The Daily Schedule

Harry Truman was an early morning riser, up at 7:30 am, some two hours later than his Washington routine. On the advice of his physician, President Truman started his morning with a shot of bourbon, followed by a large glass of orange juice.

After his morning “medicine,” Truman would take a brisk walk around the compound, usually with the secret service and staff in tow. The prescribed walk spanned ten blocks at 120 paces a minute.

Around 8 am, Truman would return to the Little White House for breakfast of bacon, eggs, cereal, toast and a large glass of milk.

Many mornings began around 9 am with a staff meeting on the lawn.

Mid-morning saw Truman reading and responding to the enormous volume of official correspondence received from DC, including draft legislation, proclamations, appointments, and briefs on national and world politics. Mail arrived from DC via naval plane every other day.

After 11 am, Truman and staff would take a break at Fort Zach for swimming and sunbathing.

Lunch was at 1 pm. Most of the lunches were working lunches on the lawn. Every November, the annual budget and State of the Union Address was drafted in Key West. Many congressional and military leaders met with Truman at the Little White House.

Mid-afternoons were a relaxation period for most of Truman’s personnel. Truman wanted the Little White House to be an escape from the pressures of DC. Many staff members went deep-sea fishing, but Truman preferred swimming or walking.

In late afternoons, Truman would take a nap, read a book, or write home to Bess.

Dinner was in the dining room, of course. Truman usually hosted around 14 guests. After, movies were shown in the living room. Some read, and others joined Truman in a game of poker.

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