National Affairs: Barbecue

The first Jackson Day dinner since 1944 turned out to be Harry Truman's kind of party. Though Washington's Mayflower Hotel had put out its best napery, the affair had the informality of a barbecue. Fortified with bourbon, 1,800 Democrats uncomplainingly ate the 700-calorie "austerity dinner" (tomato soup, baked chicken, potatoes, salad and one oatmeal cookie) for which they had paid $400 apiece. They whistled, whooped and slapped backs. Soprano Grace Moore rose with a flash of jewels, and sang a hillbilly song. Leon Henderson gave her a cigar.

Midway in the proceedings the President left his seat in the grand ballroom, led...

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