|History of the Harry Hopkins Short Snorter
(Provided courtesy of Gary Schulze)
Harry Hopkins was FDR's closest advisor. By the summer of 1942, Britain had suffered through the London Blitz
and the Soviet Union was battling 3 million German soldiers on Russian soil. Both allies had their back to the
wall and needed America's help. Roosevelt and his senior advisors wanted to launch an attack against Hitler
on the European mainland. Churchill and his generals wanted to invade North Africa first. On July 25, 1942,
Roosevelt wired Harry Hopkins in London and told him a decision had been reached - the Allies would attack
the Germans in North Africa. Many of the leaders at the London Conference, including Eisenhower and
Averill Harriman, signed Hopkins short snorter. Ironically, General Marshal and Admiral King, who were
at the meeting with Hopkins in London, did not sign it, presumably because they were against the decision.
Hopkins then carried the 10 shilling note to the Casablanca Conference six months later where he collected
more signatures, including Churchill, Patton, H.R. Alexander, and Mountbatten. By then, the landings in
North Africa had proved successful and the Allies now called for the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy
and Japan. Roosevelt's signature was added in Trinidad en route to Casablanca. Roosevelt did not want his
Secretary of State at the Casablanca Conference so he talked Churchill into not bringing his Foreign Secretary,
Anthony Eden, to the meeting. Hopkins added Eden's signature to the short snorter later on in Washington, D.C.
Harry Hopkins' short snorter was created as a unique record of two of the turning points of the
Second World War - America's decision on how to join the fight and the Allies' decision on how to end it.
It was also an intimate record of friendship and trust, of a special relationship between Britain and
the United States. It was this relationship which would ultimately help defeat Hitler.
Below is a link to the research which the PBS "History Detectives" did for their program
about the Harry Hopkins Short Snorter. It references the trip FDR made from Washington to
Trinidad en route to Casablanca....
|Harry Hopkins Short Snorter
|Royal Banquet given by the Sultan of Morocco for President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill during the
1943 Casablanca Conference. Several individuals in the photograph signed the Harry Hopkins' short snorter.
(Photo courtesy of Gary Schulze)
|In February 1945, 15-year-old Robert Hopkins accompanied his father, Harry, to the Yalta Conference.
He later wrote about his effort to get Stalin to sign his short snorter...
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of French Morocco