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His Magnificence

Clark Clifford shares this reminiscence of his former boss, Harry S. Truman:

Every morning at 8:30 the President would have a staff meeting. One day the mail clerk brought in a lavender envelope with a regal wax seal and flowing purple ribbons. Opening it, the President found a letter from King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, whose salutation began, “Your Magnificence.”

“Your Magnificence,” Truman repeated, laughing. “I like that. I don’t know what you guys call me when I’m not here, but it’s okay if you refer to me from now on as ‘His Magnificence.’”

Truman subsequently sent a message to the United Nations supporting the admission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine. Soon afterward he received a second letter from King Ibn Saud. This one began: “Dear Mr. President.”

Clark Clifford