Montana State University in Bozeman Montana State University - Home Montana State University Library - Home

Collection 2323 - Walter J. Trohan Papers, 1952-1972

Creator: Trohan, Walter, 1903-

Provenance Note: The Walter Trohan papers were donated to the Montana State University Library Special Collections by Robert Rydell on January 16, 1995.

Historical Note: Walter J. Trohan ( July 4, 1903 - October 30, 2003) was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and specialized in covering national politics in Washington, D. C. Trohan began his career in 1929 but his most famous accomplishment was his early discovery of President Truman's pan to fire Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. When Truman found out that Trohan had uncovered the plan of action it forced the President to publicly announce his decision. Trohan was president of the White House Correspondents' Association in 1937-1938 and the Gridiron Club in 1967. During his time in Washington, Trohan became friends with Montana Senator Burton K. Wheeler. Burton Kendall Wheeler was born in Hudson, Massachusetts on February 27, 1882 and moved to Montana shortly after his graduation from law school in 1905. He began his law career in Butte, serving as U.S. Attorney for Montana from 1913 to 1918 prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1922. In 1924, he ran unsuccessfully for vice-president on the Progressive Party presidential ticket. Throughout his years in the Senate, Wheeler consistently opposed war. He supported neutrality legislation in the 1930s, spoke out against peacetime conscription in 1940, fought against the Lend-Lease aid to Britain in 1941, and took an active roll in the "America First" movement. After the United States decided to enter World War II, however, Wheeler gave his full support to the effort. He was defeated for reelection in 1946 and practiced law in Washington D.C. until his death in 1975.

Content Description Note: The Trohan papers consist of four autographed letters written by Wheeler or his wife, Lulu, to Carol and Walter Trohan, composed between 1952 and 1972. The letters concern national politics, with commentary on the 1952 and 1964 Presidential elections, and family news.

Updated: 5/22/09