Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


General Harry H. Vaughan

Oral History Interviews with
General Harry H. Vaughan

Personal friend of Harry S. Truman since 1917; military associate in World War I and subsequently in the Field Artillery Officers Reserve Corps; treasurer for Senator Truman's 1940 reelection campaign committee; secretary to Senator Truman, 1941; a liaison officer for the Truman Committee, 1944; and Military Aide to Mr. Truman when he was Vice-President and President, 1945-53.

Interview Transcripts
January 14 | & January 16, 1963

See also Harry Vaughan Papers finding aid and interview conducted by the William Jewell College Oral History Project.

[Notices and Restrictions | List of Subjects Discussed]


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

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

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 They may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.


List of Subjects Discussed

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

    A-bomb project, 68
    Anderson, Clinton P., 49
    Armed Forces, desegregation of the, 144-145
    Army Reserve-National Guard merger, proposed, 126-128
    Army, Secretary of the, 131
    Ayers, Eben, 90
    Aylward, James P., 50

    Ball, Joseph H., 75-76
    Baltimore Sun, 90
    Barkely, Alben W., 113
    Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 39, 51
    Baylor University, 142-144
    Berenstein, David, 47
    Berry, Brig, Gen. Lucius, 2, 3-4
    Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, I11., 66
    Blair, James T., Jr., 115
    Boyle, William, Jr., 57
    Bradley, Gen. Omar N., 129
    Brandt, Raymond P. (Pete), 153
    Bridges, Styles, 75
    Budget, Director of the Bureau of the, 130-131
    Burton, Harold H., 61
    Byrd, Harry F., 70
    Byrnes, James F., 66, 67, 69, 70, 73-74, 148

    Cabinet, the, 85, 86, 91
    Camp Crowder, Mo., 54
    Camp Lee, Va, 54
    Camp Pickett, Va „ 54
    Camp Ripley, Minn., 12, 26
    Canfil, Fred A., 37-38, 53
    Cape Girardeau, Mo., 45
    Churchill, Winston S,, 83, 84, 116, 136, 137

      speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Mo., March 5, 1946, 136-142
      Truman, Harry S., friendship with, 140-142
    Civil rights, 145-146
    Clark, Bennett C., 52, 72
    Clark, Charles P., 57
    Clifford, Clark M., 121
    Connelly, Matthew J., 57, 137, 149-150
    Conran, James V., 42
    Conway, Rose A., 88
    Curtis, Thomas B., 99

    Daniels, Jonathan, 89
    Davis, Manvel H., 53
    Defense contracts, World War II, 55
    Democratic National Committee, 112
    Democratic National Convention, 1944, 65-71
    Denfeld, Admiral Louis E., 129
    Dennison, Admiral Robert L., 121, 128
    Dickmann, Bernard F., 50
    Dickson, Charles M., 122
    Dodds, Harold W., 132
    Drescher, George C., 79, 80

    Eichelberger, Gen. Robert L., 98
    Eisenhower, Dwight D.

      Assistant Commander-in-Chief, proposal to appoint as, 122
      MacArthur, Gen. Douglas, comments re as a Presidential candidate, 1948, 119-120
      as 1952 Presidential candidate, 113, 117-121
      Presidential candidate, 1948, availability as a, 117, 120
      Radford, Adm. A.W., appointment of as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 130
      Truman, H.S., promise of support by for political office, 121
      Vaughan, Harry H., first meeting with, 115-116
      Vaughan, Harry H., relations with as Military Aide to the President, 134-136
      and the White House staff, 100
    Erkin, Feridun C., 117
    Evans, M. R. (Bob), 39-40
    Evans, Tom L., 39

    Fair Deal, 153
    Fields, Alonzo, 102
    First National Bank, St. Louis, Mo., 41
    "Five-percenters inquiry", 104-107
    Folliard, Edward T., 152
    Forrestal, James V., 129
    Forster, Rudolph, 85
    Ft. Eustis, Va., 54
    Ft. George G. Meade,, Md., 54
    Ft. Leavenworth, Kans., 12
    Ft, Leonard Wood, Mo., 54
    Ft. Riley, Kans., 11, 12, 21
    Ft. Sill, Okla., 12, 15
    Foskett, Admiral James H., 117
    Freeman, Douglas S , 62, 63-64
    Fulton, Hugh, 56
    Fulton, Mo., 48, 139, 141

    Garner, John N., 69
    Gibson, Truman K., Jr., 132
    Government employees, 154-155
    Gray, Gordon, 131
    Green Foundation, 137
    Green, John R., 137
    Gualdoni, Louis J. (Gene), 43

    Hannegan, Robert E., 43-44, 51, 66, 67, 69, 70-71
    Harper, Roy, 45
    Harriman, Mrs. J. Borden (Daisy), 110-111
    "Harry's doghouse", 58
    Harry S. Truman Library dedication, 103
    Hassett, William D., 152
    Helm, Edith B., 103
    Helm, Neal W., 45-46
    Helm, William P., 45
    Hennings, Thomas C., Jr., 115
    Hirth, William, 50
    Hoey, Clyde R., 105
    Hoey Committee, 105
    Hoover, Herbert, 93
    Hopkins, William J., 84, 85

    Independence, Mo., 145

    Jackson, Robert H., 56
    Jacobson, Edward (Eddie), 7, 11, 22-24
    Jefferson City, Mo., 141
    Johnson, Louis A., 136
    Joint Chiefs of Staff, 91-92
    Jolly, Veronica (Veronica Donovan), 96-99

    Kansas City Journal, 45
    Kansas City, Mo., 44
    Kansas City Star, 108
    Kilgore, Harley M., 71

    Latta, Maurice J., 84-85
    Leahy, Admiral William D, 117, 148
    Lee, Frank H,, 38, 39
    Lewis, John L., 29

    MacArthur, Gen. Douglas, 119-120, 136
    Manhattan project, 68
    Marks, Ted, 21-22
    Marshall, Gen. George C., 64-65, 68, 81
    Masonic order, 51
    McCarthy, Joseph R., 105
    McCluer, Frank L., 137-139
    McCormick, Robert R., 119
    McDaniel, Lawrence, 44-45, 51
    McKim, Edward D., 14-19, 149-152
    Mead, James M., 60
    Messall, Victor R., 38-39
    Military Affairs Committee, U. S. Senate, 54-55
    Military Aide to the Vice President, 81-82
    Military secrecy, 61-62
    Milligan, Maurice M., 52-53
    Missouri Athletic Club, 17, 18
    Missouri Farmers Association, 50
    Morgenthau, Henry, Jr., 78
    Mundt, Karl, 105

    Nacy, Richard R., 42
    National Guard, 126-128
    National Guard Association, 127
    National Guard merger, with the Army Reserve, proposed, 126-128
    National Security Council, 91
    Navy Department, 128,129

    Odum, Reathel, 40-41
    102nd Division, 13
    129th Field Artillery Regiment, 1, 5, 9-10
    130th Field Artillery Regiment, 1, 3
    The Officer, 82, 127
    Ozark Division, 13

    Pace, Frank, Jr., 130-131
    Patterson, Eleanor Medill, 119
    Patterson, Joseph Medill, 119
    Pearson, Drew, 107, 153
    Pendergast, James M., 3, 5, 12, 29
    Pendergast, Thomas J, (Tom), 12, 29, 36
    Perlmeter, Irving, 90
    Poling, Daniel A., 132
    Potsdam Conference, 83-84, 116, 148
    President’s Advisory Commission on Military Training, 132-133
    Presidents of the U.S., evaluation of, 155-156
    Presidential campaign, 1948:

      crowds, size of during campaign trips, 109
      Eisenhower for President boom, 121
    Presidential election, 1948, 107-111
    Presidential election, 1952, 113-114
    Presidential policymaking, 91-93
    Presidential press secretaries, 89-90
    Presidential Press Secretary, Office of, 90-91
    Press, the, 107, 108, 152-153
    Pye, John, 101-102

    Radford, Admiral Arthur W., 129
    Rayburn, Sam, 71
    Rekord, Maj. Gen. Milton, 127
    Reorganization of the White House staff, 1945, 150-151
    Reynolds, Robert R., 54-55
    Ridgway, Gen. Matthew B., 121
    Ritter, Roland, 15
    Roosevelt, Anna, 83
    Roosevelt, Franklin D., 52, 65, 69, 71

      as an administrator, 86-87
      Cabinet relations with members of his, 85-86
      death of, 149
      health of, 76-78, 80
      inauguration; 1945, 77-78
      foreign affairs, URS,, failure to inform Vice President H.S. Truman concerning, 82-83
      physical condition of in 1944, 77-78
      and the War Department, 135-136
      and the White House staff, 100
    Roosevelt, Mrs. Franklin D. (Eleanor Roosevelt), 78, 83
    Rosenberg, Anna, 132
    Rosenman, Samuel I, 132
    Ross, Charles G,, 89-91, 121
    Royall, Kenneth C., 131

    St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 46
    St. Louis, Mo., 43, 46, 47
    St. Louis National Guard Armory, 126-127
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 35, 46, 89, 108, 153
    St. Louis Star, 46
    St. Mihiel, France, 9
    Salisbury; Spencer, 20-21
    Salomon,, Sidney, 43
    Secret Service, U,S, 79-80, 100
    Sedalia, Mo, 37
    Senate Office Building, 58
    Senate, U.S., 73-76
    Senatorial campaign, 1934, Missouri, 25-26
    Senatorial campaign, 1940, Missouri, 29-53
    Sermon, Roger, 38
    60th Field Artillery Regiment, 2
    77th Field Artillery Regiment, 15
    Short, Joseph H., 90
    Smith, Margaret Chase, 105
    Snyder, John W.:

      as an Army reserve officer, 14
      banking career in St. Louis After World War I, 14
      Democratic National Convention, 1944, attendance at, 67
      Truman, Harry S., friendship with, 13-14, 16-19, 24, 40, 86
    Spaatz, Gen. Carl (Tooey), 117
    Stalin, Joseph V., 84
    Stark, Lloyd C., 32, 34-35, 45, 47, 52, 53
    Statler Hotel, St. Louis, Mo., 33-34
    Steelman, John R., 25, 132
    Stevenson, Adlai E., 114
    Sweeney, Lt. Col. Arthur, 99
    Symington, Stuart, 117, 129

    32nd Division, 13-14
    35th Division, 2
    Tompkins, William J., 49-50
    Tower Grove Sank, St. Louis, Mo., 41
    Truman, Harry S:

      as an administrator, 85-89
      Army camps, tour of, Jan., 1941, 54
      Army officer, immaculate appearance as, 6
      Army Reserve-National Guard merger proposal, views on, 127-128
      Army Reserve officer training, participation in, 13-16, 21
      Baylor University, speech at, March 6, 1947, 142-144
      Byrnes, James F., commitment to at the 1944 Democratic National Convention, 66-67
      Byrnes, James F,, relationship with, 73
      Cabinet members, relationship with, 85-86
      as canteen officer, 129th Field Artillery, 7-8
      Churchill, Winston S,, friendship with, 138-142
      civil rights, advocacy of, 146
      Clark, Bennett C., relationship with, 52, 72
      debts resulting from failure of haberdashery, repayment of, 23
      decisions once made, refusal to worry about, 93
      decisions, promptness in making Presidential, 87
      Democratic vice-presidential candidate, 1944, selection as, 65-71
      education, 72
      and the "Eisenhower boom" (1948), 121
      eyeglasses, loss of during World War I, 9
      foreign affairs, lack of knowledge of on assuming the Presidency, 82-83
      Hannegan, R. E., appointment as chairman, Democratic National Committee, 70-71
      Interstate Commerce Committee, as member of U.S. Senate, 27
      isolationism, attitude regarding, 72
      Jacobson, Eddie, visit to store of in while President, 23-24
      Lewis, John L., regard for, 29
      magazine and newspaper articles, refusal to accept fees for, 62
      Marks, Ted, friendship with, 21-22
      Marshall, George C., relationship with, 64-65
      McKim, Edward D., personal friendship with, 14-19
      and McKim, Edward D., practical joke by on H. H. Vaughan, 17-19
      Military Aide, first Vice President to have, 81
      nearsightedness, 8
      as a poker player, 95
      political career, start of, 11-12
      political philosophy of, 153-154
      at the Potsdam Conference, 116, 148-149
      President, ability to relax from official duties, 93-94
      President, evaluation of as a, 156
      President, self-confidence as, 147-148
      Presidential campaign, 1948, 107-110
      Presidential policymaking, methods employed in, 91-93
      Press secretaries, 89-90
      protocol, views concerning, 102-103
      railroad legislation, knowledge of, 27-28
      reading habits, 72
      Roosevelt, F.D., concern regarding health of, 77, 80
      Roosevelt, F.D., meeting with after 1944 Democratic National Convention, 76-77
      Roosevelt, F.D., relationship with as Senator, 67-68
      Secret Service guard, first Vice President to have, 78-79
      Senate colleagues, relationship with as President with former, 75-76
      Senate office, description of, 58
      Senate, U.S., refusal to run for in 1952, 114-115
      Senator, U.S. 1934 campaign for, 26
      Senator, U.S., first term as, 26-29
      Senatorial campaign, 1940, 29-53
      Senatorial campaign speeches, 47
      Snyder, John W., friendship with, 14
      speeches, preparation for delivery of, 94-95
      speeches, refusal to accept fees for while in U.S. Senate, 63
      Stevenson, Adlai E., candidacy for President, 1952, 114
      third term, decision not to seek, 112
      379th Field Artillery Regiment, as commanding officer of the, 13
      Truman Committee, broadcast concerning intended role of, 59
      Truman Committee, establishment of, 55
      Truman Committee staff, dinner for members of, 63
      unification of the Armed Forces, role in the, 128-130
      universal military training, views regarding, 132-133
      Vaughan, Harry H., association with in France during World War I, 5-6
      Vaughan, Harry H., first meeting with, 2-5
      Vaughan, Harry H., refusal to accept resignation of as Military Aide, 105
      Vice President, inauguration as, 77-78
      Vice-Presidential office, administration of the, 81
      Vinson, P.M., support of as 1952 Democratic Presidential candidate, 112-113
      weather forcasting, interest in, 100-101
      wedding, 21-22
      Wheeler, Burton K., friendship with, 74-75
      White House staff, loyalty to, 88
      White House staff meetings, 88, 91-93
      White House staff members, lunches with, 101-102
      White House staff, relationship with, 100-102
      White House staff reorganization, 150-151
      work, capacity for, 28
      World War I experiences, 2-10
    Truman, Mrs. Harry S. (Bess Wallace Truman), 78, 111
    Truman Committee:
      comparison with Civil War Committee on the Conduct of the War, 63-64
      dinner for given by Harry S. Truman, 63
      establishment of, reasons for, 54
      investigation procedures, 54-59
      Manhattan project, requested not to investigate, 68
      military secrecy, investigation of, 61-62
      overseas inspection trip by members of, Dec., 1944-Jan., 1945, 61
      reunion of members, 76
      staff assignments, 58-59
      staff, employment of, 56-57
    Truman for Senator Clubs (1940), 47
    Tubby, Roger, 90
    Tucker, Raymond, 43
    Tunnell, James M,, 61

    Unification of the Armed Forces, 128-130
    Universal military training, 132-133

    Vaccaro, Ernest B. (Tony), 52-53
    Vandenberg, Arthur H., 75
    Van Sant, T.H. (Tom), 48-49, 142
    Vardaman, James K., (Jake), 25, 41
    Vaughan, Harry H.:

      Army Reserve and National Guard merger proposal, role in, 126-128
      Army Reserve officer training, participation in, 12-23
      Churchill, W.S. 1946 speech at Fulton, Mo., role in preparations for, 136-142
      commanding officer of the 380th Field Artillery Regiment, 13
      as Coordinator of Veterans Affairs, 124-125
      Democratic candidate for President, 1952, suggests F.M. Vinson as, 112
      Democratic National Convention, 1944, absence from, 65
      Eisenhower, D. D., conversation with re Presidential boom for Gen. D. MacArthur, 1948, 120
      Military Aide to the President, offer to resign as, 105
      Military Aide to the Vice President, first to be appointed, 81
      National Guard-Army Reserve merger, article re in The Officer magazine, 127
      President H.S. Truman, as advisor to, 92
      Presidential election, 1948, confidence in HST victory, 107-108
      press attacks on honesty and loyalty of White House staff, opinion of, 107-108
      press, criticism of, by the, 104
      press secretaries, estimate of President Truman's, 90-91
      scrapbooks, 1
      Senate investigation of, 1949, 104-106
      Senate office of H.S. Truman, in charge of, 59-60
      third term as President, first knowledge of HST decision against, 112
      Truman Committee, inspection trips for, 60-61
      Truman Committee, role in formation of, 59
      Truman Committee and the War Department, as a liaison officer between, 60-61
      Truman, Harry S., association in France with during World War T, 5-6
      Truman, Harry S., evaluation of as a President, 156
      Truman, Harry S., first meeting with, 2-5
      Truman, Harry S., meetings with during first term as Senator, 26-27
      Truman, Harry S., and E. D. McKim, object of practical joke by, 16-19
      Truman, Harry S., and 1934 Senate campaign, 25-26
      Truman, Harry S., as secretary to Senator, 53-54
      Truman for Senator campaign committee, 1940, as treasurer of, 29-37
      United States, return to after World War I, 6-7
      and Universal military training proposals, 133-134
      War Department, service as liaison between President Harry S. Truman and, 134-135
      Whipping Boy First Class, as author of, 1
      World War I, experiences in, 2-10
    Verdun, France, 6
    Veterans organizations, 124-125
    Vice President, U.S., 78-81
    Vinson, Fred M., 112, 136

    Walker, John, 80
    Wallace, Henry A,, 69
    Wallgren, Mon C,, 71
    War Department, 60, 128-129, 134
    War surplus material, 61
    Washington Post, 152
    Watson, Maj. Gen. Edwin M., 136
    Wear, Sam M., 42-43
    Westminster College, 137
    Wheeler, Burton K., 27, 74-75
    White House, 151
    White House correspondents, 90-91, 152-153
    White House staff, 106-107, 149
    White House staff lunchroom, 101
    Wilson, Maj, Gen, Arthur, 96, 97
    Woodring, Harry H., 136

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