William M. Rigdon Papers
The William M. Rigdon Papers document his service from 1945 to 1953 as Assistant Naval Aide to the President. The documents mainly consist of information about Harry S. Trumanís official travel and vacations, and visits to the U. S. by foreign Heads of State. The collection includes newspaper clippings, magazine articles, correspondence, charts, menus, price lists for food, and travel itineraries.
Less than one linear foot (about 1600 pages).
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A majority of the Rigdon papers are related to President Trumanís travels. Commander Rigdon was in charge of arranging many of the details surrounding Trumanís vacations, some official State visits, and some visits to the U. S. by foreign Heads of State. The Rigdon papers are diverse in content. The collection includes documents about the Potsdam Conference in July and August of 1945, and Trumanís return to the United States on the U. S. S. Augusta when the first atomic bomb was dropped in Japan on August 6, 1945. President Truman made many recreational voyages aboard the Presidential yacht, the U. S. S. Williamsburg. The collection includes an array of price lists and menus for food served on Trumanís voyages as well as handwritten mileage charts. Many of Trumanís Whistlestop Campaign speeches from 1948 are in the collection, along with speeches supporting the Democratic Party during the 1952 election. Also included are handwritten notes, formal correspondence, meeting minutes, press releases, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and maps. Photos are also included in the collection, but are cross referenced to the audiovisual collection.
This collection reflects a more personal side of President Truman and his family. For instance, Margaret Truman wrote a short note which is included in the papers requesting which films she wanted her father to see while they were on vacation in Key West. Bess Truman discussed luncheon plans in another handwritten note. Yet another document lists the bets President Truman and many members of his Administration made on college football games one season. The collection also contains many subpoenas and trial proceedings from ďThe Royal High Court of the Raging MainĒ (which were meant to be a joke) from Trumanís voyage on the U. S. S. Missouri in 1947.
Other materials at the Truman Library relating to William M. Rigdon and his duties as Assistant Naval Aide include oral history interviews with Commander William M. Rigdon and Donald J. MacDonald, the Leo W. Roberts Papers, the Robert Dennison Papers, and the Presidentís Travel Logs, which were prepared by Rigdon. Other collections of Rigdon Papers are available at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and at Georgia Southern University.