From the Archives: President Truman with Los Angeles photographers in 1948


Harry Truman visited Los Angeles twice in 1948. Both times he was greeted at Union Station by large groups of photographers.

For this visit, the Los Angeles Times went all out — publishing several pages of stories and images the following day. One story, headlined, "Record Photog Turnout Snaps Chief Executive," reported on Truman's encounter with photographers at Union Station:

President Truman faced more than 100 flashing news cameras here yesterday with the aplomb of a film star — or maybe a veteran politician.

The lensmen filled every niche and vantage point — including the train shed roof for more than an hour before Truman's train arrived. Slightly jittery with jockeying for position they went into action fast as Mr. Truman appeared on the platform of his private car, the Ferdinand Magellan.

The 14-car Presidential special rolled into Union Station on time — 10.10 a.m. — between long lines of marines, soldiers, sailors and military bands….

He radiated friendliness toward the newsmen, his official hosts in his appearance here by invitation of the Los Angeles Press Club, and the photographers responded, no whit abased by the fact they were addressing the President.

"Hey, President, move this way a little, willya?" shouted one cameraman.

"Sure," Truman smiled, and did.

"That's the boy," yelled the photog. ...

Truman's second visit, on Sept. 23, was a campaign stop for the 1948 presidential election. Again, Truman's train arrived at Union station — greeted by the media.

For years, this image of Truman posing with photographers hung in a museum display case at the Los Angeles Times downtown building. In the photo, Los Angeles Times staff photographers Ray Graham is to the left of Truman, and Phil Bath on the right. Knelling on right is Perry Fowler, then head photographer for the Los Angeles Herald Express. On left is Los Angeles Daily News photographer Helen Brush Jenkins. The identification of the other photographers is unknown.

A cropped version of Truman and Times photographers Graham and Bath was published in the June 1948, issue of "Among Ourselves," a newsletter for Times employees.

This post was originally published on April 1, 2011.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here