Dear Daddy,

(I originally wrote in April, 1945) I was standing on the step of the fluoroscopy machine studying the bones in my feet. We were in the shoe store on Kedzie Avenue and heard people shouting outside in the street. “The President has died; President Roosevelt is dead.” People were crying and screaming: “We feel like we lost a family member.”

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President Roosevelt came into our living room every week with his comforting Fireside Chats. It was reassuring to hear his voice about the progress of the war, telling us that everything was going to be OK.


Now President Truman, our 33rd President, is in charge of this country and World War II. He has to end wars on two fronts, and it appears he is qualified. He served in combat in France during World War I and was captain of his National Guard artillery unit. He rose from Private to Colonel in the Army Reserves. He offered to return to active duty when WWII broke out, but was needed in the Senate. Senator Truman headed the Truman Commission that investigated defense contract fraud and saved our government millions of dollars.

President Truman came from modest beginnings, was a farmer and a haberdasher before entering politics and people say he is definitely “a man of the people.” He was born in Missouri, the heartland of our country, has solid mid-Western values and defines himself as a moderate democrat. He doesn’t have a college degree but attended the University of Kansas City Law School. He loves reading and playing the piano and was proud of the fact that he read every book in the Independence, Missouri public library. He was elected Judge and served as a US Senator from 1934 until FDR picked him for his VP running mate in 1944. Truman was Vice President for only 82 days before President Roosevelt died.

President Truman wasn’t required to serve in World War I because farmers were exempt, but he chose then to serve his country. Now he has the biggest job possible in the US. Many people are glad we have a new Commander in Chief with military experience. Our whole school is praying for his success and we are sending good wishes to President Truman and his family. I know so much about him because we are writing reports at school about our new President and sending letters to him showing our support as citizens and future voters.

President Truman married his childhood sweetheart, Bess, and they have a daughter, Margaret. Harry met Bess in Sunday school when he was six and she was five and fell in love with her then. The story is that he never dated or was interested in another woman. President Truman has the reputation of being a family man and was raised in the Baptist church. I hope he follows the Ten Commandments.

I learned a new word. I wondered about the Commandment not to commit adultery and was brushed off when I asked questions. Once I found out, I decided that when I get married, I’ll make sure my husband knows the Ten Commandments and vows to obey them. Bess Truman has been the only woman for President Truman and that’s enough for me to like and respect him.

We are optimistic on the home front with an energetic new President of the US and word that Germany is “teetering on the brink of defeat” and in ruins. You may see that for yourself because we hear that Prisoners of War are marching west and will soon meet up with the American Army. US troops reached the Buchenwald concentration camp and found that prisoners had liberated themselves from a forced evacuation. The Americans quickly sent medical units and food supplies for the surviving inmates who are now displaced persons.

It won’t be long before the American Army finds you, feeds you, cares for your wounds and sends you home. We will begin a new life with a new President of the United States of America. We are all hoping and praying it happens soon.

Love,
Maxine
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