Harry S. Truman: Report to the American People on Korea

(1951)

President Harry Truman was known for his plain-spoken and straightforward speaking style. From his early days in office, he developed a reputation as an honest and extremely hardworking politician, and his public comments reflected these traits. Humorous and warm in person and in small groups, Truman could appear stiff when giving formal addresses. He generally disliked public speaking and had the distinct disadvantage of following Roosevelt, one of the best public speakers who ever sat in the Oval Office. But Truman was an enthusiastic campaigner, capable of passionate delivery, especially when speaking extemporaneously. He relied on a team of speechwriters led by Clark Clifford and including George Elsey, Charles S. Murphy, and Ken Hechler—all of whom served him well. In his 1951 televised address Report to the American People on Korea, Truman defended the U.S. military presence in Korea, saying that the action was being taken to meet the growing Communist threat of...

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Harry S. Truman (Library of Congress)

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