Section One

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January 30, 1952: “When Are You Going To Plug It In?”
Washington Post

Today Harry Truman is often remembered as a straight-talking man who popularized the phrase “The buck stops here.” What is not commonly known is that his second term was beset with a set of scandals known as “The Mess in Washington.” While never implicated in the scandal himself, Truman appointed many longtime friends who were not as ethical as he was to high political positions. The symbol of the scandal was General Harry Vaughn, Truman’s friend from World War I who became the president’s military aide. In that position, Vaughn used his access to help friends and business associates in exchange for a 5 percent commission.

In this particular cartoon, Herblock is reacting to the announcement that attorney general and former Democratic National Committee chairman J. Howard McGrath was going to begin an inquiry into the scandals, despite the fact that he, too, had been implicated.