A few days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in April 1945, his successor telephoned Jesse Jones. The President, he said, had appointed John Snyder, a St. Louis banker, as Federal Loan administrator. Jones was surprised. "Did he make that appointment before he died?" he asked. "No," snapped President Harry S. Truman. "He made it just now."

The Lonely Hours. The story is told on himself by the ex-President, in his memoirs, which begin in this week's LIFE. The first installment covers Truman's first 18 days in office—a period of historic decisions,...

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