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Librarians Are Baffled By Signed Truman Memoir

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Truman book

Truman book

Staff Photo Rod Aydelotte

A Waco High School librarian was weeding out old, little-read books from the stacks on Thursday when she paused at an autobiography of Harry S. Truman.

The librarian, Carri Nowak, opened to the title page of “Mr. Citizen” and saw the publication date: 1960. And under the title was an autograph that appeared to be from the former president himself.

She called the school district’s library specialist, Lisa Monthie, who at first thought she was saying a student had signed the book.

The librarian first thought was to weed the book.

That discovery led to a bit of sleuthing by Waco Independent School District officials. Monthie called Waco ISD social studies content specialist Robert Glinski, who contacted the director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri. The museum confirmed the signature appeared to be written by hand, not mass-produced.

 

Signed memoirs by Truman are not exceedingly rare, though they are not commonplace either. Copies start at about $200 at online booksellers.

What was baffling was that such a prize book ended up in a high school library, with the front card showing it was being checked out as early as 1962.

 

The front card shows it was part of the collection of Richfield High School, which opened in 1961 at the current Waco High School campus at 2020 N. 42nd St. The schools merged in 1986.

The last few checkout dates do not include the year, but it appears that the book has not been checked out in more than 30 years.

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Harry S. Truman (left) was in Waco on October 12, 1960, with Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, center. At top right is Waco Congressman Bob Poage. Truman gave a stump speech for John F. Kennedy and denounced anti-Catholic sentiment.Truman Staff photo — John Bennett, file

Glinski is trying to discover if Truman signed the book when he visited Waco in October 1960, soon after the book was published.

In town for a tour supporting presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, Truman delivered a barn-burning speech against religious bigotry.

 

After spending the night at the downtown Roosevelt Hotel and having a steak dinner at the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, Truman headed to the Heart O’ Texas Coliseum for a speech in front of 5,000, the Tribune-Herald reported at the time. Along the way, he reminisced fondly of his previous visit to Waco as a sitting president in 1947, when he received an honorary doctorate from Baylor University.

 

At the coliseum, Truman chided Protestant preachers for telling their flocks not to vote for a Catholic candidate. He said he would have “exploded” if a Catholic priest “had stood up in church and said I ought not to be elected because I was a Baptist.” He said “religious bigotry is a regular earmark of a dictatorship.”

 

Meanwhile, the Waco Baptist Association met to pass a resolution reprimanding Truman for “his conduct and his manner of speech as a Christian, a Baptist and a guest in our midst.” The association also resolved to “encourage our churches and people consider seriously the men nominated for the presidency as to their allegiances other than to the Constitution of the United States.”

 
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Senate Overturns Ajit Pai’s Net Neutrality Repeal

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The US Senate today voted to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, with all members of the Democratic caucus and three Republicans voting in favor of net neutrality.

The Senate approved a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would simply undo the FCC’s December 2017 vote to deregulate the broadband industry. If the CRA is approved by the House and signed by President Trump, Internet service providers would have to continue following rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has scheduled his repeal to take effect on June 11. If Congress doesn’t act, the net neutrality rules and the FCC’s classification of ISPs as common carriers would be eliminated on that date.

Workforce Shortage due To Opioid Addiction

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First there’s a shortage due to lack of technological skills now it’s opioid addiction.

A provision in a bipartisan Senate package, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, addressing the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis was secured Tuesday.

The provision is based on legislation U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced earlier this month called the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act. The bipartisan package passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Tuesday.

The Opioid Crisis Response Act is a wide-ranging, bipartisan package aimed at stemming the tide of the nationwide opioid crisis. The bill includes a provision based on Brown and Capito’s CARE Act that targets federal workforce training grants to address the workforce shortages and skill gaps caused by the opioid epidemic.

Trump Imposing Stricter Work Requirements On Food Stamp Recipients.

 

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USDA’s goal is to move individuals and families from SNAP back to the workforce as the best long-term solution to poverty. Under federal law, able-bodied adults without dependents are restricted to three months of benefits within a 36-month period unless they work at least 80 hours per month or participate in certain educational or job-training activities. States, however, can request federal waivers of this time limit — either across the state or in certain local areas — if jobs are scarce or unemployment is high.

The Trump administration indicated that it wants to make it harder for states to be granted such waivers. Anti-poverty advocates warn that such changes would unfairly punish beneficiaries who are already struggling.

The Portraits Of Brack & Michelle Obama

Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama, 2018. © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama, 2018. © 2018 Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

Amy Sherald, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 2018. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

 

The unveiling of the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama has created an unprecedented surge of interest in both portraitists, especially Amy Sherald, whose work was relatively new to the market before her commission.

For Sherald, a 44-year-old Baltimore painter who produces roughly a dozen works a year, the demand is so strong it’s basically blown up the waitlist for her paintings, which had been growing ever since demand spiked for the artist’s limited number of works, following her first solo show at Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago in 2016.

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

© 2018 Pete Souza. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

“The ability to be the first African American painter to paint the first African American president of the United States,” said Wiley, “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Obamas were the first African American family in the White House, now they are  the first African Americans in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of presidential portraits. The National Portrait Gallery was established in 1962, and is housed in the Old Patent Office Building in Washington’s Chinatown.

United States Library Of Congress-Carla Hayden

The Disney /Fox Merger

Top Democrats are concerned about the merger, which could potentially violate antitrust laws. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust committee,  is concerned about the impact of this transaction on American consumers, and also commented that this merger was “another industry-changing merger, which would have major implications in television, film, and media.”

Klobucher has reportedly asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chair the antitrust subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee, respectively, to schedule a hearing on the matter.

Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) called for his committee, the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, to take a closer look at the deal as well. “Disney’s proposed purchase of 21st Century Fox threatens to put control of TV, movie, and news content into the hands of a single media giant,” he said.

“If it’s approved,” he continued, “this merger could allow Disney to limit what consumers can watch and increase their cable bills. Disney will gain more than 300 channels, 22 regional sports networks, control over Hulu, and a significant portion of Roku.”

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