Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971; Rowley, James J. (James Joseph), 1908-1992; Nicholson, Henry J.; Kaltenborn, H. v. (Hans), 1878-1965
Presidential campaign, 1948

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, ca. November 1948. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

I had had a strenuous summer and fall and was tired. So at 4:30 P.M. on election day Jim Rowley and Henry Nicholson, first and second in command of the White House detail of the Secret Service drove me over to the Elms Hotel at Excelsior Springs. I took a Turkish bath and went upstairs at 6:30, had a ham sandwich and a glass of milk and listened to some eastern returns and went to bed. I was some thousands ahead.

I awoke at midnight and again listened to the radio broadcast of Mr. Kaltenborn and I was about 1,200,000 ahead on the count but according to the broadcaster still undoubtedly beaten.

About four o'clock Mr. Rowley came into my room and advised me to listen again to Mr. Kaltenborn's broadcast. At that time I was over 2,000,000 ahead but the broadcaster couldn't see how I could be elected.

I told Jim and Nick we had better go back to the Muelhbach Hotel in Kansas City because it looked very much as if we were in trouble for another four years.

We arrived at the hotel in KC about six o'clock A.M. Wednesday morning and at 10:30 we received a telegram from Gov. Dewey congratulating me on the election. I was very glad I'd had a good night's sleep.

We had not been accompanied to Excelsior Springs by any reporters or news men. They were all preparing to celebrate with Dewey.


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