May 8th was Harry Truman’s 132 birthday. It was also the occasion for the annual Good Neighbor Award given annually to someone who has shown characteristics of the former Missouri president.
This year the recipient was Sen. John McCain, a former Senate colleague. So I flew over to Kansas City for the lunch event at the Downtown Marriott-Muehlebach. It was good to see and exchange views with the Senator. I served with McCain on the Armed Services Committee that he headed during my time in the Senate and traveled with the first congressional delegation to Afghanistan that he led three months after 9-11.
Truman’s Grandson Attends
Also on hand were Clifton Truman Daniel and wife, Polly. Those of you who are into Truman trivia will recognize him as the oldest of Margaret Truman Daniel’s three sons. They are a delightful couple, as down to earth as Harry himself. The Daniels live in Chicago and are the parents of 3 children. Clifton is a lecturer and author.
The annual award, given on or near Truman’s birthday, has been presented since 1973. Former recipients of the honor include: Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jack Danforth, Kit Bond, Jean Carnahan, Walter Cronkite, John Warner, Ike Skelton, Jonas Salk, Buzz Aldrin, Nelson Rockefeller, Norman Schwarzkopf, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Tom Eagleton, George Mitchell, David McCullough, John Hope Franklin, and actor Gary Sinise.
One of the unique parts of the birthday celebration is the toast to Harry using sherry wine, though I suspect Harry would have been more inclined to bourbon.