"Harry Truman’s Tour of Duty as Missouri Reemployment Director" with David Balducchi

Watch as David Balducchi, retired from the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC, discusses his April 2021 Missouri Historical Review article, Harry Truman’s Tour of Duty as Missouri Reemployment Director: His Transition from Local to National Politician.

Using newly discovered primary sources, Balducchi tells the story of Truman’s little-known stint as the Missouri director of the National Reemployment Service (NRS) from October 1933 to May 1934, a temporary public employment agency administered directly in states by the U.S. Employment Service. For millions of unemployed desperately searching for any type of work during the brutal privation of the Great Depression, the NRS administered federal reemployment offices where the jobless could obtain referrals to work rather than standing in soup lines for handouts.

In conversation with Sean Rost, SHSMO oral historian, Balducchi will share findings that reveal how Truman’s chance appointment as Missouri reemployment director enabled him to acquire a New Deal patina and valuable federal contacts that heightened his name recognition in an unanticipated and successful 1934 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Past issues of the Review are available for purchase from the SHSMO Richard Bookstore.

This program is part of SHSMO's signature Missouri Historical Review Author SeriesCatch up on past installments.

The music at the beginning and end of this program is from the Phil and Vivian Williams Collection (CA6217) which is held at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

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