Independence, Missouri (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago today, July 2, 1960, former President Harry S Truman, a Democrat, announced that he would not attend the Democratic National Convention to be held in Los Angeles.
In his acceptance speech, JFK said..."I am grateful...that I can rely...on that fighting campaigner whose support I now welcome, President Truman."
In a letter to Dean Acheson dated August 26, 1960, however, Mr. Truman expressed concern about a Kennedy presidency. He wrote...
"You and I are stuck with taking the lesser...of two evils...so I am taking the immature Democrat as the best of what's before us. Nixon is impossible. There we are."
But Mr. Truman expressed "high hopes"* as well. He added...
"When we look at history...we wonder how the hell we arrived at the top notch of things...I am sure that's what the oldsters thought in 1828, 1840 and 1852 and sure enough in 1860. Well we came out on top in all those dates. Let's hope to God we'll do it again. Its going to take (JFK) to do it."
Jack Kennedy won over Harry Truman, not only publicly but privately as well. After JFK was in the White House, Mr. Truman would tell his old friends...
"Don't get discouraged, the boy is learning."
*"High Hopes" was the title of the Kennedy for President campaign song which was sung by Frank Sinatra.
"HARRY TRUMAN, 'BLUE AS INDIGO,' DECLARES 'IMMATURE' JFK THE LESSER OF EVILS OVER 'IMPOSSIBLE' NIXON,' Explore The Collection, www.shapell.org/
PRESIDENT JAMES GARFIELD SHOT DOWN
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 134 years ago today, July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot as he walked through the railway station here in the Nation's Capital.
The shooter, identified as Charles J. Guiteau, was taken into custody at the scene. The President, who had only been in office four months, was hit twice, once in the back and once in the arm.
Doctors attending to Garfield said that the bullet that entered the back had caused a very serious wound. President Garfield died from complications of this wound on September 19, 1881.
Vice President Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as President. The assassin was found guilty and hanged in June 1882.
CONGRESS VOTES FOR INDEPENDENCE
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 239 years ago today, July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress meeting here in Philadelphia adopted the resolution proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia calling for independence from Great Britain.
Representatives of 12 colonies voted for the resolution while New York abstained.
John Adams of Massachusetts, in a letter to his wife Abigail, wrote that July 2 would be a day that would be celebrated "with illuminations". He was right about the fireworks, but missed the date by two days.