Harry Truman’s Inauguration Speech – Four Points
|Subject:||Inauguration, World War II.|
Truman’s Four Point Speech, given in January of 1949, challenged members of all
political parties to help people around the world fight for freedom and human rights.
The speech detailed four major steps in how to approach the ending of World War
II. First, he advocated giving support to the United Nations and its entities, and
looking for ways to make them stronger. Second, he stated that the US would continue
programs to aid in world economic recovery. Third, he spoke for strengthening and
supporting “freedom-loving nations” against outside attack and aggressive forces.
And, fourth, he encouraged beginning a new program that would make scientific and
industrial advances available to improve underdeveloped areas. His entire proposal
involved the US being a large part of the help against the struggle of an unsafe
and unfree world.
Host: Now, highlights of President Harry Truman’s inauguration in 1949. He had just
Narrator: Inauguration Day, Washington, 1949. The biggest inaugural in United States
Railroad yards are jammed as more than half a million visitors from every state
Since early morning, spectators have been at their places along the parade route.
Mrs. Truman, daughter Margaret, Alben Barkley’s daughter, the Vice President elect,
Mr. Truman escorted by congressional representatives leads the procession to the
In Capital Plaza more than 100,000 people are on hand to witness the induction.
Among the distinguished guests are Admiral Nimitz, Marine Core General Vandegrift,
United Nations Secretary General Lee has dignitaries from other countries.
The black robe Supreme Court Justices descend the steps of the inaugural platform,
A battery of motion picture and television camera’s record the arrival.
Alben Barkley of Kentucky a member of congress for 36 years has taken his Vice Presidential
Then Harry S. Truman is sworn in as the nation’s 32nd president by Chief Justice
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson: Raise your right hand do you Harry S. Truman solemnly
President Truman: I Harry S. Truman solemnly swear . . .
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson: That you will faithfully execute the Office of President
President Truman: That I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson: And will to the best of your ability
President Truman: And will to the best of my ability
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson: Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
President Truman: Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson: So help you God.
President Truman: So help me God.
Narrator: To the nation and the world a solemn resolute President declares:
President Truman: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Chief Justice, fellow citizens: I accept
The American people stand firm in the faith which has inspired this Nation from
The American people desire and are determined to work for a world in which all nations
In the pursuit of these aims, the United States and other like-minded nations find
Communism subjects the individual to arrest without lawful cause, punishment without
Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity,
Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual,
These differences between communism and democracy do not concern the United States
Since the end of hostilities, the United States has invested its substance and its
We have sought no territory. We have imposed our will on none. We have asked for
We have made every effort to secure agreement on effective international control
We are moving on with other nations to build an even stronger structure of international
In the coming years, our program for peace and freedom will emphasize four major
First, we will continue to give unfaltering support to the United Nations and related
Second, we will continue our programs for world economic recovery. This means, first
Third, we will strengthen freedom-loving nations against the dangers of aggression.
Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific
I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the benefits of
Our aim should be to help the free peoples of the world, through their own efforts,
Democracy alone can supply the vitalizing force to stir the peoples of the world
In due time, as our stability becomes manifest, as more and more nations come to
We will advance toward a world where man’s freedom is secure. To that end we will
Narrator: On this sparkling, chilled winter day President Truman leaves Capitol
[inaudible 12:06] is the Army Chief of Staff General, Omar Bradley. In this the
Then come the President and Vice President. Flanking the Chief Executive is his
Cabinet Members include the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, and the Attorney General
General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives in the car of Army Secretary, Kenneth Royall.
The brigade of midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis passes
Next, come the cadets of the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Men of the Marine Corp march down the broad Avenue which today is a parade ground
C82 as the Flying Boxcar leads one of the greatest Air Armadas ever to fly over
The [Iron] B36 bombers pass overhead.
The parade includes not only the military, but is a panorama of American life. The
Other floats depict the products and scenery of the various states.
This is Kentucky the Vice President’s home state.
The State of Texas float moves down the Avenue.
The District of Columbia display features reproductions of the Capitol and the Washington
From Massachusetts comes a float honoring the early American settlers who landed
The figure of Uncle Sam strides down the Avenue.
[Civic] business, labor, and fraternal organizations representing millions of their
Supplying the music are more than 40 bands and many drum and bugle corp.
Near the White House, the excitement mounts as the Chief Executive approaches. The
For nearly three hours the President and Vice President stand together acknowledging
A group of California cowboys salute President Truman and so does their pet Dalmatian
Another group presents the Chief Executive with a special gift: a brand new cowboy
The President is cheered by the citizens of Lamar, Missouri the town in which he
State by state, group by group people from each of the 48 states of the union honor
Colorful pageant moves on Inauguration Day 1949 expresses the mood of a nation,
Host: A look at past presidential inaugurations continues now with Dwight . . .