"WITH HAPPY MEMORIES!": LARGE FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING TRUMAN HOLDING UP THE ICONIC ISSUE OF THE CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE BEARING THE HEADLINE "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN," WARMLY INSCRIBED BY TRUMAN
TRUMAN, Harry. Photograph inscribed. No place, August 12, 1956. Black-and-white photographic print, measuring 13 by 10-1/2 inches; matted and framed, entire piece measures 21-1/2 by 19 inches. $12,500.
Large photographic print showing Truman smiling and holding up the famous issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune in which his loss to Dewey was erroneously predicted based on incomplete returns, inscribed: "To Courteney Darber with happy memories! 8/12/56 Harry Truman."
This inscribed photograph captures Truman gleefully holding up the Chicago Daily Tribune, which erroneously announced his electoral defeat. During the 1930s and 1940s, editor and publisher Robert "Bertie" McCormick used the Chicago Daily Tribune's editorial pages to promote his conservative agenda. The Tuesday, November 2, 1948 headline was "Go to the Polls Today! / Landslide / for Dewey / is Expected / Democrats Cling / to Wisp of Hope." Most polls in the presidential campaign of 1948 showed the Republican candidate, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, with such a commanding lead over Truman that some pollsters even quit polling voters weeks before the election, missing out on Truman's last-minute surge in popularity. On election night, Truman, aided by the Secret Service, sneaked away from reporters covering him in Kansas City and made his way to nearby Excelsior Springs, Missouri, a small resort town. There, he took a room in the local hotel, had a Turkish bath, and went to sleep. As East coast returns came in, Dewey took an early lead, winning all the northeast states from Maryland to Maine, except for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Then Truman started to pull ahead. However, some radio commentators, such as H.V. Kaltenborn of CBS, confidently predicted that once the "late returns" came in, Dewey would overcome Truman's lead and win.
At midnight, Truman awoke and turned on the radio in his room; he heard Kaltenborn announce that, while Truman was still ahead in the popular vote, he couldn't possibly win. For the rest of his life, Truman would gleefully mimic Kaltenborn's voice predicting his defeat throughout that election night. Around 4 a.m., Truman awoke again, heard on the radio that his lead was nearly two million votes, and decided to ride back to Kansas City, and from there, take the train back to Washington, D.C. The Tribune had endorsed Dewey and the entire republican slate. In fact, 85% of the nation's daily newspapers supported the New York Governor. Returns were coming in slowly and the Tribune staff was running out of time before the printing deadline. The lead story in the Tribune by reporter Arthur Sears Henning began: "Dewey and Warren won a sweeping victory in the presidential election yesterday."
A bit of unobtrusive creasing to photograph. Near-fine, handsomely framed.