Harry S. Truman’s first York visit: ‘A statesman is only a dead politician’
York County’s David Hibbs, aboard the destroyer escort USS Bunch in World War II, still has the ship’s logbooks, including a few exciting entries about suicide aircraft and boats during his time in the Pacific. This entry was posted a few days before Harry S. Truman was sworn in as U.S. president after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. A year earlier, Truman had visited York. Background posts: Neglect, racism undid all-black 24th in Korean War, Former York County CCC camp now on map and Criticism of Geno’s leads to ‘commie’ claim.
Senator Harry S. Truman came to York in early 1944, criticizing defense industry “chiselers” who were using the war to their advantage.
His indictment of defense industry abuse was his main claim to fame in those days.
He commended the York County for its support of the war… .
“You are accepting minor privations, willingly, smilingly and bravely,” he said.
And he sidestepped a question about his interest in the vice presidency by stating at a York County Democratic banquet, “A statesman is only a dead politician, and I want to live a long time yet.”
In the November 1944 election, York County voters as the rest of the nation, solidly backed Franklin Roosevelt over Dewey. That was the fourth straight election county voters supported Roosevelt.
In so doing in 1944, they showed a reluctance to change the commander in chief in the middle of the war or indicated satisfaction that the president was correctly handling his wartime duties.
Six months after that election, Roosevelt died, and his vice president, Harry S. Truman, became a statesman, the chief executive of the United States.
– Source: “In the thick of the fight“