It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. "[290] When he left office in 1953, Truman was one of the most unpopular chief executives in history. [148], Although he had little personal expertise on foreign matters, Truman listened closely to his top advisors, especially George Marshall and Dean Acheson. [313] In 1991, he was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, and a bronze bust depicting him is on permanent display in the rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol. "[114], Upon assuming the presidency, Truman asked all the members of Roosevelt's cabinet to remain in place, and told them he was open to their advice. [149] He won bipartisan support for both the Truman Doctrine, which formalized a policy of Soviet containment, and the Marshall Plan, which aimed to help rebuild postwar Europe.[150][151]. Also critical were the contacts he had made statewide in his capacity as a county official, member of the Masons, military reservist, and member of the American Legion. [13][14][15][excessive citations], Truman was interested in music, reading, and history, all encouraged by his mother, with whom he was very close. I hope for a swift end to this war but I fear that the machines are ahead of morals by some centuries. The commander of the U.S. occupation zone in Germany, General Lucius D. Clay, proposed sending a large armored column across the Soviet zone to West Berlin with instructions to defend itself if it were stopped or attacked. [314] ", "Biographical Sketch: Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States", "Harry S. Truman Military Personnel File", 103, 118, 194, 198–199, 235–236, 275, 281, 303, 312, Occasions When Vice Presidents Have Voted to Break Tie Votes in the Senate, Senate, 1789–1989, Vol. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart back to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. [158] Weary of both the convoluted politics of the Middle East and pressure by Jewish leaders, Truman was undecided on his policy, and skeptical about how the Jewish "underdogs" would handle power. The Berlin Airlift was one of Truman's great foreign policy successes; it significantly aided his election campaign in 1948. [11] When Truman was six, his parents moved to Independence, Missouri, so he could attend the Presbyterian Church Sunday School. Find the strongest and most able and God bless you. [193][194] The development achieved fruition with the first U.S. H-bomb test on October 31, 1952, which was officially announced by Truman on January 7, 1953. Marshall believed the paramount threat to the United States was the Soviet Union and feared Arab oil would be lost to the United States in the event of war; he warned Truman the United States was "playing with fire with nothing to put it out". On June 25, the Allies initiated the Berlin Airlift, a campaign to deliver food, coal and other supplies using military aircraft on a massive scale. Had universities and villages named after him. Strikes and labor-management conflicts destabilized major industries while severe housing and consumer good shortages added to public stress over inflation which peaked at six percent in a single month.[131]. [89][90], The committee reportedly saved as much as $15 billion (equivalent to $220 billion in 2019),[91][92][93][94] and its activities put Truman on the cover of Time magazine. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO. [67], After his wartime service, Truman returned to Independence, where he married Bess Wallace on June 28, 1919. [165] In the spring of 1948, Truman's public approval rating stood at 36 percent,[166] and the president was nearly universally regarded as incapable of winning the general election. Truman called for a new law, where any railroad strikers would be drafted into the army. The alliance resulted in the Soviets establishing a similar alliance, called the Warsaw Pact. [251], In 1951, the United States ratified the 22nd Amendment, making a president ineligible for election to a third term or for election to a second full term after serving more than two remaining years of a term of a previously elected president. The high court's reversal of Truman's order was one of the notable defeats of his presidency. To get Congress to spend the vast sums necessary to restart the moribund European economy, Truman used an ideological argument, arguing that communism flourishes in economically deprived areas. [249][250] In 1950 he vetoed the McCarran Internal Security Act. Then if anything is missing we'll know who to blame. Domestic Politics in the Early Cold War Era, 1947–1961", "Harry S. Truman collected news and commentary", Newspaper clippings about Harry S. Truman, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Federal Bureau of Investigation Records: The Vault – Harry S. Truman, Essays on Harry S. Truman, each member of his cabinet and First Lady, National Archives and Records Administration, "Records of the Adjutant General's Office", 1952 Puerto Rican constitutional referendum, Presidential Library, Museum, and gravesite, Harry S. Truman home and National Historic Site, United States Senate election in Missouri, 1934, 1952 Democratic Party presidential primaries, United States Senator (Class 1) from Missouri, Oldest living President of the United States, United States Senate Democratic Conference Secretary, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, North Yemen-South Yemen Border conflict of 1972, Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, Sovereignty of Puerto Rico during the Cold War, Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, List of Eastern Bloc agents in the United States, American espionage in the Soviet Union and Russian Federation,, 20th-century Presidents of the United States, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway people, County executives of Jackson County, Missouri, Democratic Party Presidents of the United States, Democratic Party (United States) presidential nominees, Democratic Party (United States) vice presidential nominees, Democratic Party Vice Presidents of the United States, National Guard of the United States officers, Candidates in the 1948 United States presidential election, Candidates in the 1952 United States presidential election, 1944 United States vice-presidential candidates, University of Missouri–Kansas City alumni, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Articles tagged with the inline citation overkill template from October 2020, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the National Archives and Records Administration, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with USCongress identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. In August 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a former spy for the Soviets and a senior editor at Time magazine, testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Still, he had come from a world of two-bit politicians, and its aura was one that he never was able to shed entirely. [278] He continued to campaign for Democratic senatorial candidates for many years. Truman lost his 1924 reelection campaign in a Republican wave led by President Calvin Coolidge's landslide election to a full term. Popularized - but did not invent - the phrase "The Buck Stops Here.". [33], Truman's unit joined in a massive prearranged assault barrage on September 26, 1918, at the opening of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. [208] In February 1952, Truman's approval mark stood at 22 percent according to Gallup polls, which is the all-time lowest approval mark for an active U.S. president, though it was matched by Richard Nixon in 1974. [65] He was an inactive reservist from the early 1940s until retiring as a colonel in the then redesignated U.S. Army Reserve on January 20, 1953. [21] He then took on a series of clerical jobs, and was employed briefly in the mail room of The Kansas City Star. Many of Truman's family had either owned slaves, held pro-slavery views, or openly supported the Confederacy, and Truman grew up in an environment that harbored many racist views. [132] Similarly, industrial laborers sought wage increases. [98] Truman's nomination was dubbed the "Second Missouri Compromise" and was well received. He also left a plot of land in Grandview, Missouri to his Masonic Lodge and $15,000 to be divided among various nieces, nephews, and their children. On the street outside the residence, Torresola mortally wounded a White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt. He brushed aside the criticism, saying simply, "He was always my friend and I have always been his. [229][230] [231] The Truman family moved into nearby Blair House during the renovations. He emphasized a central principle of his administration: he would be the one making decisions, and they were to support him. [126][127][128] Truman defended his decision to use atomic bombs during the war: As President of the United States, I had the fateful responsibility of deciding whether or not to use this weapon for the first time. [8] Truman's ancestry is primarily English with some Scots-Irish, German, and French. ", "Truman's Attempt to Seize the Steel Industry", "The Nuking of Japan was a Tactical and Moral Imperative", "Reading 2: Goodwill Ambassador to the World", "Former Presidents: Federal Pension and Retirement Benefits", "America in the Second World War: The Manhattan Project", "Presidential Funerals: Services Following Deaths of American Presidents", "It All Adds Up: Reform and the Erosion of Representative Government in Missouri, 1900–2000", "Truman Honored By World Notables At Cathedral Rites", "American President: A Reference Resource", "Biographical Dictionary of the Federal Judiciary", "C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leadership", "Executive Order 9981, Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, Harry S. Truman", "Harry S. Truman: 2nd Confederate President", "Harry S Truman (1884–1972) Thirty-third President (1945–1952)", "Harry S. Truman, 34th Vice President (1945)", "Harry S. Truman Birthplace State Historic Site", "Inauguration of the President: Fact & Firsts", "Interview Transcripts: The Potsdam Conference", "Job Performance Ratings for President Truman", "Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs", "Records of the Committee on Government Contract Compliance", "State Department headquarters named for Harry S. Truman", "U.S. [39] Truman later said he learned more practical, useful information from Danford in six weeks than from six months of formal Army instruction, and when Truman later served as an artillery instructor, he consciously patterned his approach on Danford's. [56] Developing leadership and interpersonal skills that later made him a successful politician helped Truman get along with his Catholic soldiers, as he did with soldiers of other Christian denominations and the unit's Jewish members. When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, he gained United Nations approval to intervene in what became known as the Korean War. [240][241][242], In 1951, William M. Boyle, Truman's longtime friend and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was forced to resign after being charged with financial corruption. |  While beginning his political career, he was encouraged to join the Ku Klux Klan (and ultimately declined). Inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, 1991. He convinced Truman the Nationalists would never win on their own and a very large-scale U.S. intervention to stop the Communists would significantly weaken U.S. opposition to the Soviets in Europe. He attended both Law school and Business school but dropped out of both. This was payback to Pendergast for delivering the Kansas City vote to Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. Together they constitute an enormous contribution to the United States—one of the greatest of any former president. He studied bookkeeping, shorthand, and typing, but left after a year.[20]. As Secretary of State Acheson increased his pressure on Truman, the president, stood alone in his administration as his own top appointees wanted to normalize relations. His combative appearances captured the popular imagination and drew huge crowds. He proposed in 1911, but she turned him down. Harry Truman & Battery D, 129th Field Artillery In Action in the Argonne", "Soldier from Independence: Harry S. Truman and the Great War", "Capt. However, as the Cold War escalated, support for Spain was strong in Congress, the Pentagon, the business community and other influential elements especially Catholics and cotton growers. He was also the recipient of two Armed Forces Reserve Medals. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark. [253] At the time of the 1952 New Hampshire primary, no candidate had won Truman's backing. My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. First U.S. President to appear on television delivering an address from the White House (October 5, 1947). In 1945, he was made a 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General and an Honorary Member of the supreme council at the Supreme Council A.A.S.R. [33], The war was a transformative experience in which Truman manifested his leadership qualities. On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked access to the three Western-held sectors of Berlin. In 1911, he helped establish the Grandview Lodge, and he served as its first Worshipful Master. Truman's approval ratings plummeted, and he faced calls for his impeachment from, among others, Senator Robert A. [191][192] On January 31, 1950, Truman made the decision to go forward on the grounds that if the Soviets could make an H-bomb, the United States must do so as well and stay ahead in the nuclear arms race. They favor minimum wage—the smaller the minimum wage the better. I made the decision after discussions with the ablest men in our Government, and after long and prayerful consideration. Stone.[109]. In his last will and testament, executed in January 1959, he divided the bulk of his estate, valued at $600,000 to his wife and daughter. [293] In 2010, historian Alonzo Hamby concluded that "Harry Truman remains a controversial president. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, and Nagasaki three days later, leaving 105,000 dead. Harry S. Truman Surname: Truman Thursday, May 8, 1884 Harry S. Truman is the most famous person named Harry. It is also believed a naval blockade would have starved Japan into unconditional surrender, without the need for a ground invasion. Yet clearly he largely failed to achieve his Wilsonian aim of securing perpetual peace, making the world safe for democracy, and advancing opportunities for individual development internationally. [129], Truman continued to strongly defend himself in his memoirs in 1955–1956, stating many lives could have been lost had the United States invaded mainland Japan without the atomic bombs. He let loose with a stream of curses so loud, long, and foul that his men were stunned into holding their ground and he managed to rally them into a successful counter attack. He is brought up in the Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire.". The main mission of the committee was to expose and fight waste and corruption in the gigantic government wartime contracts. The plan called for strengthening Europe, weakening the Soviet Union, and building up the United States both militarily and economically. [309] The Truman Sports Complex, which contains the home stadiums for the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals and is located close to Kansas City's border with Independence, is named after the former president. He has never been listed lower than ninth, and was ranked fifth in a C-SPAN poll in 2009.[295]. In 1963, he stood by his decision, telling a journalist "it was done to save 125,000 youngsters on the U.S. side and 125,000 on the Japanese side from getting killed and that is what it did. [on criticism] He who cannot stand the heat should stay out of the kitchen. [55] The two remained friends until Tiernan's death in 1960. [110][111] Truman loved to spend as much time as possible playing poker, telling stories and sipping bourbon. His first choice, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, had declined to run; Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson had also turned Truman down, Vice President Barkley was considered too old,[254][255] and Truman distrusted and disliked Senator Kefauver, who had made a name for himself by his investigations of the Truman administration scandals. Bess died in 1982 and is buried next to Harry at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri.[285][286]. The highly unpopular Truman was handily defeated by Kefauver; 18 days later the president formally announced he would not seek a second full term. [32], Because he lacked the funds for college, Truman considered attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, which had no tuition, but he was refused an appointment because of poor eyesight. When a national rail strike threatened in May 1946, Truman seized the railroads in an attempt to contain the issue, but two key railway unions struck anyway. [23] To that end, during his years on the farm and immediately after World War I, he became active in several business ventures, including a lead and zinc mine near Commerce, Oklahoma,[24] a company that bought land and leased the oil drilling rights to prospectors,[25] and speculation in Kansas City real estate. [205] Fierce criticism from virtually all quarters accused Truman of refusing to shoulder the blame for a war gone sour and blaming his generals instead. Despite Truman's attempt to curtail the naval carrier arm, which led to the 1949 Revolt of the Admirals,[310] an aircraft carrier, USS Harry S. Truman, was named for him in February 1996. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in 1952. State and city party leaders strongly preferred Truman, and Roosevelt agreed. This rebellion on the right was matched by one on the left, led by Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket. However, he pointed out that he wrote it as a loving father and not as the president. "[16] He had rarely discussed world affairs or domestic politics with Roosevelt; he was uninformed about major initiatives relating to the war and the top-secret Manhattan Project, which was about to test the world's first atomic bomb. Harry Truman, Artilleryman and Future President", "Presidency: How Do Historians Evaluate the Administration of Harry Truman? The document was drafted by Paul Nitze, who consulted State and Defense officials, and was formally approved by President Truman as official national strategy after the war began in Korea. For you are the one in trouble now! His closest friend in the White House was his military aide Harry H. Vaughan, who was criticized for trading access to the White House for expensive gifts. After Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower's electoral victory against Democrat Adlai Stevenson II, Truman went into a financially difficult retirement, marked by the founding of his presidential library and the publication of his memoirs. He developed multiple organ failure, fell into a coma, and died at 7:50 a.m. on December 26, at the age of 88.[284][259]. It called for tripling the defense budget, and the globalization and militarization of containment policy whereby the United States and its NATO allies would respond militarily to actual Soviet expansion. In 1945 and 1946, farmers refused to sell grain for months even though it was desperately needed in the United States and to stave off starvation in Europe. [33] At Fort Sill, Truman met Lieutenant James M. Pendergast, nephew of Tom Pendergast, a Kansas City political boss, a connection which had a profound influence on Truman's later life. "[180], The campaign was a 21,928-mile (35,290 km) presidential odyssey. It continued reporting Republican Thomas Dewey's apparent impending victory as a certainty. [200] UN forces led by General Douglas MacArthur led the counterattack, scoring a stunning surprise victory with an amphibious landing at the Battle of Inchon that nearly trapped the invaders. [275], Truman's predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had organized his own presidential library, but legislation to enable future presidents to do something similar had not been enacted. [280] Kennedy responded with a press conference where he bluntly rebuked Truman's advice. Truman benefited from a honeymoon period after Roosevelt's death, and from the Allies' success in Europe, ending the war against Nazi Germany.


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