Never-Seen-Before Bess Truman Letters to Husband Harry Show a True Love Story

By MichaelJames

Oct 16, 2009 9:18pm

ABC News' Kristina Wong reports from Washington:

Former first lady Bess Truman and President Harry Truman met in Sunday school when she was five and he was six. They would marry 29 years later and become one of American political history's most endearing couples.

Bess was a very private person. But there wasn't anything she wouldn't share with her husband. When apart, the couple would write letters — sometimes twice a day.

Between 1910 and 1959, the couple would write more than 3,000 letters chronicling for each other the details of their days spent separately, often discussing the same matters that ordinary husbands and wives would today — house pests, haircuts and the weather.

To maintain her privacy, in 1955 Bess would burn most of the letters she wrote to Harry.

"Her own business was her own damn business, and that was it," said her eldest grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel. 

But Bess Truman overlooked 180 of those letters, discovered in the Trumans' home in the early 1980s. While the bulk of the letters will remain private for another four years, this week at the National Archives Daniel gave the media an exclusive preview of eight of those letters.

"Dear Pettie," Bess wrote on July 16, 1923. "I hope you didn't run into the rain we had about five-thirty — It didn't last long but it was good and wet while it did last. It is now 10:20 and I am in bed. There was a big black bug on my bed when I turned the sheet down and I had to kill it myself — but that wasn't the first time I had wished for you."

See Bess Truman's letter to Harry dated July 16, 1923 here.

Read full story here.

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