[ RadSafe ] John Jacobus' historical factoid

Strickert, Rick rstrickert at signaturescience.com
Mon Oct 17 09:31:09 CDT 2005

John Jacobus' recent posts contained the historical factoid: "On Oct. 5,
1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked
Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on
Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe."

According to an Americanheritage.com article, the idea of voluntary
meatless Tuesdays and Thursdays came from Lever Brothers president,
Charles Luckman, who headed Truman's 26-member Citizens Food Committee.
The article noted:

"Of course the admonishment to think of the starving children in Paris
while eating dinner never really caught on. Two months later, Truman
submitted the proposal to Congress that would become the Marshall Plan,
codifying a lasting solution for Europe's recovery. By that time,
Luckman had already resigned from his post."

However, the October 5th TV/radio simulcast did establish the precedent
for presidents and other politicians using television to promote (or
defend) their policies (and themselves) before the American people.

The article is at

BTW, Truman's 1947 concerns about a famished postwar Europe included the
fear that the Commies would try to seize control.  In 1946 Churchill had
given his famous "iron curtain" speech. In 1948 the Soviets blockaded
West Berlin in retaliation against "Operation Bird Dog".  The blockade
was eventually broken by the Berlin Airlift.  An alternative plan,
called "Charioteer", was not needed.  

Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

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