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Harry S. Truman: Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
Harry S. Truman
118 - Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
June 6, 1948
Public Papers of the Presidents
Harry S. Truman<br>1948
Harry S. Truman

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[1.] GRAND ISLAND, NEBRASKA (Rear platform, 10:05 a.m.)

Mr. Mayor, and citizens of this great city of Grand Island:

I appreciate most highly your cordiality and your welcome to this town. I am not in the habit of making speeches on Sunday of any kind, but I couldn't, to save my life, refuse to say to you how much I appreciate all this hospitality. This goes to show that the Middle West is the most hospitable part of the United States of America, and I was raised in the Middle West, and I know.

I appreciate this peace pipe and plaque from the Sioux Indians of Nebraska, and what it says on there, "Peace to All. The Sioux Indians of Nebraska."

I can use this sugar. I understand it came out of the first beet sugar mill in the United States. The only trouble with it is there isn't enough of it.

Now I'll see what's in this box. I understand that it is a pair of spurs. I want to see what they look like.

Voice: Put them on, Harry!

If that's what I need, that's what I'm going to do.

These spurs are wonderful. When I get them on, I can take the Congress to town. Give them a trial, just as soon as I get back to Washington.

My daughter and Mrs. Truman are very appreciative of your reception to them and for the beautiful flowers and everything; and I hope sometime or other it may be possible for me to come to Grand Island and discuss the issues before the country with you. I can't do it this morning, much to my regret.

[2.] KEARNEY, NEBRASKA (Rear platform, 11:45 a.m.)

I want to say to you that I am not in the habit of making speeches of any sort on the Sabbath, but I couldn't help but say to you that I appreciate most highly the cordial reception which you have given me and my family here today.

We had a most wonderful service over at the Baptist Church and a sermon that I wish all of you could have heard. It would have done you good. And I hope that sometime you will hear that sermon and that you will practice it after you have heard it.

Thanks a lot. I hope I can come back to Kearney sometime when I am not in such a hurry.

[3.] NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA (Rear platform, 1:40 p.m.)

I have an idea that General Miltonberger has not recuperated from the 35th Division reunion in Omaha yet. He told me a story yesterday that I think was very good. General Miltonberger was in the 35th Division, and he was afterwards Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington. I have known him a long time. He told me that story out of this reunion. There are always stories at every reunion.

He said he was going up to the front and they began to shell the road, and he got under a tank. And there was a private under the tank with his back to him. And after the shelling let up a bit, why General Miltonberger said to the young man, "That was worse in this war than it was in the last." And the boy whirled around and said, "Were you in the last war?" And the General said "Yes." And the boy said, "You are the damndest fool I have ever seen."

Well, I am very happy to see this wonderful welcome that you are giving me here in North Platte, and I wish it were possible for me to discuss national and international subjects with you. But I do not make speeches of any sort on Sunday.

I went to church back in Kearney and heard a good Baptist preacher preach a good sermon. And so I hope that every one of you have been to church this morning and that you heard a good sermon and that you are going to act on it.

Sometime, when the going gets a little lighter, I will be glad to come back and discuss with you the issues of the day, if my arrangements committee will arrange it so I can. Now it is up to you to see that that is done.

Somebody told me that there were nine hundred Lions in town today. I wonder if that is true or not. But if there are nine hundred Lions here, you ought to have some cages, because I am well acquainted with that organization. They made me an honorary member and gave me a gold card, which I thought very happily of, and was highly elated over--to get that gold card. I hope you have a successful convention, and I hope nobody gets clawed.

Thank you again most sincerely for this fine welcome you have given me, and I will now introduce to you Mrs. Truman and my daughter Margaret.

[4.] SIDNEY, NEBRASKA (Rear platform, 3:25 p.m.)

It certainly is wonderful to be welcomed this way in this wonderful town of Sidney. I wish it weren't Sunday so I could discuss some of the issues of the day with you, but I have made it a rule never to make political speeches or speeches of any other kind on a Sunday.

We got to Kearney this morning and went to church. I hope all of you went to church today and that you learned something from that trip to church, and will act upon it accordingly.

It is lovely country through which we have been going. I have been across it on several occasions--in an automobile and on this railroad. But I like to go across it again, and I hope I will have a chance to come back some day and discuss with you the things in which you are interested.

It almost overwhelms me to see all the people in western Nebraska in this town today.

It is a pleasure indeed.

[5.] CHEYENNE, WYOMING (Governor's Mansion, 5:55 p.m.)

Governor Hunt, and citizens of Wyoming:

It certainly is a very great privilege and a pleasure for me to be here today. I received an invitation from Governor Hunt to call on him this afternoon, and I was most happy to accept it. I have known him a long time, and I like him, and I think he is a good Governor.

I have always been very much interested in this great city. I was here while the war was going on in my official capacity as chairman of an investigating committee to look after some construction that was going on here. And I found nothing wrong.

I hope sometime I can come back and be able to discuss the issues before the country with you. I always make it a rule never to make speeches of any kind on Sunday. I don't think it's the proper day for speeches that are not of a religious character, and since I am not a Doctor of Divinity, I can't preach you a sermon.

But I do appreciate most highly the cordiality of your welcome. It is a pleasure for me to get to see you, and it is a privilege for me to stop in Cheyenne long enough to call on your Governor.

Again, I hope that when I come here I can talk to you straight from the shoulder on certain things that confront this country.

[At this point the President was presented with an invitation and a hat. He then resumed speaking.]

Thank you very much. The invitation says, "Mr. President, your many friends in Cheyenne, Wyoming, will be greatly honored if you can attend the Cheyenne Frontier Day, July 27-31st, 1948." I have always wanted to do that, and I hope some day I will be able to do it.

Now I am going to see just how this hat works. [Putting it on.] That's all right.

[6.] LARAMIE, WYOMING (Rear platform, 8:50 p.m.)

It is certainly a pleasure to see you here tonight. I am glad to have an opportunity to speak a few words of greetings. I am not in the habit of making political speeches, or speeches of any other sort on Sunday, but I couldn't resist the temptation when I saw all this crowd out here to come out and say how happy I am to see you here.

I understand that the Girls State is meeting here. If you have elected a Governor, I would be glad to meet her.

The Girls State, of course, is a great institution. We have them back in Missouri, and we have a Boys State there, too. It is an education in government, and it will be very helpful to the next generation in operating the Government.

Wyoming was the first new State to give women the vote, and Wyoming, I think, had the first woman State Governor, who is now Director of the Mint. I reappointed her the other day.

I certainly am happy to see this enthusiastic crowd, and with your permission I would like to introduce my family to you. Mrs. Truman--[who was introduced]. I am henpecked by another member of the family, whom I would like to introduce to you--my daughter Margaret.

[7.] RAWLINS, WYOMING (Rear platform, 11 p.m.)

This has been a most pleasant trip from Omaha today. Nearly every city along the way--it seems to me all the population of the county and the State turned out, and I feel very highly complimented at that. It shows that you want to see what your President looks like. And I am glad you do.

I am not in the habit of making Sunday speeches. We went to church in Kearney, Nebr., this morning, and heard a good sermon. And if you could abide by what that preacher told us, we would have the greatest country in the world, more than we have now, and it would be a lot easier to live in.

I am told that not very far from here we are setting up an experimental station on this oil shale. I hope that is a success, and I wish I could go and see how it works, but of course, I can't. I have always been interested in that sort of thing. Maybe sometime before this brawl is over next November I can come back here and discuss the issues of the day with you. I sincerely hope that I can do that.

Some of the most beautiful country in the world is out here, and I am going to see some more of it before long--I hope.

Your Governor is in your capital city, and we went to his house and had a most pleasant visit with him and the Governor of Colorado. We also had a most magnificent crowd at Cheyenne. It looked to me as though everybody in Wyoming was there, but when I passed through these other towns, that was not true, because there were still some of you not in Cheyenne.

Mrs. Truman and Margaret have had a very strenuous day. They left Kansas City last night at midnight, and arrived in Omaha at 7 o'clock in the morning, and they couldn't stay up any longer. I am sorry that they are not here to greet you. I know that they would like very much to see you, and I hope you would like to see them.

Again, I want to thank you very much for your cordiality and your hospitality. I appreciate it. I love this country. I have been out here time and again in an automobile and on this railroad, and I never get tired looking at the scenery, and meeting the people.

I have been very lucky today. In Nebraska they gave me a pair of silver spurs, and I got a pair of cowboy boots. Later on I got a fifty-dollar hat in Cheyenne, so I am ready to do business now. And I think that when the situation is finally developed, everybody will have had a good time--including me.

Thank you very much.

Note: In the course of his remarks on June 6 the President referred to Ben Cunningham, Mayor of Grand Island, Maj. Gen. Butler B. Miltonberger, President of the 35th Division Association, and Lester C. Hunt, Governor of Wyoming.
Citation: Harry S. Truman: "Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Nebraska and Wyoming.," June 6, 1948. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12915.
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