughter. Colonel Biddle had been in the Marines and had been a great physical fitness guy and had taught jujitsu or something in the Marines. He was a very colorful character, he was a Philadelphia Biddle, I know you are familiar with him. I have trouble remembering people's names, but a very well-known, handsome American actor played a leading role, I can't think of his name now. He's getting

[73]

old now, he's not around very much anymore. I'll think of it later on [Walter Pidgeon].

But we went backstage and there also were the Nixons, so they shook hands. I don't think they had ever shaken hands. I don't think they had touched each other for ten years at that time. And it was an amicable meeting again, and they posed for photographers, and the papers printed it all the next day, you know, showing the two men shaking hands.

There was another occasion on which President Nixon and President Truman met, and that was a little later on after that meeting at a Gridiron Club dinner. I was there. President Truman was invited to the dinner and so was then former Vice President Nixon invited also, and they sat on the dais. They were not principal guests but they were -- the principal guests were people who were more active in politics at the moment -- but they were guests, and President Truman was introduced; he made no speech. He simply stood up and was applauded. President Nixon was introduced and he spoke briefly. He said, in effect, "Before we all came out here and sat down on the dais, we were all having a little social gathering in the room behind here" -- I left out one thing. The theme of the Gridiron Club dinner that year was love. I've forgotten what the occasion was, but it was a humorous

[74]

affair, but love was the theme of every skit, love in some form or other. We had seen the show, and the speeches were being made, and President Nixon, as I said, said they were having a little social gathering back behind the dais, and he said, "Somebody tapped me on the shoulder, and handed me a bourbon and water, and asked me if I would pass it to President Truman." He said, "I did, and I want to say to you, that when Harry Truman will accept a drink from the hand of Richard Nixon without having somebody else taste it first, that's love."

I don't know whether that incident has ever been recorded anywhere or not.

FUCHS: I haven't heard it.

DANIEL: I happened to be there. I had myself been invited to the Gridiron Club dinner that year, and when I found out President Truman was going, I arranged to go with him, or rather to meet him there. I'm not sure whether we went from New York. He may have been in New York and we went down together in a White House plane. President Johnson used to send a little jet star plane to pick him up when he needed transportation in a hurry to go somewhere. We went down in a White House plane, and stayed in Blair House, we spent the

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night in Blair House. I had never spent the night in Blair House before, and it was a very beautiful place. I understand why my wife liked it.

FUCHS: You, yourself, viewed this remark by Nixon primarily as campaign oratory or hyperbole. Do you think there's any incongruity in Mr. Truman's reaction in view that he's normally known for his political tough hide, and "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" sort of thing.

DANIEL: Well, you see, President Truman is an old-fashioned American, and he believes in patriotism and love for your country, and honor and all these things, and he's also likely -- characteristic of people of his generation and time and place -- to resent very highly any slur on his character. You know, "son of a bitch" used to be a fighting word when I was a kid, I mean, literally a fighting word. You hit anybody who used the expression about you. Now, I use it myself with some affection to friends, and they use it with affection to me. Things have changed, but President Truman hasn't changed all that much, and if anybody accused him even inferentially of treason, he wouldn't take it very kindly. I don't think that his reaction was uncharacteristic or exaggerated, if you like. I said it was campaign hyperbole,

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simply because I don't think that President Nixon on reflection, you know, would say that about President Truman; it's manifestly ridiculous. People get all worked up in campaigns and say things they shouldn't say, including Presidents of the United States.

FUCHS: As I'm sure you probably know, there's been considerable discussion about this, and of course President Nixon denied saying it and the closest we've been able to come, for scholars, is finding that he made a similar remark about the Democratic Party being a party of treason, but we've never been able to pin down exactly where he said it about Mr. Truman.

DANIEL: That's why I used the word "inferentially," you see. I have not myself any documentary evidence. I just know what I've read in the papers, and I know what President Truman felt about it. Whatever was said, President Truman felt that it was a slur on him, and he didn't take such a slur lightly, either directed at himself, and particularly if it is directed at the members of his family, as I said much earlier.

FUCHS: Have you an appointment?

DANIEL: Yes I have, and I'm afraid we're going to have to knock off. Otherwise I'll be late.

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FUCHS: Well, thank you very much. I think that it's been very worthwhile. I would like to come back at some future date.

DANIEL: You let me know, and we can fix a similar sort of arrangement. If I had known we were going to talk, or if I had known I was going to talk quite this long, maybe I would have made some sort of different arrangements, and that is like sitting down of the evening when I would have the whole evening ahead of me. I didn't realize that I would talk this much. Maybe I talked too much.

FUCHS: No, it's very good.

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]


List of Subjects Discussed

    Arlington Cemetery, 69
    Associated Press (AP), 7, 8
    Astor Hotel, New York, New York, 36, 37
    Atomic bomb, 50

    Biddle, Francis, 72
    Blair House, 58, 70, 74
    Boy's Life, 5

    Carlyle Hotel, New York, New York, 35, 39
    Caviness, Dr. Z. M., 2
    Clark, Bennett C., 17
    Coffin, O. J., 7

    Daniel, E. Clifton:

      background, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9-14
      Daniel, Margaret Truman, 1, 35
      Kennedy, John F., at White House, visit with, 57-62
      Kennedy, Joseph P., 16
      and Presidential press conferences, 27-32
      Roosevelt, Franklin D., opinion of, 53
      Truman Harry S., opinion of, 17, 36, 37, 44, 45, 50
        and Eisenhower, Dwight D., 68-70
        and Nixon, Richard M., 70-76
      at Truman Library, 53-56, 67
    Daniel, Margaret Truman, 36
      courtship of, 35, 39
      Kennedy, John F., funeral of, attendance of, 69-70
      and Marshall, George C., 32
      and Nixon, President and Mrs. Richard M., 71
      at piano, in White House, 64
      visits with family, 53
      visits with friends, 62, 63
      visits with Kennedy, John F., at White House, 57-59, 61-65
    Daniels, Jonathan, 6, 31
    Daniels, Josephus, 6
    Daniels, William, 2, 3, 4, 7
    Dewey, Thomas E., 47

    Early, Stephen T., 28, 31
    Eisenhower, Dwight D., 30, 31, 34, 49, 68, 69, 70
    Esquire, 45
    Europe, 8, 10

    Florida, 27
    Francis, Arlene, 55

    Gabel, Martin, 55
    Gourmet Cookbook, 63
    Great Britain, 12, 15, 34
    Gridiron Club, 73, 74

    Hagerty, James C., 32
    Harry S. Truman Library, 53-56
    Horton, Mrs. Drucie Snyder, 62, 63
    Horton, John, 62

    Indian Treaty Room, Executive Office Building, 20, 21
    Institute of Pharmacy, 7

    Johnson, Lyndon B., 29, 30, 74

    Kennedy, John F., 25, 30, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 65, 66, 68
    Kennedy, Mrs. John F., 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65
    Kennedy, Joseph P., 14, 15, 16, 41, 42
    Kennedy, Robert F., 61, 62
    Khrushchev, Nikita, 10
    The Kingdom of the Power, 44, 45

    Laker, Mary, 42
    Lincoln, Abraham, 67, 68
    Lindbergh, Charles A., 16
    List, Eugene, 63

    MacArthur, Douglas, 34
    McLaughlin, Kathleen, 18, 19
    Marshall, George C., 15, 32, 33, 34
    Mayflower Hotel, 65
    Middle East, 9
    Moscow, Russia, 9, 10

    New Mexico, 50
    New York, New York, 26, 26, 36, 50, 68, 71, 74
    New York Times Magazine, 40
    New York Times, 9, 10, 11, 18, 22, 40, 45
    Nixon, Richard M., 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 49, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76
    Nixon, Mrs. Richard M. (Pat), 71
    North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association, 4

    Pearl Harbor, 8, 13
    Pepin, Rene, 60
    Phi Beta Kappa, 5
    Potsdam Conference, 63
    Press conferences, Presidential, 20-21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30

    Raleigh News and Observer, 6
    Raleigh, North Carolina, 6
    Roosevelt, Franklin D., 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 23, 24, 28, 30, 48, 50, 52, 53
    Roosevelt, Theodore, 66
    Roseman, Mrs. Samuel I., 61
    Ross, Charles G., 21, 31, 32

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 32
    Salisbury, Harrison, 22
    Short, Joseph H., 20, 21, 23, 31
    Snyder, John W., 62
    Soviet Union, 9, 10
    Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 40
    SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces), 34
    Switzerland, 8, 13

    Talese, Gay, 44, 45
    Truman, Bess Wallace, 26, 35, 41, 43, 55, 57
    Truman Committee, 17
    Truman, Harry S., 17, 19

      alcohol, consumption of, 37, 38
      and Daniel, E. Clifton, 1, 20, 21, 22, 35
      and Eisenhower, Dwight D., 68, 69
      loyalty to family, 39, 40, 41, 52
      Nixon, Richard M., 71-76
      personality of, 46, 47
      piano, playing, 64
      and press conferences, 24, 25, 26
      Roosevelt, Franklin D., 48, 50, 51, 52
      Roosevelt, Theodore, 66
      at Truman Library, 53, 54, 55, 56, 67
      visits with, Kennedy, John F., White House, 57, 58, 59, 61, 63-65
      and women, 41, 42, 43
    Tyler, John, 67

    University of North Carolina, 4, 5, 6, 7

    Vance, Zebulon Baird, 3

    Wakefield, North Carolina, 2, 3
    Wakelon School, 3, 4,
    White House, 14, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 65
    World War II, 8, 9, 12-14, 15

    Zebulon Record, 5, 6
    Zebulon, North Carolina, 2, 3
    Zobrist, Benedict K., 54


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