Harry Truman, of Independence, Missouri, a former haberdasher and prominent fancier of hopeless causes, was struggling to focus his lenses on the hopeless Navy football team, a team that had lost thirteen successive games and now, with fifty-eight seconds of its season remaining, stood tied with undefeated Army, champion of the East, third-ranking power of the nation, and twenty-one-point favorite in the trustworthy Minneapolis line.

Fifty Secret Service men fidgeted, watching protocol go down the drain. For safety’s sake, it has been their custom to get the President clear of the crowd two minutes before an Army-Navy game ends. Hot or cold, out he goes with two minutes to play.

But Harry Truman wouldn’t budge. Like the 102,580 others present at the forty-ninth meeting of service academies, he simply had to see Navy fire the last shot in its locker.

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