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White House Christmas Ornament, 2014, 24KT Gold Finish, #26 in Collection, TRUMAN'S BALCONY, Honors President H. S. Truman, Quote on Reverse, Giannini Design, Made by Official Makers, Portion of Sale Supports National Multiple Sclerosis Society Research
White House Christmas Ornament, 2014, 24KT Gold Finish, #26 in Collection, TRUMAN'S BALCONY, Honors President H. S. Truman, Quote on Reverse, Giannini Design, Made by Official Makers, Portion of Sale Supports National Multiple Sclerosis Society Research


 
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Product Code: TRUMAN-BALCONY
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The 2014 White House ornament honors President Harry S. Truman. Design concept by Giannini, the 2014 Christmas ornament is titled TRUMAN'S BALCONY and is the 26th ornament in the globally prized, collected, gifted, and traded White House Gift Shop's Official Ornament Collection. The President Truman commemorative is handmade in the USA and features a complete 24KT gold finish with brilliant baked enamels, museum quality, heirloom design, inscribed quote of President Truman with Administration dates on reverse, historical information card, traditional Christmas and Holiday motifs, elegant two-piece Christmas green gift box with the White House Gift Shop, Est. 1945 official seal embossed in gold. Of significance for your collectible or gift -- the White House Gift Shop, Est. 1946 was created by permanent Presidential order of President H. S. Truman which adds substance and meaning to your 2014 White House ornament.

Ornament dimensions: 3x 2.5 inches

It would be far more architecturally correct to have a balcony up here! -- President Harry S. Truman


2014 WHITE HOUSE GIFT SHOP ANNUAL ORNAMENT: TRUMAN’S BALCONY

The 2014 White House Gift Shop’s official annual ornament honors President Harry S. Truman, thirty-third president of the United States from 1945-1953. Truman came from modest beginnings, grew up on the family farm in Independence, Missouri, and did not attend college. After high school, he worked as a time keeper, clerk, bookkeeper, farmer, then joined the National Guard. When World War I erupted, Truman volunteered for duty. Truman’s organization and leadership skills were soon recognized, and he was quickly promoted to captain in France. Despite his often shy and modest temperament, Truman captured the respect and admiration of his men, leading them successfully through heavy fighting during the Meuse-Argonne campaign. Among Truman’s accomplishments as President were ending World War II, containment of the conflict in Korea, initiating the Berlin Airlift, creation of his Fair Deal, banning racial discrimination in federal hiring practices, and desegregation of the military. Truman was not afraid of contentious or unpopular causes, one of the core traits of presidential leadership.

HISTORY OF PRESIDENT TRUMAN'S CREATION OF THE WHITE HOUSE SOUTH BALCONY

“It would be far more architecturally correct to have a balcony up here!”

President Truman spoke these words during the week of February 1946 and subsequently forged ahead to make the first change to the White House since 1872-- the replacement of the canvas canopies on the south face of the White House with the now iconic South Balcony of the White House. Truman's proposal for a balcony sparked outrage and debate in America about the mutilation of the White House. Critics abounded at Truman’s proposal to change the White House face, the first exterior change of the White House in 117 years. Members of the Commission of Fine Arts argued that the Classic Greek style of the White House would be mutilated simply to create a leisure space for the First Family. It got worse: Political cartoonists satirized the balcony project, claiming that Truman could lose the 1948 presidential election because of his proposed degradation of the White House. The Fine Arts Commission eventually agreed to the proposed balcony but only if the change was approved by the renowned architect William Adams Delano. The Commission believed that Delano would never approve Truman’s balcony. Truman argued that the addition of a balcony would provide shade for the first floor portico, avoid the need for new awnings, and would balance the south face of the White House. While Truman’s reasons were logical and aesthetically accurate, he had personal reasons for wanting a south side balcony: The view from the Oval Room was magnificent but more importantly, Truman hoped that his wife, Bess, would spend more time at the White House given a South Balcony with such a splendid view.

In small acts of vision and leadership amidst resistance, the vision and acumen is often revealed of a President or future president. Despite opposition from the Fine Arts Commission and funding from Congress uncertain, Truman forged ahead with the construction of the now quintessential South Balcony of the White House. Well known for his position that the Buck Stops with the President and given the resistance from Congress, Truman made no request to Congress for the $16,050.74 cost of constructing the South Balcony, for he paid for the balcony from his own household account. Once completed, many of those who vigorously opposed Truman’s Balcony quickly wrote to the President to say that the new balcony substantially improved the south face of the White House.


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