Harry S. Truman
33rd President of the United States

(1945 - 1953)
Vice President: Alben W. Barkley
Harry Truman at his desk.
Harry S. Truman with “Susie,” a championship mule at the Missouri State Fair, 1955.

The Turmans pose at their Independence home the day after Harry Truman won the Democratic primary for the United States senate, August 8, 1934 .

Harry Truman smiles at crowd in Bolivar, Missouri, July 5, 1948. Mayor Doyle C. McCraw is seated beside him (Gerald R. Massie photographer.

Harry with glasses, age of thirteen, 1897.   He served in World War I which began in 1917.

President: Harry S. Truman

Wife: Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace (1885-1982), on June 28, 1919

Kids: Mary Margaret Truman (1924- )

Pets: Feller the unwanted dog (adopted by Truman's personal physician); Mike, an Irish setter (belonged to Margaret Truman)

Bio: Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972), was the 33rd President Of The United States. On May 8, 1884, Truman was born the oldest of three children in Lamar, Missouri. The family’s financial situation prevented him from going to college, and his severe vision problems disallowed his entry into the military. He became an active participant in Democratic politics, and he joined several other organizations, including the Masons, that later helped him as a politician.

In 1919, Truman married Elizabeth (Bess) Wallace and turned to politics to support his wife. Holding a variety of positions for several years, he finally landed a seat in the US Senate in 1934. As a senator he supported Franklin Roosevelt in foreign as well as domestic affairs. In the 1944 elections, Roosevelt rewarded his loyalty with an invitation to run as vice-president.

Truman entered the Presidency when Roosevelt died, and he felt ill-prepared. But he was determined to carry out Roosevelt's policies. Truman made the extremely controversial decision to use atomic bombs against Japan, believing that they would end the war quickly and save lives. The two bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war to an end on August 14. After the war, Truman quickly turned a majority of his attention to domestic affairs. He pushed to continue and expand the New Deal, soon labeling his program the Fair Deal. He also fought for civil rights for blacks, but was largely unsuccessful. One area he did change was segregation in the armed services.

Truman offered a vigorous campaign in the election of 1948 and won against Dewey, the Republican candidate. He enjoyed a long retirement and retained some prominence in the political scene. He died at the age of 88 in Kansas City, Missouri, on Dec. 26, 1972.  

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