A Controversial Appointment
We have had a great Attorney General for four years, and we will
have a great justice from now on.
Harry S. Truman, 1949
THE REELECTION JUBILATION WAS STILL STRONG on January 30, 1949, when Harry Truman delivered his inaugural address and called upon the nation to unite: “The tasks we face are difficult. We can accomplish them only if we work together. Each period of our national history has had its special challenges. Those that confront us now are as momentous as any in the past.” The speech described what became known as the Point Four Program—a strategy for building world peace through four initiatives. The president’s program pledged “unfaltering support to the United Nations and related agencies”; the continuation of “programs for world economic recovery”; the protection of “freedomloving nations against the dangers of aggression”; and “a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.” The president was optimistic and idealistic: “On the basis of these four major courses of action we hope to help create the conditions that will lead eventually to personal freedom and happiness for all mankind.” Tom Clark continued a strenuous speaking schedule to support and reinforce the president’s agenda.
In February 1949, my father, speaking at a celebration of George Washington’s birthday, cited the country’s commitment to the international community: “All patriotic citizens realize that there is room for improvement in all things that are human. But our country is not standing still. It is on the march forward and continues marching in the direction of peace, liberty and brotherhood under the leadership of that great American, Harry