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Harry Hines Woodring Political Archives and Related Material
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HARRY WOODRING. Archive. Featuring a Harris & Ewing photo of Roosevelt at his desk signed and inscribed,“to Helen Woodring (wife) from her friend Franklin D. Roosevelt”. With over 30 official and other photos of Woodring and/or his wife, many being proof copies from Harris & Ewing, five acetate recordings of Woodring including the “Cabinet Series” of the “United States Government Reports” radio series with paperwork, a 1940 letter from General George Marshall, assorted certificates, calling cards, government letterheads, Woodridge family ration books in a leather case, leather jewelry/vanity case with Mrs. Woolridge’s initials and December 25, 1939 date, etc. First half 20th century.

Inventory #25690.01       Price: $2,000

Historical Background

After serving for three years as the Assistant Secretary of War, Woodring took office in September 1936, a month after his predecessor George Dern’s death in office. As Secretary of War, Woodring continued Dern’s recommendations for increasing the strength of the Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Reserve Corps. However, Woodring was also a strict non-interventionist, which put him increasingly at odds with Roosevelt’s cabinet. They placed increasing pressure on Woodring to resign and on Roosevelt to fire him. Instead, Roosevelt appointed interventionist Louis A. Johnson as Assistant Secretary of War. Woodring and Johnson immediately clashed and came to the point where they no longer spoke to each other. On June 20, 1940, Roosevelt fired Woodring and replaced him with Republican Henry Stimson, who had been William Howard Taft’s Secretary of War and Herbert Hoover’s Secretary of State.

Although Roosevelt appointed Woodring to succeed Dern as Acting Secretary of War in the fall of 1936, he did not officially nominate him until April 27, 1937. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 6, 1937. Roosevelt issued this formal appointment as Secretary of War to Woodring the following day.

Harry Hines Woodring (1887-1967) was born in Kansas, the son of a farmer and Union Army soldier. He attended a business school in Indiana, which helped him get a job at a bank in Kansas. He became vice president and owner of another bank, when he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army. He later served a junior officer in the Tank Corps during World War I. He won election as governor of Kansas as a Democrat in 1930. He served as Governor of Kansas from 1931 to 1933, but lost a re-election bid in 1932. Incoming President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Woodring as Assistant Secretary of War. In that position from 1933 to 1936, he had supervision over procurement. Roosevelt promoted Woodring to the position of Secretary of War to succeed George Dern, who had died in office. Woodring served as Secretary of War until Roosevelt fired him in June 1940. Woodring returned to Kansas, where he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1946. He also unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for that position in 1956.


Descended in the family of Harry Hines Woodring, Topeka, Kansas.


Most items in very good to excellent condition. Roosevelt photo with 1 inch tear from top edge, several recordings with flaking to surface.

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