After a few weeks as Vice-President under Franklin Delenor Roosevelt, Harry S.
Truman took over the Presidency on April 12, 1945. Unaware of all the situations
that were taking place with Japan and the Soviet Russia, Truman took the job with
a load of problems.
Harry S. Truman, although born in Lamar, Missouri in 1884, grew up in Independance.
He worked 12 years as a farmer until World War I, where he went to France as a Field
Artillery Captain. When he returned from war, Harry Truman married Elizabeth Virginia
Wallace and opened a business in Kansas City.
Truman was active in the Democratic Party and because of this, he was elected a
judge of the Jackson County Court in 1922. Over the next 12 years he worked his way up
the ladder to become a Senator in 1934. During World War II, Truman headed the Senate was
investigating committee, looking into the waste and corruption of the military and perhaps
saved close to 15 billion dollars.
Amoung the crucial decisions that a President has had to make, Truman's was the greatest.
Victory in Europe had occurred and now the U.S. was fighting Japan. A plea to Japan for them
to surrender was rejected and so Truman made the decision to drop two atomic bombs, one on
Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered quickly. This event started the nuclear
arms race between the super powers, Russia and the U.S.
In 1947 Truman asked congress to aid Turkey and Greece which were being pressured by The
Soviet Union and guerrillas. The legislation that came out was known as the Truman Doctrin.
The Marshall Plan, another piece of legislation that was named for Truman's Secretary of State,
stimulated spectacular economic recovery in war-torn western Europe.
In June of 1950, Truman met with his advisors to discuss the situation that was happening in
Korea. They decided that neither the United Nations nor the U.S. could back away from the conflict.
While the U.N. held the 38th parallel, Truman kept the war a limited one, keeping China and Russia
from being involved.
Truman decided not to run again and so he retired to Independence. At the age 88, Harry S.
Truman died on December 26, 1972.
For more information on Truman try...
The White House Truman Page
Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
Truman's Inaugural Address
CNN Report of the aftermath of Hiroshima
Truman discussing the dropping of the Bomb.