Trivia: Harry Truman’s Erectile Dysfunction
From President Kennedy’s White House tapes, that the general public will now be able to hear, comes this tidbit.
I can hear–as I type this post–my Mom asking (as she often did when I read some odd yet interesting article from history, and then shared it) “do we really need to know that”? She was not talking about me personally sharing what I had just read or heard, but had a larger view that historians came to learn too much about “everything”. She just thought some things should remain private about our leaders.
Even as a young person I was curious to know more–as much as the historians could uncover and analyze.
These Kennedy tapes are going to be fascinating to hear. Many of them have been used for years by scholars and historians. Now the general public will have their turn.
The tapes reveal that Kennedy talked several times with his predecessors about pressing issues of the day, including with Dwight D. Eisenhower about the Cuban missile crisis. But one conversation with Harry S. Truman veered in a surprisingly personal direction as they wrapped up a call in July 1963.
“Well, you sound in good shape,” Kennedy said.
“All right,” Truman replied. “The only trouble with me is that, the main difficulty I have, is keeping the wife satisfied.” Both men laughed.
“Well, that’s all right,” Kennedy said.
“Well, you know how that is,” Truman went on. “She’s very much afraid I’m going to hurt myself. Even though I’m not. She’s a tough bird.”
Mr. Widmer, the historian, said he believed that Truman was talking about erectile dysfunction. “I wanted the book to have human moments,” he said.