Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

President Truman's Radio Address
on Democratic Women's Day

September 27th, 1949

Listen to the speech | Read text of speech | Answers to questions

·A. As you listen to the introduction to the speech:

1) Identify the person who introduced President Truman.

2) Explain why the Democratic Party honors September 27th.

3) Note the location of the recording.

B. As you listen to President Truman's speech, answer the following:

1) What group in American society is the target audience?

2) What approach does President Truman use to attract his intended audience?

3) What evidence does the president offer to support his claim that the Democratic Party offers more for women than any other group?

4) President Truman cites major differences between the Democrats and other groups. As you
listen to or read his speech list three.

5) According to President Truman, how should the power of the government be used?

6) The president explains how different groups in society are dependent upon one another.

7) President Truman addresses six serious problems facing America in 1949. List 3 of the 6.

Do we face any of these same issues today? If you answer yes, explain.

8) How does President Truman suggest that people respond to critics who claim that the program of the Democratic party "is undermining local government and the moral character of our citizens"?

Student Activities:

1. After listening to and/or reading the Democratic Women's Day Address, what were you
able to tell about the role of women in American society in 1949 that is different from today?
Do you detect any similarities? Write a paragraph to explain your thoughts.

2. President Truman commented in his speech that some people say "that measures for the
general welfare are merely Federal handouts to selfish or incompetent people". He disagrees as
is shown by the legislation that he proposed be passed by the 81st Congress. Do you agree with
the president or with his critics?
Write a statement to define your stand on Truman's general welfare program.

3. Imagine that you are a speechwriter for the Republican National Party looking ahead to the next presidential race. You are well aware that your party will need the support of women to win the White House in 1952. Prepare a reply to President Truman's Democractic Women's Day Address that is designed to sway the vote of women in favor of republican candidates in local, state, and national elections.

Further Research:

Research what happened to Truman's legislation proposals during the 81st Congressional
Session. For example, what did Congress do about social security benefits? increasing the
minimum wage? appropriating more federal monies for education?