Harry S. Truman: The Man from Independence

By William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview

23
Reminiscences

Margaret Truman Daniel

Thank you, Professor Levantrosser. You must have read my bio. Dr. Shuart, The Honorable Clark Clifford--my boss in the coming year--Ladies and Gentlemen. Hofstra is out front again. On May 8 I shall be in Independence participating in the observance of my father's ninety-ninth birthday. It might be of some interest to an academic community that one of my principal functions will be handing out scholarships from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation to students from the fifty states and United States territories, students who are interested in careers in public service. My father, who like Abraham Lincoln largely educated himself, felt that there was nothing more important in life than a proper education. And he felt that there was no greater obligation than the duty to serve one's country. When these two beliefs were combined, it was natural and normal that the principal memorial to him should be public service scholarships for the young people who would become the future managers of our destiny as a nation. Nothing gives me more pleasure than presenting these scholarships, both because they honor my father and because they obviously give so much hope, aid, and pleasure to the recipients. Now and then I even get a little bonus from this effort. Two years ago the winner from American Samoa presented me with a magnificent necklace of seashells that was so heavy I am unable to wear it. I received the same thing last year from a lady who had won the scholarship, and I am unable to wear that. Now that Ben Zobrist [Dr. Benedict K. Zobrist, Director of the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri] is here tonight, I think I will present them to the Library, Ben.

Next year at this time, as you all know, we will be celebrating my father's hundredth birthday. Hofstra, as I have said, is out ahead of the procession. It has blazed the trail for the celebration with the conference held here. Those of us who are members of the Harry S. Truman Centennial Commission hope that

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