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The Buck Stops Here

The Buck Stops Here

“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized - although not originated - by United States President Harry S. Truman who had a sign placed on his desk to tell visitors that he alone accepted personal responsibility for how the country was governed and that he would not pass the back to anyone else. This attractive desk plaque is perfect for your desk or your bosses desk

The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized - although not originated -  by United States President Harry S. Truman who had a sign placed on his desk to tell visitors that he alone accepted personal responsibility for how the country was governed and that he would not pass the back to anyone else.

President Truman felt that the sign appropriately represented his views on how he would run his administration. That ultimate responsibility was his and Responsibility would not passed on beyond this point. There would be no excuses.

The sign was prominently displayed on President Truman’s desk during his term in office. Truman also referred to the design sign in several speeches. One such occasion was an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952. During his speech President Truman said, "You know, it's easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you -- and on my desk I have a motto which says The Buck Stops Here' -- the decision has to be made."

In his January 1953 farewell address to the as President Eisenhower took over as President,  Truman said:  "The President--whoever he is--has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job.”

The phrase passing the buck is derived from the slang expression “pass the buck” which means the opposite of The Buck Stops Here, as it passes responsibility on to someone else. In the game of poker it meant “passing blame” or absolving oneself of responsibility.

The original sign was made at the Federal Reformatory at El Reno, Oklahoma. It was patterned after a sign that a United States Marshal Fred A. Canfil and a friend of President Truman saw while visiting the facility and he asked the Warden if a sign could be made for President Truman. He felt it would appeal to the down to earth plain speaking President. It was send to Truman October, 2, 1945.

Some believe,  although it has not been proven,  that the sign was seen by Caanfil on the desk of retired army officer Colonel A. B. Warfield.  Warfield was quartermaster supply officer and general superintendent of the US Army Transport Service of the New York General Army Depot.

During WWII, Warfield was an officer at a Reconsignment depot at Stockton, California and he had such a sign on his desk. The photograph ran along with a story in October 1942 for a story in the Reno Evening Gazette, which certainly was before Truman’s use of the sign. .

Interestingly, both Truman and the Warden in Oklahoma were said to be avid poker players. In Poker,  a player would relinquish his or her responsibility to deal by passing the “buck” which is what the marker was called.  

The original sign, measuring approximately  2-1/2" x 13" in size was mounted on a walnut base, the painted glass sign. It has been on display at Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum since 1957. 

At Lori Ferber Collectibles we are proud to offer a professional produced replica of the iconic Buck Stops Here design plaque, available for $59.95. It makes a great addition to your collection, office or den and an incredible gift for a boss or corporate executive who wants to make a statement to eveyrone who enters their office. 

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  • Hi Lori & Team I have purchased items from you over the years, since what I guess was your beginning days. All items come perfect - they are what you say - I appreciate each purchase. Is there a website where I can say “ Lori and her team are amazing as are the items I purchase”….or something similar. If so, I’m happy to do that !! All my best, John W California
    John W August 18, 2018
  • I want to thank you both for your wonderful business. With my being deeply involved in the Political arena your business feeds to my love for Politics, I enjoy getting a hold of great Political Items that are part of History collecting these treasures are a personal Hobby to me! I have ordered from you both on a number of occasions and I have to say that I am truly amazed and I appreciate everything - the speedy response, to the great customer service, the speedy arrival of items purchased arriving on time to my doorstep when promised, and more. Thank again for all that you both do for this Country through your wonderful business. I endorse Lori Ferber Collectibles!
    Walter S, Michigan February 02, 2017
  • I just want to thank you for my recent order of political pins. I happen to stumble on your Website and glad I did. The items were just as advertised- and I will be ordering in the near future. Thanks again, Scott
    Scott K January 22, 2017
  • I appreciate everything - the speedy response, the customer service, and of course, the product itself. Often, I'm skeptical and think that online testimonials only post the positive feedback, or even make up feedback. I can tell from the service I received that not only were these testimonials legitimate (just like your products), but it is likely they are all so positive because I can't imagine you getting a negative review. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure working with you. This is how customer service is supposed to look and it is so refreshing! I'll certainly be back to purchase additional gifts for my history-buff boyfriend in the future.
    - Shoshana, Golden Valley Minnesota October 11, 2016
  • Lori, The poster arrived late yesterday afternoon. It is hanging on my wall, and it looks absolutely fantastic! I smile when I see the President staring down at me as I am sitting at my desk. Thanks so much! Well done! Best, Mike B
    Mike B June 18, 2016
  • Lori: After weeks of research, asking for referrals and conducting a competitive analysis - I landed with Lori Ferber Collectibles.My journey has been wonderful to say the least Steve & Lori are excellent!
    B. G. February 26, 2015
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    P.W. February 26, 2015
  • Lori: Thank you ever so much for the Presidential Inaugural Invitation. I was moved because it means so very much to me. I was in Washington D.C. last year during the inauguration, however, I had been hoping to eventually obtain something this special (I even wrote to my Congressman and others). Again, thank you so much and may you have continued success in your business in the coming years.
    W.M. February 20, 2015
  • Thank you very much for your assistance in making sure that the gift is now perfect. I have been spreading the word about the excellent customer service I've received from you
    A. H. February 26, 2015