Harry Truman Returns to Jackson County Missouri as President RLDS Auditorium

Harry Truman addresses his friends, neighbors, and nation at the Reorganized Latter Day Saints (RLDS) Auditorium, Independence, Missouri.

On June 27, 1945, Harry S. Truman addressed his friends, neighbors, and nation at the RLDS Auditorium in Independence, Missouri. Just like the parade, the coverage of the address included members from the black and white press and the Kansas City Call noted: "A large number of Negroes were in the audience at the RLDS auditorium."

The doors of the RLDS Auditorium opened at 7:00 p.m. and a band concert that preceded the President's remarks started at 8:00 p.m. The president's entourage arrived at the auditorium from his visit with his Battery D reception held at the home of Independence Mayor Roger Sermon after 8:00 p.m. and the Presidential address began at 8:30 p.m.

The Independence Examiner noted in an article titled "At Last, Truman Fills Auditorium": "In the environs of the Auditorium over a distance of a half mile in every direction, every available parking space was occupied, and vacant lots were also filled with parked cars. There never before had so many parked motor cars in Independence for any occasion....

Mayor Sermon introduced the president:

"It is not necessary for me to tell you that we are glad to have you back. this great crowd of neighbors and friends is abundant evidence of that."

"It has been said that prophet is not without honor save in his own land. This is not, and never has been true of you. We always appreciated the splendid service you rendered this county for the ten years you headed our County Court. No public servant ever gave a community more devoted and intelligent service and we all were immensely proud of your service as a United States Senator. Certainly no Senator has rendered more distinguished service to his country."

"Those of us who have known you best know that few men ever went to the high office you hold with a more profound knowledge of politics and government, and this, with your high character, good common sense, courage and physical stamina will assure a sound and successful administration.

We hope the time never comes when you are tired and discouraged and everything seems to go wrong, but if it does, just come back to us. We will understand and a hearty hand shake and a pat on the back will be ready."

"You come back to us today easily the most popular President in our history and we know you will continue to enjoy the confidence and respect of the people of our country. This is because you so completely represent the best there is in Americans. We have heard that your radio speeches are couched in the language of ninety million of our people. We are sure this is true because you have lived the life, thought the thoughts of that great mass of common, middle class Americans. After all, that is what we want and need in a President--common sense, dignity and business efficiency--and these you have always had, and they will make you a great President. As time goes on, American people are going to develop a very great admiration for the family life as it exists in the White House. they like the quiet, dignified, gracious First Lady who presides over her home, as do so many millions of other women."

The mayor concluded: "Come back to us often and let us share with you the pleasure that comes from high service to a grateful people, and when you have finished this service, we want you to come back home to live again. God be with you as you face the tremendous task that lies ahead. Your friends and neighbors know you will measure up to this great responsibility."

President Truman rose and addressed the crowd:

"There are two things I must accomplish as President. The first one is to win the war with Japan, and we are winning it. The next is to win the peace."

"Time and again I have tried to fill this great auditorium, and this is the first time I have succeeded. I can't possibly tell you how much I appreciate this demonstration. I am going to spend the next two or three days in Jackson County, trying my best, with all the handicaps of the President of the United States, to enjoy myself with you as I formerly did when a judge of the County Court."

"I want to say to you that I would give anything in the world if I could shake hands with every one of you individually and say to you what I say ordinarily, but you understand I am not made of cast iron. I just simply can't do it. I hope you will appreciate, however, that I am now shaking hands with every one of you." The president then raised both hands and clasped them together over his head."

At the close of the meeting family, friends, and neighbors gathered around the president and his press secretary Charlie Ross, who had graduated with the President at Independence High School in 1901.