Harry S Truman
1945 - 1953
Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884. He was the first President born in Missouri. The "S" in his name is the first letter in both of his grandfathers' names.
Harry Truman was the great-great-great nephew of John Tyler
He was a Baptist.
He met his wife Bess in Sunday school when he was six years old.
Harry Truman was 5' 11" tall and weighted about 185.
He was left handed.
He served in the military during WW I. He was a captain in a artillery unit. He was also the first president to take office during war time.
Harry Truman owned a men's clothing store with some other men. The store went bankrupt in 1921. He also failed as a farmer. (He was later voted one of the top ten best dressed congress men.
A good piano player, Truman considered a career in music but went into politics instead.
As a congressman he gained fame but identifying waste in the U.S. Army.
Harry Truman became president when Franklin Roosevelt died. Truman was playing poker when he found out he was going to be president.
Harry Truman didn't have a Vice President. He had been Franklin Roosevelt's last VP, and the position was not filled until Truman was elected for his own term in 1948.
When he ran against Dewey for president, the papers ran headlines after the election the Dewey had won. Truman won, but was the 15 president to not get the majority of the votes.
The train Truman used to campaign in 1948 was called the Ferdinand Magellan.
Truman enjoyed taking walks. He took a two mile morning walk at a pace of 128 steps per minute. (Give it a try!)
Truman was the first President to have his inauguration televised. He was the first President to give a speech on television. In 1951, he was part of the first Trans continental TV broadcast.
One day Harry Truman walked into the Green Room and looked down at the rug. Something bothered him about that rug--finally he realized that the head of the eagle on the presidential seal in the center of the rug was turned the wrong way. Instead of facing the olive branch, this eagle's head pointed toward the arrows. Promptly Truman ordered that the rug be re-stitched with the eagle's head turned the right way.
President Truman was very proud of his daughter Margaret who was a singer. He once was so mad about a bad review of his daughter that he wrote the newsman and said if they ever met he would the newsman would need a new nose. (Letter)
The smartest boy in Truman's graduating class of 1901, Charles G. Ross, became Truman's press secretary.
Truman's Secretary of State won the Nobel Peace Prize.
President Truman was the only 20th Century president who did not attend college.
April 13, 1945 Truman's first day in office, Truman told reporters: "Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now...When they told me yesterday what happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me." (Roosevelt had died the day before that.)
President Truman was the first President to travel under water in a modern submarine. He was underwater for almost an hour of Key West.
He was the first president and the first American to have a Medicare Card. (Federal Health Insurance) He had card number one and his with Bess had card number two.
In 1948, President Truman ordered desperation of the armed forces.
Harry Truman was President at the conclusion of WWII and during the Korean War - 1950-1953. Truman sent troops to Korea without the approval of Congress.
He made the decision to use the atomic bomb in WW II.
During the Korean War he removed General MacArthur from command in Korea. MacArthur was very popular in the United States. Senate Taft said the Truman should be impeached for his action. People throughout the United States hated his decision. (Historian' agree that his action in firing MacArthur was the right decision.)
He was the first president to be paid $100,00.00 salary.
His "Fair Deal" program was all most totally defeated by Congress.
He escaped assassination on November 1, 1950. Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola tried to shoot their way into Blair House. A White House guard was killed and two others were wounded. See Assassinations for more detail.
Harry Truman would get up at 5 AM to practice the piano for two hours.
Bess never found a laundry she liked in Washington, so she sent the family's clothes back to Independence to be washed.
He had a pet goat named Dewey's Goat.
One of his most famous quotes was: "The buck stops here". He had a sign with that quote on his desk.
When the House of Representatives wanted to award him with a Congressional Medal of Honor. The former president refused saying he hadn't done anything to deserve it.
Truman served two years in the armed forces during WW I, ten years in the Senate, two months an twenty days as Vice President, and almost two complete terms as President. He served over 30 years in public service.
He reinstated the tradition of only being President for two terms.
Harry Truman died on December 26, 1972 in Kansas City, Mo. He was 88 years old.
Quotes from Harry Truman:
"There is always another crisis around the corner."1945
"If you can't convince them, confuse them."
“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.”
“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.”