Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Austin, Warren Robinson, 1877-1962; Bilbo, Theodore Gilmore, 1877-1947; Kilgore, Harley Martin, 1893-1956.; Bachman, Nathan Lynn, 1878-1937; Hatch, Carl Atwood, 1889-1963; Burton, Harold H. (Harold Hitz), 1888-1964; Ferguson, Homer, 1889-1982; Minton, She
Congressional committees; Legislators; Oaths

Typed and Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, ca. 1945. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

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?necessary action on any job that needed to be done. In every contact I had with him, I came to respect Senator Hayden as one of the hardest working and ablest men in the Senate.

Burton Wheeler was chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee when it was holding the railroad finance hearings, and later asked him if it would be permissible for me to sit with him on these hearings. He said that it certainly was, and I eventually was to become a member of one of the sub-committees and finally vice chairman, in which capacity I conducted hearings for the subcommittee when Wheeler was absent. I never would have been able to obtain this experience if it had not been for Wheeler.

Vice President John Garner was always as kind to me as he could be. He was one of the best friend I had in the Senate.

On the day that I had been sworn in as Senator, there had been twelve other freshmen Senators from the Democratic side. The thirteen of us were always close together, and came to be known as the "Young Turks." The group included Lew Schwellenbach of Washington, who was later to become my Secretary of Labor, and Sherman Minton of Indiana, now a Justice of the Supreme Court; an able Senator, and an efficient & intelligent member of the Great Court.

Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi was the only one of the original group

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"By the Governor: "Guy B. Park, Governor.

"(SEAL) "Dwight H. Brown, "Secretary of State."

As soon as this business was completed, I was called from my desk in the last row on the Democratic side to come forward with other newly-elected Senators to be sworn in by the Vice President of the United States. I remember very distinctly taking that oath as an officer of the federal government, as a United States Senator. I had taken the same oath as an officer in the Army and as a county official probably a dozen times. This time was the most impressive until I took the oath as President in 1945. As I walked back to my seat from the desk of the Vice President, I had a prayer in my heart for wisdom to serve acceptably the people, not only in Missouri, but in every part of the United States because I now felt I was a representative of 150,000,000 Americans.

The first meeting of the Senate, which had convened at noon, was over

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the midst of controversy. Vandenberg called on me to speak, and I happened to have the information that was needed to settle the argument completely. Vandenberg said then, "When the Senator from Missouri makes a statement like that, we can take it for the truth." And I never forgot that.

Two of the Senate's most expert story-tellers sat on either side of me. Nate Bachman, the junior Senator from Tennessee, was one of them and Joe Guffey of Pennsylvania was the other. My association with both these men was wonderful. Bachman could get any controversy on the Senate floor settled by just stepping out of the chamber. Pretty soon, some one would say to the trouble-making Senator, "Nate Bachman wants to see you in the Secretary's office." Nate would call in another Senator or two, tell a few stories and harmony would be restored.

It would not be possible for me to single out all the members of the Senate whose acquaintance I cherished, but I met some of the finest men there that I have ever known. The general percentage of "no-goods" was small. In the human make-up of society in general, about six percent are no good; it was only about two per cent in the Senate. I know of only

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When I became chairman of the Special committee many of the Senators on that Committee became my good personal friends-Mon Walgren, Harley Kilgore, Owen Brewster, Ferguson of Michigan, Tom Connally, Harold Burton.

Carl Hatch of New Mexico was one of my closest friends. I valued his judgment and advice very highly. When I became President I appointed Sherman Minton and Harold Burton to the Supreme Court.

(I think I've made a memo on the organization of the Special Committee and the employment of its Council. Hugh Fulton as a result of an interview with Atty. Gen. Jackson.)

Senator Warren Austin of Vermont & I became very close friends. He and I held the hearings and wrote the Civil Aeronautic Act based on a bill introduced by Pat McCarran, Senator from Nevada.

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than I had ever been in Jackson County if I expected to keep up with all that was going on. The desk in my office, which consisted of three rooms on the second floor of the Senate Office Building, was already piled high with documents and with correspondence calling for my attention. That night, I returned to my new residence at Tilden Gardens just south of Connecticut Avenue in northwest Washington with an armload of papers to read and study. I didn't realize then that this was a practice which I was going to keep up for the next eighteen years.

Thus began my ten years in the Senate-years which were to be filled with hard work, but which were to be filled with hard work, but which were also to be the happiest ten years of my life.

We rented a furnished apartment in Tilden Gardens when we first arrived at 3016 Tilden Street. We had several apartments in Tilden Gardens year after year and one in Sedgwick Gardens on Connecticut. We then moved to a new apartment on Cathedral Ave. called the Warwick and from there to 4701 where we stayed until we moved to the White House. We were at 4701 five years, Warrick two and a year each at the other places-3 years at Tilden in different furnished apts. & one at Sedgwick.

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have my facts before I spoke.

There was a lot of fun to be had in the Senate, but there was more work to do than 96 men could ever keep up with. I wasn't a good attendant at social affairs in Washington. I always got to my office at seven o'clock in the morning and got home for dinner at seven p.m. Out of the entire enrollment of the Senate, when I was there, there are 30 or 40 who worked like Trojans; there were 15 or 20 who worked pretty well; and the rest of them did very little.

Ever since my experience as a member of that body, I have wanted to write a monograph on "The Working Senator," and his contributions in the public interest because most of the working Senators never get much attention in the headlines.

A working Senator has a hard grind and he hasn't time to be making personal attacks on other Senators or people outside the Senate. Therefore he is not good news copy as Hearst, Scripps-Howard and here of late the Associated Press like scandals and personal attacks from people in public life whether true or not.


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