The 1948 Presidential Election
Harry Truman will be nominated as the Democratic Party’s presi-
dential candidate… and will be elected in the November election.
Tom Clark, 1948
THE YEAR 1948 WAS ONE TO REMEMBER! The state of Israel was formed; the armed forces were integrated; India achieved independence; Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated; the Berlin airlift began; the Kinsey Report on male sexuality was published; and one of the most surprising elections in the country’s history was held.
The presidential election would have a great impact on my family. My father was certain that Harry Truman would be victorious, but Mother and I, like most people, were skeptical. My father was a hopeless optimist, we thought, or was putting on a brave front. As a fifteen-year-old adolescent, I was not seriously affected by most of the controversies that swirled around the nation and my father, but the presidential election was another matter. Harry Truman’s defeat could mean returning to Texas and therefore leaving close friends and a school I loved. Mother hoped for a Democratic victory, but would also have been happy to return to Texas. She had welcomed the move to Washington, D.C., as an opportunity for my father, but admitted years later that had she known we would never return to Dallas, she would have “cried her eyes out.” But she always said she could be happy anywhere as long as the four of us were together, and I know that she loved her life in Washington. She described her feelings in notes written to me: “I had never been ambitious, but I must say I enjoyed, for a time, all of the attention we—or I was getting. No one had ever noticed me much but I suddenly became that cute little Mrs. Clark.—[I] got orchids, flowers and we were deluged with invitations. Fortunately we