National Archives at Kansas City

Dr. Larry Blomstedt to Discuss Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America’s First Undeclared War

National Archives at Kansas City

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Press Release: October 13, 2016

Kansas City (MO)…On Thursday, October 27, at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives will host Dr. Larry Blomstedt for a discussion of his book Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America’s First Undeclared War. A free light reception will precede the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

Three days after North Korean premier Kim Il Sung launched a massive military invasion of South Korea on June 24, 1950, President Harry S. Truman responded, dispatching air and naval support to South Korea. Initially, Congress cheered his swift action; but, when China entered the war to aid North Korea, the president and many legislators became concerned that the conflict would escalate into another world war, and the United States agreed to a truce in 1953. The lack of a decisive victory caused the Korean War to quickly recede from public attention. In Truman, Congress, and Korea, Blomstedt provides the first in-depth domestic political history of the conflict, from the initial military mobilization, to Congress's failed attempts to broker a cease-fire, to the political fallout in the 1952 election. During the war, President Truman faced challenges from both Democratic and Republican legislators, whose initial support quickly collapsed into bitter and often public infighting. For his part, Truman dedicated inadequate attention to relationships on Capitol Hill early in his term and also declined to require a formal declaration of war from Congress, advancing the shift toward greater executive power in foreign policy. Blomstedt explores the changes wrought during this critical period and the ways in which the war influenced U.S. international relations and military interventions during the Cold War and beyond.

This program is presented in partnership with the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the Truman Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Copies of Blomstedt's book will be available for purchase and signing. Reservations are requested for this free program by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing Requests for ADA accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to events.

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 17-03