Who is Harry Truman?

Diane Goettel

Harry Truman, or Harry S. Truman, was the thirty-third President of the United States. Before becoming President of the United States, Harry Truman was Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Upon the death of Roosevelt, Truman took over the Presidency. Truman served two terms in the office. During his first term, 1945 through 1949, he did not have a Vice President. In his following term from 1949 through 1953, however, his Vice President was Alben W. Barkley.

A replica of the "Fat Man" atom bomb, which Truman ordered to be detonated over Nagasaki.
A replica of the "Fat Man" atom bomb, which Truman ordered to be detonated over Nagasaki.

Harry Truman faced a number of domestic challenges as President of the United States. He faced economic troubles including severe shortages and numerous strikes. Upon his executive orders, the United States Armed Forces began a process of desegregation. Truman also faced the task of removing thousands of government officials from office for showing sympathy or adherence to the Communist movement. Because Truman was against mandatory loyalty oaths for government officials, however, some political groups accused him of being soft on Communism, even though he did proclaim the Truman Doctrine to Contain Communism. There was evident corruption in the Truman administration. Even senior White House staff were implicated.

The United Nations, which is headquartered in New York City, was established during the Truman administration.
The United Nations, which is headquartered in New York City, was established during the Truman administration.

Truman’s presidency was certainly not a quiet one. In addition to managing troubles on home soil, he also saw many major events take place in foreign affairs. While Harry Truman was in office, America claimed victory over Germany, saw the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. Of course, before Japan surrendered, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. During his time in office, the United Nations were founded, NATO was created, the Korean War began, and the Cold War began. He also developed the Marshall Plan, or the European Recovery Programme. At the heart of this plan was the intention of rebuilding post World War II Europe and repelling Communism.

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Harry Truman authorized the development of the hydrogen bomb.
Harry Truman authorized the development of the hydrogen bomb.

Harry Truman was born on 8 May 1884 in Lamar, Missouri. On 28 June 1919, he married Bess Wallace. The couple had one daughter, Margaret, who was born on 17 February 1924. He passed away on 26 December 1972 in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 88. Truman was known for his folksy sayings. The popularization of the sayings, “The buck stops here,” and “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” have been attributed to Harry Truman.

In 1947, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall created the Marshall Plan.
In 1947, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall created the Marshall Plan.
Harry Truman served two terms in the White House.
Harry Truman served two terms in the White House.
Harry Truman.
Harry Truman.
Truman took over the presidency upon the death of Frankin D. Roosevelt.
Truman took over the presidency upon the death of Frankin D. Roosevelt.

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Discussion Comments

PurpleSpark

@CellMania: The Attorney General recommended to the President that Collazo have his sentence reduced to time served. The decision was based on the fact that Collazo had been eligible for parole since April 1966 and he was no longer a threat. Also, President Carter thought it would be a good humanitarian gesture.

CellMania

Why did President Carter release Collazo in 1979?

alex94

@StormyKnight: There was a failed attempt on President Truman’s life on November 1, 1950, while the President and his family were staying in the Blair-Lee Mansion, due to structural damage in the White House.

Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, two Puerto Rican Nationalists, convinced themselves if they killed Truman, it would start an American Revolution that would lead to the independence of Puerto Rico. It should have been easy for them to do because the President and his family were vulnerable at the Blair-Lee Mansion. Also, if they had read the newspaper and knew the President’s schedule, they could have succeeded. President Truman was to unveil a statue at Arlington National Cemetery and they could have shot him moving to and from the car. Instead, they thought they could charge their way into the Blair-Lee Mansion.

Torresola was killed in a gun battle with the guards and Collazo was wounded. Collazo was sentenced to death, but Truman changed it to life in prison. In 1979, President Carter released Collazo, after only thirty years in prison.

StormyKnight

In this article, there is no mention of an assassination attempt on President Truman. Was there?

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