Harry S. Truman

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Portrait, Harry S. TrumanHarry S. Truman (Why the period?)* 33rd President of the United States (April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953) Nickname: “Give ‘Em Hell Harry” Born: May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri Died: December 26, 1972, in Kansas City, Missouri

Father: John Anderson Truman Mother: Martha Ellen Young Truman Married: Elizabeth “Bess” Virginia Wallace Truman (1885-1982), on June 28, 1919 Children: Mary Margaret Truman (1924-2008) Religion: Baptist Education: Attended the University of Kansas City Law School Occupation: Farmer, public official Political Party: Democrat Other Government Positions:

  • Judge on Jackson County Court, 1922-24
  • Presiding Judge of Jackson County Court, 1926-34
  • United States Senator, 1935-45
  • Vice President, 1945 (under tiny U.S. flag F.D. Roosevelt)

Presidential Salary: $75,000/year (increased to $100,000 + $50,000 expense account in 1949)

Presidential Election Results:
YearPopular VotesElectoral Votes
1948Harry S. Truman24,179,345303
Thomas E. Dewey21,991,291189
Strom Thurmond1,176,12539

Vice President: Alben W. Barkley (1949-53) Cabinet:

Secretary of State
Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (1945)
James F. Byrnes (1945-47)
George C. Marshall (1947-49)
Dean G. Acheson (1949-53)
Secretary of the Treasury
Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (1945)
Frederick M. Vinson (1945-46)
John W. Snyder (1946-53)
Secretary of War
Henry L. Stimson (1945)
Robert P. Patterson (1945-47)
Kenneth C. Royall (1947)
Secretary of Defense
James V. Forrestal (1947-49)
Louis A. Johnson (1949-50)
George C. Marshall (1950-51)
Robert A. Lovett (1951-53)
Attorney General
Francis B. Biddle (1945)
Thomas C. Clark (1945-49)
J. Howard McGrath (1949-52)
Postmaster General
Frank C. Walker (1945)
Robert E. Hannegan (1945-47)
Jesse M. Donaldson (1947-53)
Secretary of the Navy
James V. Forrestal (1945-47)
Secretary of the Interior
Harold L. Ickes (1945-46)
Julius A. Krug (1946-49)
Oscar L. Chapman (1950-53)
Secretary of Agriculture
Claude R. Wickard (1945)
Clinton P. Anderson (1945-48)
Charles F. Brannan (1948-53)
Secretary of Commerce
Henry A. Wallace (1945-46)
William Averell Harriman (1946-48)
Charles Sawyer (1948-53)
Secretary of Labor
Frances Perkins (1945)
Lewis B. Schwellenbach (1945-48)
Maurice J. Tobin (1949-53)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Chief Justice
Fred Moore Vinson (1946-53)
Associate Justice
Harold Hitz Burton (1945-58)
Tom Campbell Clark (1949-67)
Sherman Minton (1949-56)

Notable Events:

  • 1945
  • 1946
    • Former British PM Winston Churchill gives his Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College in Missouri. The speech is a significant event, spurring Cold War hostilities.
  • 1947
  • 1948
  • 1949
  • 1950
  • 1951
  • 1952

Internet Biographies:

Harry S. Truman — from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Harry S. Truman — from American Presidents: Life Portraits — C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Harry Truman — from U.S. Presidents
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
Harry S. Truman — from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum
A complete biography with a list of books for further reading.
Harry S Truman Commemoration — by Robert H. Ferrell
A commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Truman’s presidency. A complete biography with photographs.
Harry S. Truman — from Character Above All
From a PBS broadcast by the same name, this essay excerpt by David McCullough discusses some of the issues and events that molded Truman.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1949)
Truman Doctrine (1947)

Media Resources:

From his 1949 inaugural address. (1:14)
MP3 (582K)
From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Project’s Presidential Audio/Video Archive for Harry S. Truman site

Other Internet Resources:

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
The house where Truman lived from 1919 to his death is located in Independence, Missouri. The Truman Farm House, where Harry grew up, is located in Grandview, Missouri. Both are located in the Kansas City metropolitan area and both are part of the Truman NHS. Maintained by the National Park Service.
Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
Located in Independence, Missouri, this site contains an exhibit hall, press room, educational resources, and of course the papers of the former president.

Points of Interest:

Previous President: tiny U.S. flag Franklin Delano Roosevelt | Next President: tiny U.S. flag Dwight David Eisenhower

©1996-2008. Robert S. Summers. All rights reserved.

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