TRUMAN, HARRY S - Early Truman Letter as President Thanking his Postmaster General for a United Nations Stamp
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TRUMAN, HARRY S - Early Truman Letter as President Thanking his Postmaster General for a United Nations Stamp

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TRUMAN, HARRY S. (1884-1972). Thirty-third president of the United States.TLS. (“Harry”). 1p. 4to. Washington, May 2, 1945. On White House stationery. To former Democratic National Committee chair and Postmaster General FRANK C. WALKER (1886-1959).


Thanks a lot for the first cover of the United Nations stamp. I surely appreciated your thoughtfulness in sending it to me. Sincerely yours…”


With President Franklin Roosevelt’s sudden death on April 12, 1945, and after serving less than 100 days as vice president, Harry S Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. Truman guided the country through the end of World War II and into the nuclear age by his decision to use the atomic weapon (about which he had no knowledge prior to entering the Oval Office) twice against Japan in August 1945, leading to that country’s unconditional surrender. Under Truman, the U.S. maintained its position at the forefront of international affairs, leading in the establishment of the state of Israel, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and adopting the Truman Doctrine, by which the United States agreed to assist free nations resist the threat of communist aggression.


On January 1, 1942, the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and China signed the Declaration by United Nations, which became the basis for the United Nations, officially chartered at the San Francisco Conference, held between April 25 and June 26, 1945. The postage stamp discussed in our letter commemorates that historic event and was issued on the opening day of the conference. Roosevelt, an avid philatelist, had weighed in on the design of the commemorative stamp prior to his death and suggested that 5-cent stampbe simple, suitable for international mail and contain the phrase “Toward United Nations.” In fact, the last official actions taken by FDR prior to his death were the selected the final stamp design and instructing that the first issue of the UN stamps be presented to all the delegates by the secretary of state.


Walker was an attorney, an early supporter of FDR and, like Truman, a World War I veteran. A close advisor of the president, he served as treasurer for the Democratic National Committee, executive secretary of the New Deal’s National Emergency Council, and succeeded James Farley as postmaster general, a position he held from 1940-1945. He retired from the post a mere six days after the date of our letter, allowing President Truman to appoint his own postmaster. Later that year Truman appointed Walker to the first American delegation to the United Nations.


Folded once with staple holes in the upper left corner. In excellent condition. With the original envelope and a sheet (50) of the referred to stamps included. Letters from this initial period in Truman’s presidency are uncommon.




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