TRUMAN, Harry S. (1884-1972), President. Printed document inscribed and signed ("Harry Truman") as President, the mimeograph press release of his announcement of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his own accession to the Presidency. The White House, Washington, D.C., 13 April 1945. 1 page, legal folio, 318 x 203 mm. Fine.
"A SAD OCCASION": TRUMAN ANNOUNCES FDR'S DEATH TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Truman has penned at the bottom of the page: "It was a very sad occasion 12/5/55." Truman's press release, composed only hours after the sudden death of FDR, is a heartfelt tribute, reading in part: "It has pleased God in his infinite wisdom to take from us the immortal spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President. The leader of his people in a great war, he lived to see the assurance of victory but not share in it. He lived to see the first foundation of the free and peaceful world to which his life was dedicated, but not to enter that world himself. Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President do appoint Saturday, April 14 as a day of mourning and prayer. I earnestly recommend the people to assemble and to pay out of full hearts their homage of love and reverence to the great and good man whose death they mourn." Vice-President Truman was enjoying a bourbon and water with Speaker Sam Rayburn at the Capitol late on 12 April when a telephone call summoned him to the White House, where Eleanor Roosevelt met him and said, simply, "Harry, the President is dead."