TYPE: Documents (Loose)
DIMENSIONS: 8” x 10-1/2”
COMPONENTS: one page
priceInfo: originally lumped together with items from #608. Price not changed.
ITEM ID: 2248

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Harry Truman Letter on Anti-Lynching Bill

Year: 1938
Decade: 1930s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Typed Letter Signed “Harry” as U.S. Senator, written in Washington, D.C. on January 25, 1938. To his friend John W. Snyder, Manager, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, St. Louis. Harry Truman (1884 – 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States who led the country in the closing days of World War II and through the re-building of Europe under the Marshall Plan and the Korean War. In full, “I am also looking forward to the visit on February First, but this legislative tangle has me worried to some extent. I cannot under any circumstances leave here if there is a possibility of a vote on the Anti-Lynching Bill because every negro organization in the State has an agreement with me to vote for it and I will almost have to deliver under the circumstances. I am sincerely hoping that we get it out of the way before the weekend. I will call you Saturday and let you know just what the situation is.” According to the January 26, 1938 edition of “The Atlanta Constitution,” on the night of January 25, 1938, the day Truman wrote this letter, “Supporters of the anti-lynching bill resorted to the senate’s debate-end cloture rule in a final effort to break the stubborn southern filibuster against that measure. Sixteen names,  he required number, were affixed to a petition for cloture and its actual filing awaited only such time as Senator Neely, Democrat, West Virginia, could obtain the floor … Leading supporters were quick to see that unless a vote could be forced by cloture, the bill would probably be shelved within a few days.” The 16 Senators signing the petition included “Truman, Democrat, Missouri.” Democratic Sen. Russell commented, “The entire time of this congress has been devoted to the anti-lynching bill and important legislation has been forgotten. The President’s program has been laid aside.”