Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  139. Letter Accepting Resignation of Henry L. Stimson as Secretary of War  
September 20, 1945

[ Released September 20, 1945. Dated September 19, 1945 ]

Dear Mr. Secretary:

The time has come when a grateful Nation must recognize your right to enter into the retirement which you have earned through forty years of outstanding public service. I therefore accept, effective as of the close of business on Friday, September twenty-first, your resignation as Secretary of War. By a happy coincidence you will lay down the burden of office on your seventy-eighth birthday.

I trust that the day may be as happy to you personally as it will be memorable in the national history. My warmest greetings to a hale veteran young in all save years. You richly merit the leisure which is now yours to enjoy.

It is difficult to estimate the value of the long public service in which you have attained high eminence in such diverse fields of activity. You have held three Cabinet posts under four Presidents. To the discharge of the duties of each of these posts you have brought wisdom, vision and true statesmanship. No one saw more clearly than you how the shape of things to come was foreshadowed in the Japanese aggression in Manchuria. Historians will speculate whether the holocaust which spread over the whole world within a decade could not have been prevented had your advice as Secretary of State been followed.

The Nation and the world are familiar with the inadequacy of our Army when you went back to the Department of War, a little more than five years ago. Under your administration it reached the greatest strength in our history and became the best trained and best equipped army in the world.

These are but two phases of your public service. As I tender to you the thanks of the Nation, I cherish the hope that we may continue to rely on the counsel which you can give out of so rich an experience.
Very sincerely yours,

HARRY S. TRUMAN


[Honorable Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War]

NOTE: Secretary Stimson served from July 10, 1940, through September 21, 1945.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.