Bess Truman’s First Press Conference

Presidential History Blog

Formal Bess Truman Bess Wallace Truman, the most private and reluctant First Lady of the 20th Century.

Few First Ladies were more reluctant to be in the public eye than Bess Truman.

Mrs. Truman becomes FLOTUS

Late in the afternoon of April 12, 1945, Bess Truman (1885-1982) received a phone call from her husband. There was a strange edge to his voice when he told her to get their 20-year-old daughter Margaret, call a taxi, and come at once to the White House – the back entrance. “And wear something dark,” he added. Bess Truman knew.

HSTinauguration HST’s first inauguration was a sad and solemn event.

Within the hour the two women arrived and it was confirmed. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia earlier that afternoon. Harry S Truman, Vice President for only three months, was now President of the United States.

Quickly and quietly, the…

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