This letter from President Harry S. Truman was presented to NRA Secretary-Treasurer in 1945 upon the conclusion of World War II. In it, Truman credits the NRA for doing much to encourage the improvement of small arms marksmanship in both the armed services and civilian population. Read the full letter, which was originally published in the December 1945 issue of The American Rifleman:
The White House
November 14, 1945
Dear Mr. Lister:
The tradition of a citizenry soldiery is firmly, and properly, imbedded in our national ideals. Initiative, discipline, and skill in the use of small arms are essentials for the development of the finished citizen soldier.
The National Rifle Association, in the periods between our last four wars, has done much to encourage the improvement of small arms and of small-arms marksmanship in the regular services, as well as in the National Guard, reserve units, and the civilian population.
During the war just ended, the contribution of the National Rifle Association in the matter of small-arms training aids, the nation-wide pre-induction training program, the recruiting of experienced small-arms instructors for all branches of the armed services and technical advice and assistance to Government civilian agencies aiding in the prosecution of the war—all contributed freely and without expense to the Government—have materially aided our war effort.
I hope the splendid program which the national Rifle Association has followed during the past three-quarters of a century will be continued. It is a program that is good for a free America.
Harry S. Truman