Within a week of his inauguration as President upon the death of FDR, Harry Truman selected a childhood friend as his Press Secretary.
Charlie Ross was one of 11 boys in the 1901 graduating class of Independence High School in Missouri alongside of Truman. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper reporter and class valedictorian.
On April 19, 1945 Ross was summoned to the White House and offered the job by the 33rd President. Impulsively, Truman asked the White House switchboard to make a call to their elderly English teacher of Independence High School, Miss TILLY BROWN.
On the day of the boys’ graduation Miss Brown had kissed Charlie Ross on the cheek after his valedictory address. Standing nearby young Truman had sheepishly said “Well, don’t I get one too?”
“Not until you have done something important,” she had answered with a laugh.
The two childhood friends (and rivals) called their aged teacher. “Hello, Miss Brown, this is the President of the United States calling, do I get that kiss now?”
“Yes, come and get it,” the old lady said with a laugh.
Truman and Ross went on to earnestly thank their beloved Teacher. All present at the White House wiped tears as they listened to these two powerful men express appreciation to their aged small town educator.
The 33rd President famously said “I’ve tried never to forget who I was, where I came from....”
Is there a Miss TILLY we need to call?