Truman, Harry S.

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Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton, one of the leaders of the Regionalist movement in American art, was a prolific painter, muralist, draughtsman, and sculptor from childhood until the end of his life in 1975. Today he is best known for his realist depictions of American life, which, in his own time, were perceived as directly opposed to modernist movements cultivated in Europe. His paintings, largely vignettes of daily life and ordinary rural characters, were simultaneously praised for their frankness and criticized for their gritty representations of American culture and history.

Harry S. Truman

Truman entered the thick of local politics when he served a Jackson County judgeship in the 1920s. He was elected U.S. Senator with a landslide vote and was sworn into office on January 3, 1935. Truman had established his record by improving county roads and overseeing the construction of the new Jackson County courthouse. His successful campaign undoubtedly benefited from the support of local political boss, Tom Pendergast. Although he was criticized for his association with Pendergast, Truman stated that Tom Pendergast never asked him to do a single dishonest act, and he never abandoned his friend.

Harry Truman and the Pendergast Political Machine

Truman’s tenure in Jackson County government had a profound impact on Kansas City and Jackson County. He encouraged Jackson Countians to support bond issues during the Great Depression, which left a lasting legacy on the built environment of Kansas City and Jackson County. Even though he was a member of the machine, he developed a bipartisan strategy that ensured Kansas Citians and Jackson Countians would embrace these bond issues, because he wanted to demonstrate to voters that these projects would not just benefit the machine, but everyone.

U.S. vs. Thomas J. Pendergast: From Lewis J. Grout to Merrill E. Otis

Letter from Chief U.S. Probation Officer Lewis J. Grout to Judge Merrill E. Otis concerning Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this letter, Grout affirms that despite newspaper reports, T. J. Pendergast has not participated in political activities since his release from prison. These actions would be a violation of Pendergast's parole. During this time, Pendergast was accused of directing Harry Truman's political campaign.


Southeastern Missouri newspaper clipping reporting on Governor Lloyd C. Stark's campaign announcement for U.S. Senator of Missouri. The author favors Senator Harry S. Truman for reelection as he is believed to have a better chance of beating a Republican nominee over his Democratic rivals Stark and Maurice M. Milligan. The author then paints a favorable portrait of Truman and tells the reader to not fear his association with Pendergast, saying, "Don't be foolish enough to vote against him [Truman] just because Tom Pendergast was for him.

Truman's First Nomination for Senator was Stolen

Pamphlet written by Ewing Young Mitchell, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce in Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's first term. He asserts "[t]he first nomination for United States Senator of Harry S. Truman was stolen," and proceeds to argue that point. The Pendergast machine is described as "the most corrupt, the most brazen, gang of thieves who ever looted an American city," and describes the Pendergasts' businesses' activities and obstructions around the city.

Truman with Tom Pendergast and others

Senator Harry S. Truman, Thomas J. Pendergast, James P. Aylward, James Farley, N. G. Robertson, and David Fitzgerald at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Truman in World War I Armistice parade

Harry S. Truman and the 129th Field Artillery in front of the Muehlebach Hotel during the November 1921 Armistice parade in Kansas City, MO. Truman is in uniform, on the far side of the street, behind the man in the suit. This photograph was taken looking southeast on 12th Street just west of Baltimore Avenue.

Truman for U.S. Senator 1940 Club Cards

The Truman for U.S. Senator 1940 Club member cards of C. A. Schutty and Alvin Roberts. Active members are those that have "pledged active support in the coming campaign." Included on the card is a small, monochromatic drawing of Harry S. Truman.

Truman Farmhouse

Photograph with full frontal and side view of the Truman Farmhouse, located in Grandview, Missouri.

Truman conversing with James Pendergast

President Harry S. Truman (right) with James Pendergast, evidently taken in Independence, Missouri, upon Truman's arrival from Washington, D.C. This photo has been badly retouched and contains crop marks. Donor: John Boos.

Truman at Tom Pendergast Funeral

Photograph of Harry S. Truman speaking to James Pendergast following Tom Pendergast's funeral.