Harry S Truman Fiftieth Election Anniversary 1948-1998
Introduction Nomination Campaign Election Inauguration Links


Governor Phil M. Donnelly Nominates President Truman — Democratic National Convention Philadelphia, July 14, 1948

Convention Announcer: It is a pleasure and a privilege to present the governor of the great state of Missouri, Phil M. Donnelly.

Governor Donnelly: Mr. Chairman, delegates to this convention, ladies and gentlemen. Missouri wishes to thank the delegation from the state of Arizona for yielding at this time. We meet in this convention, not only as Democrats, but as Americans, to promote the welfare of our country and the happiness of our people. We meet at a time when our nation under Democratic leadership is enjoying the greatest prosperity in its history. We meet at a time when our country under that same leadership has assumed a world leadership never enjoyed before. We meet after fifteen years of achievement and accomplishment unparalleled in this or any other country. In this convention hall a few weeks ago, speakers of another political party ridiculed the achievements of those years. They spoke in bitter criticism of the accomplishments of Democratic national administrations. However, the people know that more progress was made during those fifteen years than in any other period since the founding of this democracy.

The people understand that the great measures of recovery and advancements made during those stupendous days, social security and its vast humanitarian program, the federal farm program, soil conservation, rural electrification, the bank deposit guaranty law, and other laws and programs too numerous to mention at this time, all of immense benefit to the people of America, are a part of our social and economic structure and are here to stay. The Republican leaders can contemptuously refer to the New Deal and call it any iniquitous name they wish, but I challenge the Republican Congress to repeal a single one of those great humanitarian and progressive laws.

During the past three years, Democratic national administrations have continued to function in the interest of the people, in spite of the opposition of a Republican Congress. The President has carried on the duties of the Presidency with honor, courage, and patience. As the stream of history rolls on, the principles of freedom and justice of the greatest nation on earth are accepted throughout the world as the beacon light for the future. Those principles must and will be preserved. Our president came to the high office he holds at a time when a great conflict threatened the very foundations of those principles and of our freedom. In the crucial closing months of that world conflagration, he stood steadfast with the nation as our gallant armed forces beat down that threat.

He courageously made decisions of the greatest historical importance in those months. The man we nominate for the presidency must understand the problems of defending America from both the military and civilian viewpoints. It is necessary for him to understand that it is an imperative that America be kept strong in the world today and for him to sincerely believe that our vigilance in defense must never cease. In these requirements, the record of the President of the United States stands out clear and unquestioned. His conviction that a prepared America is a safe America has been gained not only by the knowledge acquired as President, but also through his own war experience. The President had a distinguished combat record in World War I. We recall today his service as a young man in the National Guard, his patriotic enlistment when war clouds gathered in nineteen hundred seventeen [1917], and his service to his state and nation in the conflict that followed. He is the first President of the United States who is a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The policies he has advocated since the close of World War II are our strongest guarantee of peace. He sponsored the Marshall Plan, hailed throughout the world as the most effective course which could be taken to stop the spread of Communism…

…and to aid in the revival and restoration of the economies of the free nations of the world. The foreign program of the President and the Democratic national administration has the overwhelming support of the American people and of every freedom-loving nation on earth. Furthermore, he understands the importance of scientific research in the atomic age. He is fully cognizant of the needs of America in both the military and peacetime phases of atomic research and progress. His handling of the great international problem of control of the atom meets with the unqualified approval of the people of our country. They agree with him that this progress must be continued. They concur in the position that the secrets of the atom will be shared with other nations only under safe and fair conditions proposed by the American delegates to the United Nations. The United Nations was established for the purpose of maintaining world peace and the solving of international difficulties and disputes. He has supported and will continue to support that great organization. However, he understands that until every nation in the world is willing to abide by the decisions of the majority, it is idle to expect the United Nations to accomplish its great purpose. It is not the fault of this country that the United Nations has not been more successful to date. Nevertheless, it is the hope of our President and our people that slowly but surely that great organization will achieve success in the adjustment of international controversies. The president has had unusual opportunity to observe the operations of government on the legislative and administrative levels.

He was a distinguished member of the United States Senate. During the war, as a United States senator, he performed a service which this nation will never forget. He initiated a request for the appointment of a senate committee to investigate the handling of war contracts and the spending of millions of dollars appropriated for the war effort. This committee was appointed with the Senator as chairman, and the people of the United States remember the Truman Committee and its exceptional record. As chairman of that committee, he visited more plants throughout the land and conducted many important hearings and investigations. It is readily admitted by all, regardless of partisanship or politics, that the Truman Committee saved millions of dollars for the taxpayers and acted as a break against wartime chiseling, graft, and inefficiency. If he had performed no other service for his country than his work as the active head of the Truman Committee, he would have earned the undying gratitude of the nation. Later, as Vice-President of the United States, following his election to that high office in 1944, he presided over the United States Senate with honor and distinction. He knows legislative procedure through active participation. It is no fault of his that a Republican Congress has not seen fit to make use of that experience for the benefit of the nation. As President, he sponsored measures and plans for domestic recovery that call for increased production and prosperity. He urged policies to stimulate business activity. He appealed to a Republican Congress for effective measures to halt inflation, warning of this grave menace.

Time and the continuing rise in prices bear out the truth in his words. He sought to restore our foreign trade in the markets of the world. He labored for economic reconstruction at home and abroad. He urged that business, labor, agriculture, and government work together to make possible the full benefits of our economic system. He is working constantly for world freedom and world peace. The people will not turn from that kind of Democratic leadership. Leadership in the interest of farmers, businessmen, workers, professional people, the ordinary citizens of our country. The President is a man of the people. He understands the problems and speaks the language of the average man and woman. He is a native Missourian, born and reared in the free atmosphere of that great state which combines the vigor of the north, the hospitality of the south, the culture of the east, and the fearless spirit of the west. He comes from a state in the heart of the nation, with characteristics of all sections of our great country. Missouri is truly representative of America, as rich in material and human resources as it is in the history of the nation. A state that is strong agriculturally and industrially and whose educational institutions are known over all the world. Under the influence of that environment, born of sturdy, pioneer stock, our President learned and practiced the ideals of a life of self-sacrifice, simplicity, and courage.

His love for a great mother, and his love of family, are as much as a part of his Missouri background as is his sense of justice and fair play. Our party, and the nation, needs such leadership. [Cheering] Ladies and gentlemen, in that spirit, and with the best interest of all the people of our great nation at heart, I present to this convention, for the office of President of the United States, the name of a soldier, patriot, and statesman, and, who is, whose splendid courage has never faltered in war or in peace, and who is today leading this nation to a new and a greater destiny. The President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

[Sound of the Missouri Waltz (up tempo) being played in background amidst cheering]

Radio Announcer: At exactly the same time that Harry Truman is nominated here in Convention Hall, his train arrives in Philadelphia with his family and his party. Mutual covering all aspects of this convention, takes you now to the presidential train.



Created 1998 - Revised 2002: Acknowledgments
Missouri State ArchivesOffice of the Secretary of State, Missouri