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Harry S. Truman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (62)  | Personal Quotes (20)

Overview (4)

Born in Lamar, Missouri, USA
Died in Kansas City, Missouri, USA  (cardiovascular failure)
Nicknames Give 'Em Hell Harry
The Man of Independence
Haberdasher Harry
The Man From Missouri
High Tax Harry
Get Along Harry
President Harry Truman
President Harry S. Truman
President Truman
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri, USA. He was a writer, known for Assignment in Korea (1951), The DuPont Show of the Week (1961) and Sunday Showcase (1959). He was married to Bess Truman. He died on December 26, 1972 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Spouse (1)

Bess Truman (28 June 1919 - 26 December 1972) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (62)

The only U.S president to use the atomic bomb against a military target. He insisted the atomic bombings of Japan ended the war, although many historians believe the Soviet entry into the war on 8/9/1945 and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria were more important factors. It is also believed a naval blockade would have starved Japan into unconditional surrender, without the need for a ground invasion.
Member of the Democratic Party.
His first work was in a bank.
In 1906 came back home and combined his work in a farm with the job of judge.
Elected Vice President in 1944, with Franklin D. Roosevelt as President.
On 4/12/1945 he automatically became US President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Elected President of the US in 1948 and served until 1953.
Born at 4:17pm-CST.
Served as 33rd President of the US, 1945-53.
His middle initial, "S", did not stand for anything. His grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young, both argued over whose would be the child's middle name. In the end, they agreed to make "S" his middle name, and Truman's full name was Harry S. Truman.
Many of his 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. While beginning his political career, he was encouraged to join the Ku Klux Klan (and ultimately declined). Nonetheless, he went on to espouse civil rights platforms and became the first 20th-century president to push strongly for civil rights legislation for blacks. In 1948, over the strong objections of top Defense Department officials, Army leadership and conservatives in Congress, he ordered the abolition of separate units for black and white troops, thus integrating the US armed forces.
The two most controversial decisions of his presidency were the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and later his decision to relieve Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command during the Korean Conflict. Truman took that step because MacArthur indirectly insulted the President by making policy pronouncements about how he would handle the war--in direct contravention to the principle of US military leaders carrying out policy, not making it-- and strongly implying that the limited conflict in Korea should be turned into a war against the Soviet Union and China. The Soviets were already supplying North Korea with weapons, planes and air crews. Truman later claimed that prior to the Wake Island Conference on 10/15/1950, MacArthur ordered that Truman's plane be kept circling while his (MacArthur's) plane be allowed to land first. According to eyewitness accounts, however, this was not true. MacArthur arrived at Wake Island 12 hours ahead of Truman and was waiting for him at the airport when his plane landed.
In the 1948 presidential election, the right-wing "Chicago Tribune", in a famous headline that was published before the election returns were completely in, declared that Truman had been "defeated" by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. The paper got a rude shock the next day when final election returns showed Truman winning the presidency by a comfortable margin.
Father of Margaret Truman, writer of popular murder mysteries set in Washington, DC.
Inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1991.
Popularized--but did not invent--the phrase "The Buck Stops Here.".
Served in World War I in the US Army as a captain in an artillery unit. He was the first and only combat veteran of the war to be elected President.
Pictured on an 8¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 5/8/73 (anniversary of birth immediately following his death).
Pictured on a 20¢ US definitive postage stamp in the Great Americans series, issued 1/26/84.
Referred to the White House as "the big white prison".
"Time" Magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1945 and again in 1948.
Pictured on a commemorative 4¢ postage label issued by the (now defunct) Independent Postal System of America in 1973.
Was the only US president of the modern era not to have a college education.
In 1953 he made a well remembered departing speech from the end platform of the Baltimore & Ohio Rairload's National Limited train on leaving Washington, DC, for his home town of Independence, MO.
US Senator from Missouri 1935-45.
Vice President of the United States (1945).
During his time in the US Senate, he was known as its most amiable member.
Hated air conditioning, and used fans in his office.
When he returned to Independence, MO, after choosing not to seek another term, there were no pensions at the time granted to former Presidents. He and Mrs. Truman survived solely on his military pension for service in World War I.
Sharply criticized a music critic for the man's caustic remarks about his daughter Margaret Truman's piano recital.
His nickname for his wife Bess Truman was, "The Boss".
Following his term as President, he received all kinds of offers for speaking engagements, or to plug commercial products. He turned them all down because he knew they did not want him, they wanted the endorsement of a president. He refused to compromise the dignity of the office.
Once owned a haberdashery where he sold men's clothing and suits.
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. He also left a plot of land in Grandview, MO, to his Masonic Lodge and $15,000 to be divided among various nieces, nephews and their children.
In November 1948, when he scored his upset presidential re-election victory, Bob Hope sent him a one-word telegram: "Unpack". He was so amused by it he kept it in his desk in the Oval Office.
He loved to play poker and enjoyed introducing unorthodox versions of the game, such as numerous wild cards.
Term limits were introduced during his presidency, making him the last president who could have been elected a third time.
On 10/5/47 he became the first US President to appear on television delivering an address from the White House.
During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. 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. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
He was the first President to speak in front of the NAACP, where he declared before 10,000 audience members that "The only limit to an American's achievement should be his ability, his industry, and his character.".
His wife Bess Truman lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-living First Lady.
Fifth cousin twice removed of Amy Adams.
Had universities and villages named after him.
Formed the NSA (National Security Agency) in a classified memo in 1953, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency, the nation's first peacetime intelligence agency) via the National Security Act of 1947.
His was the first-ever televised presidential inaugural ceremony.
Great-grandfather of Wesley Truman Daniel.
Father-in-law of Clifton Daniel.
Grandfather of Clifton Truman Daniel.
He had an infamously foul mouth, so much so that his political opponents tried to use it against him, saying that a person who cursed so often lacked the dignity to hold such high office. While he was serving as an artillery commander during World War I, his troops tried to flee during an enemy assault. He let loose with a stream of curses so loud, long and foul that they were stunned into holding their ground and he managed to rally them into a successful counter-attack.
Considered creating the state of Israel within the United States in 1948, but was warned the backlash from voters would be too severe.
Although he was considered deeply unpopular during his second term, he has since been viewed in a much more positive light and is now commonly ranked among the greatest Presidents in US history.
Had hoped to attend West Point but his poor eyesight kept him out.
Attended both law school and business school but dropped out of both.
Spent two years selling car club memberships after his losing his seat as a County Court judge in 1924.
Mentioned in Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire".
His administration controversially used many Nazi war criminals, such as Klaus Barbie, to further anti-Communist activities in Europe.
His administration refused to support the Egyptian revolution of 1952.
His dislike of his successor in the White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was so great that he hardly ever referred to him by name in interviews of his later years, usually calling him "that fellow" or things like that.
He supported an international boycott of Spain throughout his presidency, due to the considerable support the Francisco Franco regime had given to Nazi Germany during World War II.
Was criticized for not recognizing Vietnam as an independent country in 1945. French President Charles de Gaulle had threatened Truman that France and Italy were in danger of going Communist, and the British helped the French re-invade their colony so they could justify retaking Malaya.
Although he was instrumental in the creation of Israel in 1948, he nevertheless made anti-Semitic statements in his diary.

Personal Quotes (20)

[his journal entry after visiting Berlin shortly after VE Day.] Never have I seen such a sorrowful sight. I hope for a swift end to this war but I fear that the machines are ahead of morals by some centuries.
I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.
A president cannot always be popular.
Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.
I don't want this office, this responsibility, any longer, even if you want me. Find the strongest and most able and God bless you. Good-bye.
Richard Nixon is a no-good lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in.
[on James Stewart] If Bess and I had a son, we'd want him to be just like Jimmy Stewart.
[on criticism] He who cannot stand the heat should stay out of the kitchen.
[on father/mother] Since a child at my mother's knee, I have believed in honor, ethics, and right living for its own reward.
Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan. I know he's going to vote against me.
[to a friend, the day after FDR died] I'm not big enough. I'm not big enough for this job.
[on in-coming President Eisenhower] This fellow don't know any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday.
It's interesting that a single thing, that great smile of Eisenhower's, gave him the worldwide and lifelong reputation of being a sunny and amiable man., when most of us who knew him well were all too aware that he was essentially a surly, angry and disagreeable man.
Most Presidents don't seem to want to talk to former presidents. And from my experience, I know that's pretty natural behavior. A new president wants to be president on his own hook, and not have a former president around, trying to give him advice. But the really terrible thing is when a president sets out to actively discredit the politics of a former president. And that's what happened when I was succeeded by Dwight Eisenhower.
[jokingly to Eisenhower who had asked before they toured the White House whether he should sign the guestbook] Definitely. Then if anything is missing we'll know who to blame.
[on unexpectedly becoming President in 1945] I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me.
[on Douglas MacArthur] I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.
My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.
I'm proud that I'm a politician. A politician is a man who understands government, and it takes a politician to run a government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead ten or fifteen years.
Don't see how a country can produce such men as Robert E. Lee, John J. Pershing, Eisenhower and Bradley and at the same time produce Custers, Pattons and MacArthurs.

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