Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. MacArthur Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Bibliography | Primary Sources

Gen. Edwin Simmons on: The MacArthur Handshake
Gen. Edwin Simmons Q: Tell me again about the MacArthur handshake

SIMMONS: MacArthur had a wonderful way of meeting important guests or visitors, whether we're talking about Australia in World War II, or Tokyo at the time of the Korean War. He'd prepare himself for the visitor. He'd have a few details from the person's personal life, and then when this great person would arrive, the Secretary so-and-so, or General so-and-so, MacArthur would arise from his desk, meeting the individual as he came in through the door, extend his left hand, place it on his shoulder or the upper arm of the person, seize his right hand in a firm handshake, look at the person square in the eye, and say, "It's so good to see you, Mr. Secretary," or "Mr. Ambassador," as the case might be, "and how is Emma, and how are the children?" And there'd be a few words of chit-chat. The person would be turned around, leave in a glow of MacArthur charm, and it wouldn't be until he got outside the door that he realized he hadn't quite gotten to the subject he wanted to discuss with MacArthur.

back to Interview Transcripts