Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Harry S. Truman Papers
Staff Member and Office Files:
Clark M. Clifford Files

Dates: 1945-1951

Assistant Naval Aide to the President, 1945-1946; Naval Aide to the President, 1946; Special Counsel to the President, 1946-1950.

The Clark M. Clifford Files primarily document his service as Special Counsel to President Truman from 1946 to 1950, and include material relating to such topics as Congressional bills, European Recovery Program, foreign affairs and economic assistance, North Atlantic Pact, Office of Price Administration, and the United Nations. The files consist of correspondence, handwritten notes, meeting minutes, memoranda, press releases, reports, speeches and speech drafts, newspaper clippings, printed material, and telegrams.

See also the Clark M. Clifford Papers and oral history.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 5.2 linear feet (approximately 10,400 pages).
Access: Open
Copyright: Harry S. Truman donated his copyright interest in writings in these files to the United States government. Documents created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their official duties are likewise in the public domain. Copyright interest in any other writings in these files is assumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs. Processed by: Philip D. Lagerquist (1956); Jeremy Spencer and David Clark (2004).

The creation of this online resource was made possible in part by funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1906 (December 25) Born, Fort Scott, Kansas
1928 LL.B., Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
1928-1944 Attorney, St. Louis, Missouri
1931 (October 3) Married Margery Pepperell Kimball
1944-1946 Officer, U.S. Naval Reserve
1945-1946 Assistant Naval Aide to the President
1946 Naval Aide to the President
1946-1950 Special Counsel to the President
1950-1968 Attorney, Clifford & Miller, Washington, D.C., and unofficial adviser to Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson
1968-1969 Secretary of Defense
1969-1991 Attorney, Clifford & Warnke, Washington, D.C.; unofficial adviser to President Carter; Chairman, First American Bankshares
1991 Author, Counsel to the President (with Richard Holbrooke)
1998 (October 10) Died, Bethesda, Maryland

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Clark M. Clifford files mostly relate to his service as Special Counsel to the President from 1946 to 1950. An attorney from St. Louis and an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Clifford came to the Truman White House in 1945 to serve as Assistant to the Naval Aide to the President, James K. Vardaman, Jr. He succeeded Vardaman as Naval Aide in 1946 and became the President's Special Counsel a few months later. For the next four years, until he resigned in 1950 to resume his career as a private attorney in Washington, Clifford was probably the most influential and prominent member of Truman's White House staff. His files document his role as a presidential speechwriter, his involvement in crises both foreign and domestic, and his contributions as a political strategist.

The Clifford Files are a part of the Staff Member and Office Files of the Harry S. Truman Papers. This material was shipped to Kansas City as part of Mr. Truman's presidential papers. Truman subsequently donated his papers to the United States government. The collection is approximately 5.2 linear feet in volume, arranged alphabetically by folder title in one series, a Subject File.

The Subject File contains correspondence, handwritten notes, meeting minutes, memoranda, press releases, reports, speeches and speech drafts, newspaper clippings, printed material, telegrams, and other items documenting some of the major events and policies of the Truman administration during Clifford's tenure as Special Counsel. Much of this material reflects his involvement in Congressional bills, European Recovery Program, foreign affairs and economic assistance, North Atlantic Pact, Office of Price Administration, and the United Nations. A substantial amount of material in the Subject File documents Clifford's work in drafting presidential speeches, messages, and statements.

The documents relate to specific topics such as civil rights, lynching, aviation, education, land claims, employment, price control, wages, standard of living, foreign aid, livestock, dairy products, agriculture, health insurance, trade, inflation, rationing, railroads, oil, legislation, housing, water resources, budgets, Mexico, Guam, the Lambert-St. Louis airport, termination of hostilities of World War II, presidential power and succession, and the North Atlantic Pact. Additional documents in the series pertain to government organizations such as the Commission on the Reorganization of the Executive Branch, Air Coordinating Committee, Council of Economic Advisers, Council of Foreign Ministers, Bureau of the Budget, Federal Power Commission, and the Office of Price Administration.

An important part of the series pertains to the European Recovery Program, foreign affairs, and economic assistance relating to commodities, manpower, coal, fertilizer, agriculture, electricity, petroleum, iron, steel, transportation, timber, machinery, food, exports, and imports. The countries specifically included are Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Turkey, India, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Spain.

Additional information about Clark Clifford and his service in the Truman administration may be found at the Truman Library in two oral history interviews with Clifford (Oral History Interview No. 276 and No. 440); in the Clark M. Clifford Papers; in the Truman Post-Presidential Papers; and in the George M. Elsey Papers.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-13 SUBJECT FILE, 1945-1951
Memoranda, correspondence, speeches and speech drafts, reports, press releases, and other items relating to the major policies and events of the Truman administration during Clifford's tenure as Special Counsel to the President. Arranged in alphabetical order.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST
Box 1 Box 2 Box 3 Box 4 Box 5 Box 6 Box 7 Box 8 Box 9 Box 10 Box 11 Box 12 Box 13
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