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    Follow the Stories | Chattanooga, Tennessee (2009)

    1948 Harry S. Truman "8-Ball" Statuette

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    • A newspaper photo showing the president holding up the 8-ball


      At the July 2008 Chattanooga ROADSHOW, Phil Weiss appraised an 8-ball statuette that had presented to President Harry Truman by the Los Angeles Press Club following a speech Truman delivered to the club on June 14, 1948. In his appraisal, Weiss mentioned to the current owner, John from Lawrenceville, Georgia, that the best proof that Truman owned the statue at one time is a newspaper photo showing the president holding up the 8-ball. Well here it is, from the June 15, 1948, edition of the L.A. Examiner.

      (Photo courtesy L.A. Press Club)

    • L.A. Press Club chairman Walter Ames presents the 8-ball statue to Truman


      In this photo, L.A. Press Club chairman Walter Ames presents the 8-ball statue to Truman. The original photo caption reads: " GOOD FOR A LAUGH — Walter Ames, left, Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, presents an '8-Ball,' a Press Club symbol, to President Truman at the conclusion of the Chief Executive's speech before the Press Club yesterday."

      (Photo courtesy L.A. Press Club)
    • President Truman accepting the gift


      In its story covering the president's visit to Los Angeles, the Examiner reported "President Truman yesterday was presented with a replica of the Los Angeles Press Club's eight ball — traditionally used at the speakers' table when guests talk off the record." He is said to have accepted the gift "with a hearty laugh," quipping that "The president's behind the eight ball a good deal of the time, but I manage to get out of it."

      (Photo courtesy L.A. Press Club)
    • The statuette


      Considering the provenance of John's statuette, Weiss estimated its current value to be in the very executive range of $12,000 to $20,000. Watch the full appraisal of this item in our ROADSHOW Archive.

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