Program Details

They're Only Human: Presidential Faults, Foibles...and Fun

Clifton Truman Daniel
Storytelling / History
Video Catch-up

Course Description

George Washington sometimes carried a fake hat so he wouldn’t have to shake hands. President and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison were afraid to turn on the new electric lights in the White House -they made the servants do it. President Gerald Ford was once trapped in the Executive Mansion’s stairwell in the middle of the night. And Harry Truman joked to a group of reporters that the mansion’s second floor was so unstable he feared falling through the bathroom floor and into the State Dining Room, adding that, “the Marine Band will play Hail to the Chief as I come through the ceiling.” Growing up around presidents, congressmen, senators and other famous Americans, Clifton Truman Daniel came to appreciate those who were approachable and had a sense of humor, chiefly about themselves. Using information and illustrations from the nation’s presidential libraries and home sites, as well as stories from other presidential descendants, he shows us many of our chief executives in their best light – as human beings.

About the Instructor

  • Clifton Truman Daniel is the grandson of President Harry S. Truman and his wife, Bess. He is the son of author Margaret Truman and former New York Times Managing Editor E. Clifton Daniel Jr. Daniel is the honorary chairman of the board of the Truman Library Institute, nonprofit partner of the Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, MO. He is the author of Growing Up With My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S. Truman and Dear Harry, Love Bess: Bess Truman’s Letters to Harry Truman, 1919-1943. In addition to lectures on his grandparents and White House history, he currently portrays his grandfather onstage in the one-man show, Give 'Em Hell, Harry!

Upcoming programs presented by Clifton Truman Daniel.

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