National Geographic : 1966 Jan
"It is a mighty leap from the vice presidency to the presidency when one is forced to make it with out warning," Truman declared. In the White House on April 12, 1945, Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone swears him in as the 33d President. Witnesses are (from left): Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace, War Pro duction Board Chairman J. A. Krug, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, Secretary of Agricul ture Claude R. Wickard, Deputy Chairman of War Manpower Commission Frank McNamee (behind Wickard), Attorney General Francis Biddle, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgen thau, Jr., Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius (almost hidden by Truman), Mrs. Truman, Sec retary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, Margaret Truman, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, War Mobilization Director Frederick M. Vinson, and House Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin. the office of President in my own right." Congress enacted only a few of the meas ures the President recommended. A limited full-employment program provided for a Council of Economic Advisers; the Atomic Energy Commission was established; and a considerable reorganization of Government agencies included unification of Army, Navy, and Air Force under a Secretary of Defense. The Truman Administration's efforts to check inflation had hard sledding, since busi ness opposed price controls and labor chafed under wage ceilings. By the fall of 1946 few controls remained, and Truman removed most of those after Republicans won decisive victories in the Congressional elections. The new 80th Congress also made its weight felt in labor policy, overriding a Presi- dential veto of the Taft-Hartley Labor-Man agement Relations Act, which placed restric tions on union activities. This law prohibited the "closed shop," in which a worker cannot be hired unless he belongs to a union, and allowed states to go still further by enacting "right-to-work" laws. President Truman Criticizes a Critic Truman delighted and sometimes dismayed the public with his peppery forthrightness. It helped him reach his great decisions and was invaluable in interpreting them to the Nation. But he created a national sensation, which he still relishes in retrospect, when he sent a blis tering note to a Washington music critic who had written a harsh review of his daughter Margaret's singing.