The medal, the highest bestowed by Congress, was received in the Oval Office by Truman’s daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel.

Truman, the 33d president, died at the age of 88 in 1972.

Mr. Reagan often invoked Truman’s combative spirit in his political campaigns, and the Missourian was the last Democratic Presidential candidate Mr. Reagan supported before his eventual switch to the Republican Party.

Mrs. Daniel told reporters that Mr. Reagan helped her father in 1948 and, asked how she felt about Mr. Reagan’s campaigning now on her father’s themes, said, ”If they want to run on his coattails, that’s all right with me.”

A similar ceremony for Hubert H. Humphrey was held in the Rose Garden before the White House press corps at the time of last year’s Presidential campaign. But the deputy press secretary, Larry Speakes, barred press coverage of the Truman ceremony.

When a network correspondent asked why the event was closed, Mr. Speakes said camera crews would be allowed to cover it ”if you could stand right here and guarantee me that the Harry Truman Congressional Medal will make your evening news.” He added, ”Otherwise, forget it.”

Mr. Speakes later invited still photographers to record the event.

Thanks to Heath MacAlpine and Wayne Homren of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society for their assistance in tracking down photographs of the Truman Congressional Gold Medal.