The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Black stumped for Truman in 1940?

More panning for nuggets in McCullough's Truman picks up what is surely fool's gold.

In a chapter on Truman's difficult re-election campaign in 1940, says that a number of his colleagues came down to Missouri to support him in the primary against arch-enemy and FDR blue-eye boy [1], then Governor Lloyd Stark:
Carl Hatch, Sherman Minton and Hugo Black, three staunch New Deal senators came to give vocal support.

Now, as I've discussed in several pieces recently, Black was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1937.

So how in Sam Hill could he have been giving support to, let alone speaking for, a candidate in an election three years later?

It's a typo, no doubt [2].

  1. Truman had been generally supportive of Roosevelt. But he had voted for Pat Harrison for Majority Leader (p227ff) against FDR's choice Alben Barkeley (who won by one vote!), and had on the floor of the Senate condemned the nomination of Maurice Milligan to another term as US Attorney for the district in which Kansas City fell (p237). Milligan had, with Stark's enthusiastic support, obtained the jailing of Tom Pendergast for tax evasion.

  2. The edition I'm working from seems to be a first. Perhaps it's been corrected in later printings.


The Truman family farm was notoriously foreclosed on during the course of the campaign. I hadn't realised that the Jackson County Court, which held the mortgage, had by then fallen under Republican control (p249).

The Missouri House delegation to the 76th Congress was all Democratic, except for the 7th District. In the 1940 election (for the 77th), the GOP also took the 6th and 12th Districts. (At the time, Missouri elected 13 Congressmen.)

Truman himself won his seat in 1934 from a GOP incumbent.

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