Lead: Harry Truman began to run down Statuary Hall, shoes pounding the marble through the crypt, past the barber shop, then up the steps. In minutes, he was on his way to the White House. It was about 5:15 in the afternoon.

Later he said that he thought he was going to meet the President, but the haste in which he moved out Sam Rabin's office and back to his own to pick up his hat indicated that he may have been the product of his greatest fears. It took 10 minutes but soon the black Mercury turned off Pennsylvania and came to a halt under the North Portico. The time was 5:25. Historian David McCullough describes the scene, the ushers took his hat and escorted him to the elevator installed during Theodore Roosevelt's administration and very slowly it went to the second floor in the private quarters across the hall, Mrs. Roosevelt was waiting. Steve Early, the Press Secretary, a daughter, Anne, and her husband. Mrs. Roosevelt stepped forward and put her arm on Truman's shoulder. "Harry, the President is dead." Truman was unable to speak. "Is there anything I can do for you?" he said at last.


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