When Harry Truman arrived by train in 1948
President Harry Truman’s visit to Baltimore during his 1948 campaign was casual by today’s standards.
He arrived by train at Pennsylvania Station. Railroad officials told the public not to enter the station to see the president. He would be in the railyard on the west side of Charles Street — and spectators were told to use a set of steps to a lower outside platform.
Baltimore’s local Democratic politicos turned out in force. They were led by Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro Jr. and his friend and Little Italy neighbor, Joseph Bertorelli, as well as U.S. Sen. George Radcliffe, City Council President C. Markland Kelly, and political boss James H. “Jack” Pollack.
The Baltimore Sun’s account said 2,000 persons turned out. The president shook hands with a 14-year-old Polytechnic Institute student, Paul M. Hoff, who lived on Beverly Road.
The president said, “I have had a grand trip, and this is a wonderful windup to that trip.”
The Sun also reported that police “checked all handbags and parcels carried by spectators as they went down the stairway.” Members of the seamen’s union marched along Charles Street with placards condemning Truman’s labor policies. “However, the police stopped them and the President never did see the placards,” the article said.
A separate Sun report headlined: “Truman returns to Washington, ready to veto more bills.”