Show Me Missouri Speakers Bureau Lecture Online: Jon Taylor

11:00 am

Truman and Pendergast, 1922-1944

One of the most complicated friendships during Harry Truman’s life was his long-lasting relationship with Tom Pendergast, who became a Kansas City political kingpin in the early 1920s and 1930s through his use of strong-arm tactics and personal wealth. However, by 1940, Truman’s political fortune hit a snag when Boss Tom was convicted of federal crimes and sent to Fort Leavenworth to serve time. Truman could no longer depend upon the boss for political support for his upcoming 1940 Senate reelection campaign. This presentation explores Truman’s relationship with Pendergast and explains how he was able to craft a political strategy to win reelection in 1940 despite the fact that Pendergast was jailed. It also assesses the lasting impact that Truman’s interactions with the Kansas City political machine had on his career.

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required. Space is limited.

Host Organizations

Missouri Humanities Council
State Historical Society of Missouri

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Event Contact Information

Dr. Monique Johnston
Missouri Humanities Council