The spotlight did not appeal to Bess Truman. "She would return home to Independence as often as possible, leaving the President feeling very alone, often desolate," says historian David McCullough. "It's hard for some people to understand what she was like, and why the President was so devoted to her."
Narrator: Bess never wanted to be first lady. After just one month in the White House, Bess and Margaret went home to Independence.
David McCullough, Biographer: Bess did not like living in the White House. She felt very uncomfortable, very ill-at-ease with all the fanfare and the attention of the press. Particularly when photographers pressed in around her, she would freeze and become kind of old stone face. And get an expression that looked as if her feet hurt. The spotlight, the limelight, did not appeal to Bess Truman ever. And she would return home to Independence as often as possible. Leaving the President feeling very alone, often desolate. It's hard for some people to understand what she was like and why the President was so devoted to her. But he adored her there's no question about that.
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Football coach Knute Rockne of Notre Dame was a pivotal figure in the sudden rise of sports to a position of power in American culture.
Engineer James Eads tamed the mighty Mississippi, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation.
The acquittal of the murderers of Chicago teen Emmett Till mobilized the civil rights movement.
America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
The staggering death tolls of the Civil War permanently altered the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people.
George Eastman introduced the Kodak and Brownie camera systems and transformed photography into something anybody could do.