CHICAGO (Dec. 11)
Harry S. Truman, former President honored at an Israel bond rally here last night as “Man of the Century,” predicted that “50 years after I’m dead,” a Jew might be elected President of the United States. “I’d certainly like to see it.” he said, “but the figures are against me. The next thing you know, well elect a Jew, then maybe a colored man for Vice President.”
More than 4,000 men and women attended the dinner. President-elect John F. Kennedy personally telephoned a greeting to Mr. Truman, heard by the audience over loud speakers, while Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion sent a recorded message, also heard in the banquet hall. Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman and General of the Army Omar N. Bradley were among the noted men at the dinner who accompanied Mr. Truman to the dais.
Three valuable archaeological artifacts were presented to Mr. Truman, at the dinner, by the Israeli Government. The gifts were a footed vase, dating from the year 1800 before the Common Era; a long-necked wine cruet, from the First Century, C. E.; and an ceil pitcher dated about 800 B. C.
Mr. Truman, who recognized Israel on May 14, 1948, less than ten minutes after it declared its independence, in his address pleaded for cooler heads in the Arab world to heed the opportunity to negotiate with Israel to bring about peaceful relations. This could be done, he said, although he did not dismiss the emotional tension and antagonism built up in the area. Once peace in the Middle East is brought about, he predicted, the deserts there will bloom as in Biblical times.
President-elect Kennedy, in his telephone conversation with Mr. Truman, told the ex-President: “I want to associate myself with the Israel Bond Organization congratulating you, Your Administration has set a high standard for anyone to follow, and I want you to know I’m going to do all I can to follow your example.”