Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Bulger, Miles, Jr., 1877-1939; Shannon, Joseph B., 1867-1943; Stayton, Edward M. (Edward Moses), 1874-1954
County government; Political campaigns; Speeches, addresses, etc.

Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, September 23, 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

September 23, 1952

I'll never forget my first appearance on a political platform. It happened in 1922 in the American Legion Hall in Lee's Summit, Jackson County, Missouri. I had filed as candidate for Judge of the County Court for the Eastern District of Jackson County.

Four able and distinguished citizens had also filed--a banker who lived in Blue Springs, who was backed by Joseph B. Shannon the Rabbit Boss, Tom Parent, a road overseer from Oak Grove, who was supported by Miles Bulger Presiding Judge of the County Court. Bulger's administration had not been well received by the taxpayers. Then there was George Shaw and James Compton, the one a road contractor, the other a real estate man who had been appointed by the Governor to fill out an unexpired term in county office.

These four able and distinguished gentlemen were well known in the county and all were well thought of as good and patriotic citizens.

I had been raised in Independence and had gone through grade and high school there. Then moved to the family farm in Washington-township a mile north of Grandview.

I had been in the National Guard, commanded a battery of light artillery overseas in the World War, been in business on 12th St. in Kansas City and failed.

So it was a busted merchant, an ex soldier and farmer who had no political experience against four good men.

That first meeting was a flop for me. I was scared worse than I was when I first came under fire in 1918.

The Hall was full. Various candidates were introduced by Col. Stayton, who presided. Then came my turn. I had stage fright so badly that all I could say was, "I hope you'll vote and work for me in the primary," in a trembling voice and then I sat down.

1   2   3   4