Presentation on theme: "Thirty-Third United States President. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884. He grew up in Independence, and for 12 years prospered as a Missouri."— Presentation transcript:
Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884. He grew up in Independence, and for 12 years prospered as a Missouri farmer. He went to France during World War I as a captain in the Field Artillery. Returning, he married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace, and opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. Active in the Democratic Party, Truman was elected a judge of the Jackson County Court (an administrative position) in 1922. He became a Senator in 1934. During World War II he headed the Senate war investigating committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as 15 billion dollars.
Harry Truman became president of the United States on April 12, 1945 upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. During Truman's presidency Germany surrendered (May 8, 1945) and Japan surrendered (Aug. 14, 1945), ending World War II. Truman always staunchly defended the atomic bombings. Shortening the war, saving American lives, and revenge are the main reasons he gave for using them. In his first public explanation (Aug. 6, 1945, just after Hiroshima was a-bombed), he said: " The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."
As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history. Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage. An urgent plea to Japan to surrender was rejected. Truman, after consultations with his advisers, ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work. Two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese surrender quickly followed. In June 1945 Truman witnessed the signing of the charter of the United Nations, hopefully established to preserve peace.
Major Events While in Office: Atomic Bombs Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945) End of World War II (1945) United Nations Created (1945) Nuremburg Trials (1945-1946) Truman Doctrine (1947) Taft-Hartley Act (1947) Israel Created (1948)
"If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military.“ "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima...The force from which the sun draws its powers has been loosed against those who brought the war in the Far East.“ "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.“ "Within the first few months, I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed."
Harry Truman lived for nineteen years after leaving the White House in 1953. He and his wife Bess returned to Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri, where Truman spent his post-presidential years guarding and constructing his legacy and place in history. He also continued to comment on political events of the day. In 1955, Truman published the first volume of his memoirs; the second volume followed in 1956. Unfortunately, he hired ghostwriters and research assistants of questionable ability to help him through the process. As a result, the volumes were poorly organized, marred by leaden writing, and offered neither a comprehensive account of the Truman presidency nor many insights. Nonetheless, both volumes sold well upon their release. Truman remained active in American politics after he left the White House. Eisenhower's handling of the presidency annoyed and angered Truman, who regularly criticized the administration's policies and politics in public appearances. He actively campaigned against Eisenhower in 1956. The personal relationship between the two men, already strained after Ike declared in 1952 that he would run for the Republican nomination, deteriorated throughout the eight years of Eisenhower's presidency. Truman had better relations with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He expressed reservations about Kennedy in 1960—thinking him too young and too Catholic to be a successful Democratic presidential nominee—but once in office, Kennedy and his wife charmed the ex-President. Truman felt even more comfortable with President Johnson, with whom he had enjoyed cordial relations while Johnson was on Capitol Hill. He never got along with President Nixon, however.