Harry S. Truman photo

Proclamation 2840—Death of James Forrestal

May 22, 1949

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

To the People of the United States:

It has become my sad duty to announce officially the death of James Forrestal, formerly Secretary of Defense in the Government of the United States, who died at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, at 2 a.m. on the 22nd day of May, 1949.

Mr. Forrestal served with devotion and great distinction as Administrative Assistant to the President of the United States, as Under Secretary and Secretary of the Navy, and finally as the nation's first Secretary of Defense. He exhausted his strength by his unremitting labors in the burdensome duties of these offices during the war and the critical years which have followed the end of hostilities. His tragic death came as a shock to his friends, and a great loss to the people of the United States, whom he had served so well and faithfully.

As a mark of respect to Mr. Forrestal's memory, it is hereby ordered that the national flag be displayed at half-mast upon all public buildings and at all forts and military posts and naval stations, and on all vessels of the United States, until after the funeral shall have taken place.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred forty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-third.

Signature of Harry S. Truman


By the President:


Acting Secretary of State.

Harry S Truman, Proclamation 2840—Death of James Forrestal Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/287301

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