Page 7


THE TRUMAN RALLY: TEXAS POLITICS IN RELIEF \(This report is an extension from the story “LBJ Special DALLAS Between six and seven thousand cheering, applauding, andone timebooing Democrats tw i ned out for the Truman rally hereand saw more of the leaders of the splintered-up Texas Democrats than have appeared together on the same platform in many years. Dan Patton, the clothing manufacturers’ wholesale representative and a Democratic precinct chairman in Dallas who was chairman. of the rally, said getting the state’s party leaders and Tru’man in the hall was “a miracle.” He called Truman “a great American and chief lobbyist of all the people.” Patton r e m i n de d the throng that Truman was the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Dallas County. Then Connally told the group it was his pleasure to join with them “to plan a path toward victory for the Democratic Party in 1960.” He greeted “the distinguished former President … who has honored us by his presence.” For Gov. Price Daniel, who was not present, Connally said: “Also, it is my honor tonight to represent the ,, Governor of Texas, the Honorable Price Daniel. As you know, he has been out of the state this week on important matters pending in the Supreme Court … Governor Daniel asked me to deliver to you, Mr. Truman, his official welcome to Texas and his appreciation of the manner in which you continue to take active interest in the success of the Democratic Party and the’ welfare of our nation.” Daniel also assured “his cooperation and support in winning a complete Democratic victory in 1960,” Connally said. Connally, who had been applauded thrice to this point, then began his ‘statement for Johnson. “My fellow Democrats,” he said, “I believe our party is ‘stronger in Texas tonight than it has been for many years. We have more unity and harmony, and less friction. Conflicts within the ranks of our own Party in this state have con.: tributed toward the loss of this state to the Republican Party in the last two general elections. It must not happen again.” This was applauded. “It will not happen,” Connally continued, “if all Democrats work together for the best interests of the people and the party which we serve. That best interest can best be served by nominating and electing Senator Jqhnson president of the United States.” On the stage Mrs. Randolph frowned and did not applaud. Applause and boos rose almost simultaneously. It seemed that the boos were louder; they were growing in volume, at any rate, as Connally, having said, “As your state chairman, I pledge you my full cooperation,” sat down. Johnson smiled wanly, and tensely. Truman laughed, as one might about a quarrel among one’s friends; that is, plaeatingly. Patton rushed to the microphone, anger in his features. “Friends, Democrats have a right to their opinions,” he said. Applausesome of it no doubt ironicinterrupted him. “Just a minute,” he said. “But let’s show each one of our honored guests Joe Bailey Humphreys tonight the courtesy and respect that their office requires?’ This got a very, strong handstronger than the applause or boos before. Mace; Stewart, president of the ‘Young Democrats of Texas, and a Johnson man, was next at the mike, perspiring profusely under the retrospective tension. Of Truman he said, “Youth is not a matter of age. It’s a matter of vitality.” He gave Truman a certificate from the Texas Y. D.’s declaring him “the youngest, most active member.” Patton introduced Joe Bailey Humphreys, another Dallas loyalist’ leader, as “a man who loves his friends and hates his enemies.” Humphreys is a beanpole of a man, with spindly arms he waves with a bandmaster’s vigor and an opera-singer’s open-mouthed oratorical style. His flair for the foeflaying metaphor delighted the crowd. “There isn’t anything constructive that a Democrat can’t do better and twice as often,” he said. Democrats ‘who scoff at Democratic nominees and principles represent “local self-government at its sorriest practice,” he said. “Pay your poll tax and put an end to this morbid condition,” he exclaimed. Party officials should “support the Democratic platform and all.of its nominees or resign!” he said to loud applause. “If there’s anything I have utter contempt for it’s ‘ the player who plays in the uniform of his own team and plays for the other side.” He recalled when “elected Democratic leadership,’ like hound dogs in distemper, had tucked their tails and run away.” An unexpected feature of the program was a presentation, by W. 0. Cooper, Dallas builder, of a membership in the “750 Club” for Bill Kittrell of Dallas. Cooper said Kittrell had toiled, sacrificed, and labored for the Democratic Party for many years. “In 1948 only two men knew who would be the next president of the United States. They were Harry Truman and Bill Kittrell,” Cooper said. Wires were then read congratulating Kittrell from Eleanor Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, and. James A. Farley. Stevenson’s wire said “God Bless Bill Kittrell … He has made the world a better place than he found it.” Patton introduced Yarborough as the only Democrat who carried Dallas County “against strong Republican opposition” since Truman in 1948. Yarborough was greeted with a standing ovation and loud cheers. Yarborough’s speech had two parts: the first, comparing Truman to Andrew Jackson; then, specifying his standards for the Democratic nominee in 1960. There was some differentiation in his greeting to the three men behind him, Rayburn, Johnson, and Truman: “… these three national leaders inthe Democratic Party: the man with the longest record as the greatest Speaker of the House of Representatives in the history of the American people, our own Speaker Sam Rayburn; the only Texan ever to be Majority Leader of his party in the Senate, Lyndon Johnson; and the greatest living American, Harry S. Truman.” Yarborough said they met “on the eve of the 1960 recapture of Dallas County by honest Democrats.” He said to Truman, “we all wanted to see and hear again what a good president was like.” Comparing Truman and Jackson, Yarborough said, “Both came from farm families, close to the forces of nature. Like Andrew Jackson, Harry Truman learned executive action commanding soldiers in combat; like Jackson, Harry Truman learned legislation as a member of the United States Senate.” He called Truman “the Old Hickory of the Twentieth Century.” Truman smiled very broadly during the applause. Truman brought the UN into being and enlaviged “for the American people the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” Yarborough said. Then he launched into his 1960 talk: “When we go to set a standard for 1960, we look for a man to carry on the great Democratic programs for human welfare and world order that Harry Truman so boldly advanced.” “The man we seek,” he said, must recognize that “this party is the progressive party, the party with a heart, and the party of the people.” There was applause, including Johnson’s. Like Truman, Yarborough said, he must be able to lead the U. S. through “the greatest peril in the history of mankind.” Like Truman, “he must recognize that in the richest nation on earth, it’s as important to have a balanced diet as a balanced budget.” Truman grinned as the crowd applauded. Yarborough called for balancing the union “not alone with -dollars, but with deeds.” The budget references made it clear Yarborough was shooting at somebody. Johnson has boasted of the Democrats’ budget-cutting. “We seek a man like Harry Truman, whose economic allegiance is to the little guya person who judges national prosperity, not on the basis of how wealthy are the rich, but on how poverty-stricken are the peur,” Yarborough said, \(saying “poor” like some East “Like Harry Truman,” Yarborough said, “he must be a man who will, with justice, humility, an pride, recognize and represent the rights of all Americans of every race, color, and creed …. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 October 23, 1959 “Most of all, he. must know the great difference between compromise and surrender,” he said to some applause. “He must be like Harry Truman, a fighter … who is willing … to fight uncompromisingly for the ideals we embrace.” Yarborough’s released text underlined the words “progressiVe” and “uncompromisingly” in the above remarks. Yarborough’s applause fell in volume as he proceeded and Johnson supporters -cooled. He sat down to moderate applause. Truman, grinning, grabbed his forearm and said something to him. ‘The Most Capable’ “I know the American people are always better off under a Democratic administration than a Republican administration,” Speaker Rayburn said. Truman, he said, has “iron in his backbone and brains in his head.” Introducing Johnson, Rayburn said he had been watching him since infancy, “and all in all he has been pleasing to me. That’s right. He has developed to the point that he is the most capable man for the President of the United States.” There was prolonged applause. As it died away a ‘high insistent cheer went up from one part of HARRY ON RALPH DALLAS Sen. Ralph Yarborough is ” ‘right up there at the top of the page’ ” in Harry Truman’s book, Yarborough’s research assistant said Truman told him. Bray shook hands with Truman as the former President left the DOT executive committee meeting. Bray said he identified himself as a member of Yarborough’s staff and Truman told him: “You know, you folks want to stay with that man. He is high in , my book. He is right up there at the top of the page.” Bray, beaming, said, “It made me feel real good. It made me feel great. I make no bones about it. He said it very deliberately and made a little sashay back to say it.” the crowd. Rayburn took this for heckling. He said he didn’t want anybody heckling him. All he wants is the votes in his seven counties, and “You may not hurt me by not agreeing with something I may say.” “I know what leadership is made of. I’ve watched majority leaders for 46 plus years. I think Lyndon Johnson is the greatest majority leader I’ve ever seen.” With that Johnson came to the microphone to a cheering, standing ovation. The band was playing “The Eyes of Texas.” “We are here to pay tribute to a man who always speaks his mind,” he said. Truman always “Sailed in, both fists flying, on the side he knew was right” \(Truman elected officials belong with “all the people all the time.” Under Truman, Johnson said, Greece and Turkey were rescued from “the communist tide,” European nations were bound together, and there were also the Berlin Airlift, Truman doctrine, Marshall Plan, and “social legislation to help those who could not help themselves.” Truman was grave through most of this, but smiled genially when Johnson said he was probably proudest to be a grandfather. Johnson presented him as “our friend, the fighting leader of the greatest country in the world.” ‘He Done His Damndest’ Greeting the dignitaries, Truman included “Bill Kittrell, who inveigled me into this situation.” He said he had proved to Rayburn that he had cousins in every county in Texas because they had all visited him since he arrived. “They all know all the mean things about me and they still like me, and I appreciate it.” “They are always trying to make a Texan out of me, and outside of Missouri I guess that’s what I am,” said the former President. “I don’t know when I’ve ever had so many nice things said about me by two senators of a great state a n d the greatest speaker of the House we’ve ever had,” Truman said in his only direct reference to Johnson. “There are very few men who have made a contribution to the country like this man Rayburn. back here.” Rayburn did not seem responsive to this compliment, and Johnson did not, either. Of his tenure as President Truman remarked, “I knew there were a million men who could do the job better than I could but I was there and I did my damndest and what more could I do?” He told of a tombstone in Tombstone, Ariz., which read, “Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damndest.” “What more can a man do?” ,Truman asked once again. Interrupted for applause 30 times, Truman delivered his written speech in a conversational way, without his usual fire but with all his historic candor. In general it was an argument that the Republicans have betrayed the plain people for the rich. Of the Democrats’ 1960 candidate, he said, “We need a vigorous, fighting, genuine liberal, and not a hot-house liberal”\(ap:doesn’t play it. I, for one,’ have no time for the Johnny-come-lately well-fed liberals …. I think you know who they areand I don’t have to name ’em, but I can if you want me to. They never won a fight in a precinct, and they never have been conspicuous for their sacrifices in the cause of the everyday man, the common man like you and me. That’s real liberalism. .”Ask some of these phony liberals where they were in 1948 when we waged the now historic battle for civil rights, when we waged the battle for the saving of national resources, when we waged the battle for better homes. Where were they?I’ll be damn if I know, they weren’t with me.” Truman then criticized those who have been criticizing the Democratic leaders, Rayburn and JOhnson. He said: “We have some of them ‘in the House and Senate now who spend their time fighting the leadership in those great legislative bodies instead of furnishing and supporting ideas for the welfare of the United States and the free world.” There was applause. On this same point, later, he said, “The first session of this Congress made one of the greatest records in the country’s history in spite of the President’s minority vote program. That was because of Congressional leadership.” When he took up the tidelands issue, saying “The Administration in Texas doesn’t like this, but I’m gonna tell you anyway,” Truman declared that the “man in the White . House” in 1960 “must not our ur resources away to the financially bloated few at the economic top of our country.” He then reviewed the tidelands case. The Republicans, he said, “gave away 100 billion barrels of oil that belong to all the people of the United States.” R.D,