Letter to Representative Powell of New York Regarding the Refusal of Permission to His Wife for a Concert in Constitution Hall.
Dear Congressman Powell:
I have your telegram in which you inform me that your wife, Miss Hazel Scott, has been refused the use of Constitution Hall for a concert on October twentieth.
Artistic talent is not the exclusive property of any one race or group. One of the marks of a democracy is its willingness to respect and reward talent without regard to race or origin.
We have just brought to a successful conclusion a war against totalitarian countries which made racial discrimination their state policy. One of the first steps taken by the Nazis when they came to power was to forbid the public appearance of artists and musicians whose religion or origin was unsatisfactory to the "Master-race."
I am sure that you will realize however the impossibility of any interference by me in the management or policy of a private enterprise such as the one in question.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Note: The White House also released a telegram from Mrs. Truman to Representative Powell, acknowledging his telegram of October 11 concerning the invitation she had accepted to attend a tea given by the Daughters of the American Revolution, who had refused permission to Miss Scott to give a concert in Constitution Hall. In her telegram Mrs. Truman called attention to the fact that the invitation was extended and accepted prior to the controversy over the use of Constitution Hall by Miss Scott.
Harry S. Truman, Letter to Representative Powell of New York Regarding the Refusal of Permission to His Wife for a Concert in Constitution Hall. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230435