Letter Read by Secretary Vinson at the Humanitarian Award Dinner of the Variety Clubs of America.
[Released July 25, 1945. Dated July 21, 1945]
Dear Mr. O'Donnell:
I deeply regret that circumstances will not permit me to be with you and with other admirers of Sir Alexander Fleming next Wednesday evening, when the Variety Clubs of America honor that great humanitarian and benefactor of mankind.
For all that Sir Alexander has done to alleviate pain and suffering, through the great discovery which ever will bear his name, the world owes a debt of gratitude difficult to estimate. It is particularly fitting, therefore, that Variety should give him its award for 1944 in recognition of unusual and unselfish service in behalf of all humanity.
From afar I welcome him to the Capital of the Nation and hail him as one who in our day and generation is going forward in the noble tradition of Lord Lister, William Harvey, and that other grand old Briton, Sir Thomas Browne.
I could not close this note without adding a word of heartfelt appreciation to the Variety Clubs of America for their unwearied efforts in support of the war and in aiding all good causes both in peace and war.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN
[R. J. O'Donnell, Esq., National Chief Barker, The Variety Clubs of America]
Note: The dinner was held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. The letter, dated Potsdam, July 21, 1945, was released in Washington together with Secretary Vinson's remarks.
Harry S. Truman, Letter Read by Secretary Vinson at the Humanitarian Award Dinner of the Variety Clubs of America. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231708