Biography of Harry S. Truman.
Harry S. Truman. Thirty-third President of the United States. Vice-president elected in 1945 together with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he becomes president, at the death of this one, that same year.
He was born on 8 May 1884 in Lamar (Missouri). He was the eldest son of John Anderson Truman and Martha Ellen Young Truman.
His parents, John Truman and Martha Young were farmers. In 1890 his family settled in Independence (Missouri), where Truman spent most of his youth.
After starting high school in 1901, Truman will have several jobs before becoming a farmer for a decade beginning in 1906.
During the First World War, he fought in France as an Artillery Captain. At the end of the war, he returned to the United States as captain and married Bess Wallace on June 28, 1919, and they were Margaret Truman’s parents.
On February 9, 1909, he was initiated into Freemasonry under the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the Lodge of Belton, Missouri. In 1945, he reaches the last degree of the Rite, 33.
Announcing the bombing of Hiroshima.
Harry Truman’s political career and management
His military experience in the First World War convinced him that he had leadership qualities and decided to devote himself to politics.
He got his first local mandate in 1922 aided by the Democratic machine, participated in local politics as a member of the Democratic Party and was appointed a Jackson County judge.
He lost the elections in 1924 but was easily re-elected in 1926 and then in 1930.
In 1935 he went on to represent his state as a senator. He presents himself as a supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and, once elected, will support his policy.
During the Second World War (1939-1945) he became famous as chairman of the parliamentary committee in charge of supervising the war economy, moderating expenses and avoiding discrimination (the Truman Committee).
Oath of office of the President of the United States
Vice President of the White House
The prestige gained in the Truman Committee earned him great prestige and the confidence of Franklin D. Roosevelt who chose him as vice president for the 1944 elections in which they were elected.
On April 12, 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of the most brilliant American politicians, died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
He guided the nation through the most turbulent period in its history, when, in addition to the greatest economic crisis, World War II was added. Harry S Truman becomes the thirty-third president of the United States.
Harry had no suspicion of what would happen next, as he had virtually no opportunity to dialogue with former President Roosevelt, nor did he receive information about the development of the atomic bomb or the level of conflicts with Soviet Russia.
Sometime later Truman would declare to the press: “I felt as if the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.
It was something that happened suddenly, and Truman ceased to be vice-president to occupy the post of President of his country, so he had to face the vast and diverse problems in times of war.
President of the United States.
As President, Truman had to make some of the most crucial decisions in history. Among other things, shortly before achieving victory in the war against Japan, the United States sent a communiqué to the Japanese requesting surrender.
Faced with the refusal of the Asians, Truman ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thus achieving the immediate surrender of the Japanese.
Once the war was forgotten, at least for Americans, Truman presented Congress with a program known as the 21-point program.
This plan proposed the expansion of the Social Security platform, an employment program, a permanent Employment Law.
The Fair Deal
Likewise, the eradication of marginal settlements and the generation of public housing. That became known as the “Fair Deal”.
Truman maintained continuity with Roosevelt’s policy, consolidating the advances of the New Deal with a program of deepening economic and social democracy (the Fair Deal).
However, it could not prevent Congress from passing the Taft-Harley Act, which limited the right to strike and robbed unions of the monopoly of workers’ representation (1947).
In 1947 he attempted to stop the passage of the Taft-Harley Act, which limited some of the powers acquired by the unions during the development of the New Deal, earning him fame as a supporter of the labor movement.
He appealed to the liberal sectors of the Democratic Party to support civil rights legislation and recognition of the State of Israel in 1948.
His aggressive anti-communist foreign policy and internal liberalism contributed to the break-up of the Democratic Party when he ran for re-election in 1948.
Re-election as President
Truman won an unexpected victory over Republican candidate Thomas Edmund Dewey. He then began an ambitious legislative programme which he called Fair Deal.
However, his attempts to enact legislation favourable to the extension of civil rights were thwarted.
In addition, to expand federal aid to education, and could not either repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, nor did it succeed in establishing a national system of Social Security.
Meanwhile, the world was immersed in a crisis, and in the face of the dangers, Truman carried out his 1948 campaign with total success and defying all the predictions, he won the elections that year.
It continued the strategy of cooperation with the Soviet Union during World War II, but did not want to allow a Soviet area of influence to be created in Eastern Europe, so at the beginning of 1947, it proposed a new foreign policy.
It was called ‘containment policy’ and aimed to block the spread of communism anywhere in the world.
The Marshall Plan
When the Russians blocked the western parts of Berlin in 1948, Truman ordered a massive airlift to work with the Berliners until the Russians withdrew.
During both terms, his government was characterized by persecution of communists and progressives of all walks of life.
In 1949 the Communist Party politburo was tried and convicted in weight under the Smith Act of 1940, which found guilty any initiative, association or propaganda that attempted to overthrow any government by force and violence.
Numerous foreigners suspected of communist activities were expelled from the country. In New York, the drastic Feinberg law allowed the expulsion of teachers belonging to organizations qualified as subversive by the state council.
Those Persecuted by Hunting
Klaus Fuchs, a British physicist, was accused of providing atomic secrets to the USSR; Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb, suffered the rigors of the commission of anti-American activities.
Arthur Miller, Charles Chaplin, Bertolt Brecht, Elia Kazan, and numerous film actors had to testify before the commission.
The most serious case occurred with the Rosenberg couple, accused of espionage in favor of the USSR and executed in 1951, whose trial is currently under review twenty-five years after the expiration of the secrets of the indictment.
General Marshall himself was accused in 1951 of tolerating a great communist conspiracy in the interior of the country. The general panic resulted in the McCarran-Nixon bill, passed in 1950 with Truman’s veto.
Meanwhile, Truman was busy with negotiations to create a military alliance to protect Western nations, which was finally established under the name of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The Marshall Plan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were the most outstanding manifestations of that policy, which led the United States to play a leading role in the world.
From 1950 onwards, in response to the possession of atomic weapons by the USSR, it changed its policy to the triumph of Mao Zedong’s Red Army over the nationalists of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) in China.
When in June 1950 the communist government of North Korea invaded South Korea, supported by the Soviet Union.
Truman sent help again, always with the premise of fighting communism in any corner of the world.
Finally, the UN decided to establish a line delimiting the spaces of South and North Korea, and although Truman felt discouraged by that decision, he preferred to remain on the sidelines in order to avoid generating a major conflict with China and possibly Russia.
The Hydrogen Pump
On April 11, 1951, Truman dismissed, in full agreement with his civilian and military consultants, Mac Arthur, received in San Francisco and New York with demonstrations of affection by thousands of people.
In June 1953, the armistice to end the Korean War was signed. In the last phase of this, the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, in November 1952, with a power equivalent to twenty million tons of trilite.
The end of the U.S. nuclear monopoly forced his government to engage in a nuclear arms race and develop the hydrogen bomb.
The fall of Jiang Jieshi’s government and events in Korea led him to broaden his policy of containment to include Asia.
At Other Points
Truman created the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), an independent body of the State Department and Congress.
During his term in office, the differences with Russia increase, which will colour society with anti-communist dyes.
When he discovered Stalin’s expansionist interests, he decided to stop him through various assists that he directed to friendly countries, which would give way to the famous Cold War.
Withdrawal from political life
After amending the Constitution to prevent a president from being elected for more than two terms, he withdrew from politics at the conclusion of his term in 1953.
Truman retired to the town of Independence (Missouri), a fall in the bathroom in 1964 greatly limited his mobility and his life from that moment passed in a more discreet way and departed from public life.
Truman dies on December 26, 1972, at the age of 88.
Harry Truman Quotes
- It is useless to seek security behind geographical barriers. Real security can only be found in legislation and justice.
- Actions are the seeds of events where destiny grows.
- Intense sensations very often hide the truth.
- The only thing new in the world is the story you don’t know.
- A politician in a man who knows how to govern and takes politicians to lead a government. A statesman is a politician who has died 10 or 15 years.
- The best way to give our children advice is to find out what they want and then talk to them about how to do it.
- It is not enough to long for peace. We have to work, and if necessary, fight for it.
- If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
- No government is perfect. One of the main virtues of democracy, however, is that its shortcomings are always visible and in democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.
- Freedom is the right to choose the people who will have the obligation to limit it.
10 Interesting facts of Harry Truman
1. Truman was a war hero who saw action in battle. Truman wanted to go to West Point, but the bad eyesight kept him away from the academy. He enlisted in the National Guard and was an artillery commander during World War I.
2. It was not a success in private business. Truman worked in various jobs, including managing a sewing supply store, farming and managing a bank, until he became a county judge in Missouri.
3. Truman was not a first-choice candidate for the Senate. Kansas City political chief Tom Pendergast was rejected by four other possible candidates in 1934, when he sought a candidate to support an election in the U.S. Senate. Truman won the charge by actively hitting the election campaign.
4. Truman surpassed the great odds of winning the 1940 Senate election. When Truman’s political ally, Pendergrast, was convicted of tax evasion in 1939, few people thought Truman had a chance of being re-elected in Missouri. Once again, Truman threw himself into the campaign, talked about his war record and his experience as a common man in the Senate, and achieved another malaise.
5. Truman used a key Senate committee to rise to power. At the age of 57, Truman took over a special committee to control unnecessary spending on commercial, labor, and government agencies during World War II. It quickly became a household name as the head of the “Truman Committee”.
6. Truman was not a high candidate for vice president. In 1944, the current vice president, Henry Wallace, was in disgrace with many Democrats. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas was FDR’s preferred candidate, and Alben Barkley and James Byrnes were other strong candidates. Truman was a compromise selection that Roosevelt didn’t know well.
7. Roosevelt kept Truman in the dark on matters of war. As vice president, Truman had little contact with the president and was asked to deal with everything in the Senate. After FDR’s death, Truman had to discover the basic facts about the wars in Europe and Asia, and the nation’s secret atomic program.
8. The electoral nuisance of 1948 was not really a nuisance. Truman was expected to lose to Republican Thomas Dewey, at least in the eyes of the media. After following public opinion polls, Truman launched an extensive national media campaign that put him back in the fight. Before that time, surveyors stopped conducting surveys and did not measure Truman’s increase. The rest is history.
9. Truman survived an assassination attempt. Two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassinate Truman in 1950 when he was staying at Blair House while the White House was being renovated. A White House guard died when he killed an attacker. The other attacker was captured. Truman heard the gun in his room.
10. Truman had an unusual initial stocking. Truman’s parents gave him the middle name “S” after they could not agree on a middle name as a tribute to relatives whose names began with the letter “S”. Officially, the “S” is followed by a point: “Harry S. Truman”. That’s because Truman used a dot with the letter “S” in his correspondence. The Truman Library and Museum offers a detailed explanation of the “S” controversy.
President of the United States
12 April 1945 – 20 January 1953
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President of the United States
20 January 1945 – 12 April 1945
Henry A. Wallace
Alben W. Barkley
Senator for Missouri
3 January 1935 – 17 January 1945
A great book I recommend is this.
- David McCullough
- Simon & Schuster
- Edición Kindle
- Edition no. 0 (08/20/2003)