Don't Know Much

Who Said It? (10/5)

Save a slice of bread every day.

President Harry S. Truman (Photo: Truman Library)

President Harry S. Truman
(Photo: Truman Library)

President Harry S. Truman in the first-ever televised address from the White House (October 5, 1947).

As post-war Europe struggled to recover, Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat and eggs on different days to help stockpile food supplies. The effort was mostly symbolic and was a prelude to the far more ambitious Marshall Plan which had a much greater impact on post-World War II Europe.

The food-saving program which has just been presented to you has my wholehearted support. I am confident that it will have the support of every American.

The situation in Europe is grim and forbidding as winter approaches. Despite the vigorous efforts of the European people, their crops have suffered so badly from droughts, floods, and cold that the tragedy of hunger is a stark reality.

The nations of Western Europe will soon be scraping the bottom of the food barrel. They cannot get through the coming winter and spring without help–generous help-from the United States and from other countries which have food to spare.

I know every American feels in his heart that we must help to prevent starvation and distress among our fellow men in other countries…


It is simple and straightforward. It can be understood by all. Learn it–memorize it–keep it always in mind. Here it is: One: Use no meat on Tuesdays.

Two: Use no poultry or eggs on Thursdays.

Three: Save a slice of bread every day. 

Four: Public eating places will serve bread and butter only on request.

Complete Text and Source: “Radio and Television Address Concluding a Program by the Citizens Food Committee,” October 5, 1947. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Read more about Truman and the post war world in Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents, Don’t Know Much About History and The Hidden History of America At War.


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