By 1 p.m., the House chamber was jammed. Representatives were in the rear, then the Senators, the diplomatic corps, the Cabinet (eight present). In the gallery, Bess Truman, in dark coat and brown furs, had a front-row seat. Among the Democratic Representatives, a little girl grew bored with history and squirmed on her father's lap.

Seconds after 1:00, the President was announced. He strode briskly down to the spotlighted speaker's dais, smiled broadly at the applause. Tripping only occasionally, speaking with a newly acquired forcefulness, he read the simple, declarative statement of new U.S. foreign policy shaped for him by...

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