Harry S. Truman Signed Photograph.

Photograph of Harry S. Truman holding the iconic Chicago Daily Tribune with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman"; inscribed by him

Harry S. Truman Signed Photograph.

TRUMAN, Harry S.

Item Number: 95352

Original photograph of Harry S. Truman holding the iconic Chicago Daily Tribune with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Inscribed by Truman beneath the photograph, “Kindest Regards to Myra Lee Phillips, Harry S. Truman, White House, Jan. 28, 1949.” Triple matted and framed. The entire piece measures 21 inches by 17 inches.

On election night, the earlier press deadline required the first post-election issue of the Tribune to go to press before even the East Coast states had reported many results from the polling places. The paper relied on its veteran Washington correspondent and political analyst Arthur Sears Henning, who had predicted the winner in four out of five presidential contests in the past 20 years. Conventional wisdom, supported by polls, was almost unanimous that a Dewey presidency was "inevitable", and that the New York governor would win the election handily. The first edition of the Tribune therefore went to press with the banner headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN". The incident might have been forgotten, except that when Truman was passing through St. Louis on the way to Washington two days later, he stepped to the rear platform of his train and was handed a copy of the Tribune early edition. Happy to exult in the paper's error, he held it up for the photographers gathered at the station, and the famous picture (in several versions) was taken.

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