1 page, 4to, White House stationery." />
2 November 2006
TRUMAN, Harry S. Typed letter signed ("Harry S. Truman"), as President, to Frank Glenn, Washington, D. C., 2 December 1952. 1 page, 4to, White House stationery.
HAVING A LAUGH AT IKE'S EXPENSE. In his final weeks in office before turning over the reigns of power to Dwight Eisenhower, Truman enjoys a laugh at his successor's expense, telling Glenn "I was highly pleased with the story about the election of Eisenhower to be President of Columbia University. I'd never heard of it before but I imagine it has foundation in fact all right." Glenn had passed along a story that the Columbia trustees wanted Milton Eisenhower for the post, as he was an experienced educator who served as president of Kansas State University, and later Penn State and Johns Hopkins. IBM chief Thomas Watson joined the meeting in midstream and heard the name "Eisenhower" being bandied about. He volunteered as how he knew him well and would personally convey the offer. "Watson," Glenn told Truman, "flew to Paris and contacted Mr. Eisenhower, and much to the chagrin of the trustees, they found they had as the new President Ike Eisenhower instead of Milton Eisenhower..." But Ike heard that story too, and even liked to repeat it. By December 1952, after a bruising campaign and unsatisfactory discussions after the election, Truman's view of Eisenhower soured to the point of bitterness. He felt his successor was ill-equipped for the Presidency and would be overwhelmed by the job. Eisenhower's opinion of Truman was equally low. One thing was for sure, there were no doubts about which Eisenhower the electorate wanted in 1952.
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