TLS, two pages, 7.25 x 10.5, personal letterhead, October 5, 1960. Letter to Democratic Congressman John A. Blatnik of Minnesota, in full: "This is an urgent plea that you do everything you possible can to help the Democratic ticket and the Honorable John F. Kennedy and the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic nominees for President and Vice-President. Now, as never before, it seems to me, there is a need for us to submerge whatever differences may exist among us within our own Party and fight for a Democratic victory, National, State and Local.
I simply do not believe that the United States can stand four more years of another Republican President in the White House. We have lost much ground in the last eight years under a Republican President—in foreign relations, in domestic affairs, in the national financial situation, in the agricultural situation and in general welfare. Another Republican Administration and a Republican President could only be expected to produce continued stagnation and a backward policy to continue an 1896 program and this is 1960. With Nixon in the White House, there will be a complete breakdown in the domestic and foreign affairs of our Government. I wonder if you want another 1929?
As you know, Jack Kennedy was not my first choice for the Presidential nomination. However, he is a very able young man, and, in my opinion, a man of integrity and honor. These qualities I regard as essential in a President of the United States. Also, it is very important to remember that in choosing a President we not only select the man who occupies that office, but we also determine the Party in control of the Executive Branch of the Government. History proves that it is better for the Nation and the people of the United States when the Democrats are in control of the White House and the Congress.
It seems to me that out choice is clear. We know how important it is to have State and Congressional candidates who will support the national ticket. The better the national ticket runs, the more it helps the State and Congressional candidates.
From my viewpoint, there is much to be gained and nothing to be lost by working together and doing our best for the whole ticket. I will be campaigning, just as I have done in times passed, not because I want anything for myself, but because the country needs a leader in the White House and leaders in the Congress. I ask you to join in all-out support of the Democratic ticket." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, which bears a pre-printed free frank.
With the 1960 presidential election less than a month away, Truman entreated the Democratic Party to rally around John F. Kennedy and his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson. Although Truman was not initially high on Kennedy, regarding him as too young and too Catholic, he was far less fond of Nixon and his successor, the incumbent President Eisenhower, whose policies Truman often publicly decried. At JFK’s request, Truman actively campaigned for the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, helping the Democrats reassume the White House in one of the closest races in presidential history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.