Harry S. Truman

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Harry S. Truman

Signed Photo to Ambassador of Argentina - 1946

Historic inscribed and signed photograph of President Harry Truman, sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. This photo has been archived as an Official Portrait of President Truman in the Truman Library, taken circa 1946 (his autograph exemplar is also shown in photo at the link). This particular photograph was inscribed to a most interesting man, Señor Dr. Don Oscar Ivanissevich, who was the Argentine Republic’s Ambassador to the United States from 1946-1948. Just prior to serving in this post, Señor Dr. Ivanissevich was the personal physician to Argentine President Juan Perón.

President Truman’s official schedule at the time reveals that Ambassador Ivanissevich visited the White House twice during his tenure, on Friday, September 6, 1946 at 11:45 am, when he presented his credentials to the President as Argentine’s newly appointed ambassador; and again, on Tuesday, March 16, 1948, to officially announce his departure as Ambassador to the US.

In its September 16, 1946 issue, Time magazine sardonically noted:

“It was such a nice scene: it deserved to be engraved on a World’s Fair souvenir spoon. Dr. Oscar Ivanissevich, the new Argentine ambassador to the U.S., was presenting his credentials to President Harry Truman. Dr. Ivanissevich was smiling and the President was smiling, and they were both saying what fine countries the other represented. It was hard to remember that only a few months ago the State Department was spreading the idea that Argentina’s President Juan Peron was nothing but a fascist jerk.”

A few years later, on May 29, 1950, Time reported the end of Ivanissevich’s service to Perón:

“In all the vast expanse of his fatherland, no more ardent or versatile Peronista ever breathed than Oscar Ivanissevich, 45, onetime Argentine Ambassador to the U.S. As a surgeon he had removed the appendixes of both President and Señora Perón. As a poet he had composed the official party march, Peronista Boys. As Minister of Education, he distributed to his schoolchildren a saccharine pamphlet on Evita, “The Good Fairy of Argentina.” Every morning on entering his office he bowed low to his patrons’ pictures on the wall…. Last week Perón accepted Ivanissevich’s resignation. Ivan had already retired to the sleepy provincial capital of La Rioja (pop. 15,000). For the immediate future, Oscar Ivanissevich planned to stick to poetry and medicine.”

It is exceedingly rare to come across diplomatic gifts such as this. It is not known when President Truman gave this inscribed photo to the Ambassador, but it is likely one of the two dates mentioned above, since Ivanissevich does not appear on Truman’s calendar at any other time.

Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945-1953). As vice president, he succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than three months after he began his fourth term. Though his presidency was challenged domestically time after time, it was notable for many landmark events: in 1945 he ordered the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II; he established the Central Intelligence Agency; and he promulgated the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII, the creation of NATO, and the start of the Korean War.

Description of the Letter & Framed Presentation

HARRY S. TRUMAN. Crisp black and white photograph of President Harry S. Truman at his desk in the Oval Office. Date of photograph unknown. Washington D.C. Inscribed to Señor Dr. Oscar Ivanissevich, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the United States from 1946-1948. Signed with a fountain pen in black ink. A very minor surface crease appears on Truman’s left shoulder, but is not visible head on.

Befitting its value and historical significance, this photo has been professionally framed using the finest archival conservation-quality standards. Measuring 15″ x 18″ overall, the window is bordered with handmade Italian marbled paper in a green, brown and cream peacock motif, and the presentation comes together in a very presidential, ornately carved wooden frame.

If kept out of direct sunlight and maintained in a clean, temperate environment, this historic presentation will provide lasting enjoyment for generations.


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