A Truman Day to remember.

It was on this day in 1948 that the Chicago Tribune jumped the gun and mistakenly declared New York Governor Thomas Dewey had defeated Truman. Front page headline: Dewey Defeats Truman. 

Truman had won!

The Chicago Tribune wanted to be the first to announce Truman’s defeat. Everyone thought Truman would be defeated. Except Truman, of course. The Tribune published early and before the polls were closed.

H. V. Kaltenborn was similarly greedy and quick to the punch. He was a national radio broadcaster for NBC. Before the polls were closed, he announced Dewey’s victory and Truman’s defeat.

Was Kaltenborn surprised!

Truman let neither forget. For years he showed off the newspaper to audiences and joked about the Tribune. Kaltenborn had a unique twang to his voice. Truman learned how to copy it and would mimic Kaltenborn every chancce he got for years.

I was privileged to enjoy two experiences re Truman’s 1948 election.

In the Fall of 1948, Truman was campaigning from the back of a train. All over the United States. He appeared in Utica at the railroad station on the back of the train. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the station to hear the President speak. Hundreds were there by the time we arrived. We politely but brazenly maneuvered our bicycles so we were in the front row looking up at the President.

In 1960, I was a senior at the Syracuse University College of Law. Truman had been out of office for years. He was at Syracuse University for a series of talks. A luncheon was organized at which Syracuse’s 12 outstanding students would privately meet and dine with Truman. I was picked to represent the Law School. I wasn’t the smartest law student. Only graduated 16th in my class. However, I had recently won a regional moot court competition. First time Syracuse had ever won and I suspect that was the reason I was selected.

It was a big deal. I was seated next to Truman. What a luncheon companion!

Truman in his talk had a copy of the November 3, 1948 issue of the Chicago Tribune with the glaring headline that Dewey had defeated him. He showed it and joked about it. He also mimicked H. V. Kaltenborn. Perfectly. 

Never forget Truman is an integral part of Key West’s history also. He made 11 trips totaling 175 days when he was President visiting Key West. He also returned after he had left the Presidency. Key West loves Truman!

On this day in 1965, Sears opened a store in the “new shopping center” on North Roosevelt Boulevard.

I miss Sears! It was the best we had. Did not think so when I first moved here 30 years ago. Learned when Sears left, something is better than nothing.

New House Speaker Johnson is already playing games. He had the House pass a $14.5 billion aid package for Israel. Much less than Biden and the Senate say is needed. Nothing for Ukraine.

Heard from Steve Thompson. He sent a photo from he and Cindy in the Canary Islands.

I could not recall the name of Kelly McGillis’ first Key West restaurant in my article the other day. Went with its next name First Flight. Since the article, several have noted my error. The name of Kelly’s first restaurant was Kelly’s Caribbean. Sorry.

Syracuse/Boston College football tonight at 7:30 on ESPN.

I have no enthusiasm left to express.

A new scientific discovery! Starfish do have heads. The entire starfish is the head. As the starfish developed over the centuries, its body was “expressed” and only the head remains. All five sections.

The study was led by a group of scientists at Stanford University and the University of Southampton.

I subscribe and believe college campuses are places for free thought. However, there is a limit to everything in this world. Campus theoretical and intellectual exchanges have gotten out of hand.

Cornell is one of the finest higher education institutions in the world, not just the United States.

The anti-Semitic threats are exceeding reasonableness. A 21 year old junior has been arrested and federally charged for a series of online posts which threatened to kill and harm Cornell’s Jewish students.

As a result, Cornell has cancelled today’s classes because of the “extraordinary stress” the campus is experiencing because of the arrest and further because of the unease over the Israel-Hamas war which has been escalating for weeks.

“Now and Then” is the newest final Beatles song. One which modern science has made possible. Two live and two dead Beatles will be heard performing together!

Aging frequently on my mind. Understandable. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks about it also. He describes one facet of aging as an eternal fight between mind and body: “Sometimes I feel like the real me is slowly peeling away from my body like old, dried wallpaper. Sometimes we are like a doddering old couple who once were in love and now are just roommates silently tolerating each other.”

Enjoy your day!


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