Harry Truman Returns to Jackson County Missouri as President Memorial Hall Press Conference

First presidential press conference.

Shortly after Harry Truman arrived in Independence he gave the first presidential press conference at the Memorial Building.

The President's press secretary, Charlie Ross, who also was in the same 1901 Independence High School graduating class as the President, announced to the press before arriving in Kansas City that the President would hold an official press conference in Independence and make an important announcement.

After the president's motorcade left the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City, Kansas, and made its way through the streets of Kansas City and Independence the president made his way to the Memorial Building in Independence. The Memorial Building served as Truman's official polling place and at 4:00 p.m. on June 27, 1945, it served as the location for a presidential press conference.

Accompanied by the mayor of Independence, Roger Sermon, and before over fifty news outlets, including the Kansas City Call, Kansas City's African American newspaper, the president announced that he had formally accepted the resignation of Secretary of State, Edward R. Stettinius, and that he would name a replacement after he returned to Washington.

The press asked him what he thought about his homecoming and he responded: "I was overwhelmed with it, of course. All these people have seen me two or three times a day, for the last 30 or 40 years. I can't see what there is about me now that would make them turn out like they did today."