expectations were for women in the Truman era. Still there was a carry-over
from the days of the independent Mrs. Roosevelt, who had made the position
of First Lady part of the news-making apparatus of the nation. Unlike the First
Ladies before Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Truman was not permitted to ignore the
press completely. Her press briefings, even though Helm was used as a buffer
between her and the reporters, showed that the role of the First Lady was
becoming an increasingly institutionalized part of the American political communications system.
Alice C. Desmond, Martha Washington: Our First Lady ( New York, 1951), p.
223. See also Mary W. Ashworth, "Martha D. Washington," Notable American Women 3: 549-50, and "The World of Nancy Reagan," Newsweek, Dec. 21, 1981, pp. 22-27.
Oral history interview with Frances Perkins, Columbia University Oral History
Project, as quoted in
Gerry Van der Heuvel, "Remembering Bess," Washington Post, October 19, 1982, p. D1.
Allan J. Mayer, "American's First Ladies," Newsweek, November 5, 1979, p. 49.
Van der Heuvel, "Remembering Bess," p. D1.
Eleanor Roosevelt, manuscript of article for "Newspaperman," Eleanor Roosevelt
papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y., Box 3051. See also Joseph P. Lash
, Eleanor and Franklin ( New York, 1973), p. 480.
Perkins oral history interview, as quoted by
Van der Heuvel, "Remembering Bess,"
Eleanor Roosevelt to Lorena Hickok, May 7, 1936, Box 2, Lorena Hickok papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. See also
Eleanor Roosevelt, "My Day," (for) September
23, 1936, Box 3170, Eleanor Roosevelt papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.
Harry S. Truman to Mary Jane Truman, Jan. 16, 1946, as quoted in
, Harry S. Truman ( New York, 1973), p. 304.
Barbara Kellerman, All the President's Kin ( New York, 1981) p. 7.
Bess Furman, "Bess Truman, Silent Partner," unpublished manuscript, Box 54,
Bess Furman papers, Library of Congress, p. 2.
As quoted by Ethel Noland in
Jhan Robbins, Bess & Harry: An American Love
Story ( New York, 1980), p. 38.
As quoted by Hugh Fulton, chief advisor during Truman's Vice-Presidential campaign, in
Robbins, Bess & Harry, p. 70.
Furman, "Bess Truman, Silent Partner," p. 1.
Bert Cochran, Harry Truman and the Crisis Presidency ( New York, 1973), p. 226. See also Albin Krebs, "Bess Truman Is Dead at 97; Was President's 'Full Partner,'" New York Times, October 22, 1982, p. B8.
Cochran, Harry Truman and the Crisis Presidency, pp. 225-26.
Robbins, Bess & Harry, p. 68.
As quoted in
Van der Heuvel, "Remembering Bess," p. D11.