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Harry S Truman Fiftieth Election Anniversary 1948-1998
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Election Day

Thomas F. Eagleton
photo of Thomas F. Eagleton


image of Eagleton's letter

I have a vivid recollection of same. I was in the U.S. Navy, stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I was 18 years old and was "standing" the midnight to 4:00 a.m. watch on election night 1948. Using a battery type radio, I listened, and listened, and listened to the election returns.

When it got to 3:30 a.m., I was supposed to wake up my replacement. The election night commentary was so exciting that I decided not to wake up my replacement. I would "stand" the 4:00-8:00 a.m. watch and continue to listen to the radio.

The guy woke up about 6:30 a.m., looked at the clock, and thought he was going to be court-martialed for missing his watch. He was in a state of panic.

Election night 1948 is fixed in my mind --- more so than any other political event of my lifetime.


Thomas F. Eagleton