November 21, 1960

Harry Truman: “The Campaign is Ended and We Have a Catholic for President”

Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages
SMC 369
“The campaign is ended and we have a Catholic for President,” Truman writes here.
It makes no difference, in my opinion, what church a man belongs to, if he believes in the oath he takes to support and defend the Constitution of the United States… If our new President works at the job, he'll have no trouble. You know, I wish I'd been young enough to go back to the White House and make Alibi Ike wear a top hat!
Truman’s support of Kennedy had not come naturally. The “boy” was too young, too inexperienced, even too Catholic – but most of all, he was Joe Kennedy’s son, and Truman loathed the isolationist, pro-McCarthy ex-Ambassador to Great Britain. “It’s not the Pope I’m afraid of,” he once famously cracked, “it’s the pop.” But Jack Kennedy kept calling and courting, and ultimately Truman, at the age of 76, campaigned for him in nine states.
The day after Kennedy’s inauguration in January 1961, Truman was welcomed back into the Oval Office for the first time in eight years.
Autograph Letter Signed (“Harry”), 2 pages, quarto, on his personal letterhead, Independence, Missouri, November 21, 1960. With autograph envelope. To Dean Acheson.
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