History Main / HarryTruman

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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/korea-president-truman_8202.jpg]] ->''"The Buck Stops Here"''\\ --'''Plaque on Truman's desk''' ->''"I'm From Missouri"''\\ --'''Other side of plaque on Truman's desk''' '''Harry S. Truman''' (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]]-[[TheFifties 1953]]), following [[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] and preceding [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]], and was the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the presidency, taking over from FranklinDRoosevelt after he died three months into his fourth term. His middle name ''is'' actually [[OneLetterName just an "S"]]; it was tradition among Scots-Irish families to name boys after their grandfathers, and his parents wanted to please both of his grandfathers, “Solomon” and “Shippe,” that way. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it grandfather-claused him, making him the last president who could have served more than two terms.[[note]]The actual amendment is a bit more nuanced than that; it prohibits any holder of that office from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that LyndonJohnson could technically have run for a second full term in 1968 and would have been above board.[[/note]] He still decided not to run for a third term both to honor GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]] Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press. Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. On the domestic front, the economy entered a recession during his first term as the economy tried to adjust to large numbers of returning veterans. Additionally, labor unions that hushed up during the war years started to increase public activity and, in some cases, organize strikes. By the end of the decade, the economy settled down and prosperity and growth was widespread during most of TheFifties and TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing CivilRightsMovement, desegregated the U.S. military in 1948 because of his disgust over the way African-American war veterans were treated; the fact that it also saved some tax dollars getting rid of that ridiculous redundancy helped sell it too. Truman was the first President to really call for full rights for African Americans - he proposed civil rights legislation to Congress (they were defeated, sadly) and he was also the first to speak in front of the NAACP. During his second term, [[RedScare anti-Communist hysteria]], led from the Senate by Wisconsin Republican Joseph [=McCarthy=], started to spread throughout the nation, leading to the formation of the (infamous) House Un-American Activities Committee. Truman called his domestic policy, which included national health care and civil rights bills, the “Fair Deal,” though the conservative coalition in Congress (Republicans and right-leaning Democrats from the DeepSouth) prevented most of them from getting passed. (Ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal than that of BarackObama was pursued, but defeated in Congress.) Years later, LyndonJohnson would pass many bills similar to what Truman proposed. In fact, Johnson signed the Medicare bill in Truman’s house and gave the first two Medicare cards to the former president and his wife, Bess.[[note]]And Truman had long been on the verge of ''needing'' Medicare; on account of his meager pre-politics savings (from all his failed business ventures) Truman was all but impoverished upon retiring from the presidency. His only source of income was his army pension, which wasn't very much (just over $100 annually). He pulled back up by taking out a loan to write his memoirs, which turned out to be quite successful, but the public was sufficiently appalled by the fact that a past president would have to do that just to live that it gave the impetus for the first-ever presidential pensions.[[/note]] Truman is most famous, however, for his foreign policy achievements. He passed the Marshall Plan, General and Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s plan to rebuild the nations of western Europe (and prevent the spread of Communism there) by pouring billions of dollars of aid money into their ruined economies. Truman recognized Israel (eleven minutes after they declared independence, actually) [[note]]His involvement in the formation of Israel as a state goes rather deeper than this. During the immediate aftermath of WW2, Britain was nominally in charge of the Palestinian territory and was attempting to reach a conclusion to the issue that allowed a Jewish diaspora into Palestine without completely displacing the resident Palestinians. The Zionist movement wanted them to accelerate Jewish movement into Palestine and basically allow them to form Israel unimpeded, which Britain opposed because of its commitments to the Arab world (and need to maintain a good supply of Arab oil). For various reasons, Britain needed America's backing in trying to pursue a "two-state solution", but Truman, in the depths of his re-election campaign, needed support from the powerful Jewish organisations in the North-east, and in particular their money. As a result he equivocated, forcing Britain to deal with the problem more or less alone, and dooming the Palestinians to their eventual fate. He did try to support them more after re-elected, but by that point the genie was out of the bottle.[[/note]] and began America’s policy of providing support to that nation. He also did the same to Taiwan after [[RedChina mainland China became communist]]. The Cold War kicked off almost immediately after the war in Europe ended, and Truman supported a policy of the “containment” of communism throughout the world, known as the "Truman Doctrine." This included the founding of several international alliances (most importantly, NATO), organizing the airlift of food and other supplies to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade, and sending American aid to nations that were fighting communism, such as Greece and Turkey. Most famously, he sent American troops as part of a UN-joint military mission into [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]] when the Communist [[UsefulNotes/NorthKorea north]] invaded the democratic [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea south]]. Led by General DouglasMacArthur (who lead American troops on the Pacific front during World War II), the UN forces pushed the North Koreans out of the South and then invaded North Korea in an attempt to free all of the Korean peninsula from communism. [=MacArthur=], however, ignored RedChina’s warning not to approach the border, and Chinese forces got involved and pushed the UN forces back to the 38th parallel. [=MacArthur=] proposed that America [[GeneralRipper directly attacks China with thermonuclear weapons]], which Truman rejected. Afterwards, [=MacArthur=] tried to obtain permission from the Joint Chief of Staff to use nuclear weapons without the president's permission to continue the assault on China, which prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The {{CIA}} was also formed during his presidency. Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "DeweyDefeatsTruman" photo. If you look at the example picture on that page, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman's 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]] Since his death, however, Truman [[VindicatedByHistory has enjoyed an amazing rise in popularity]], and he is rated highly by many historians and the public. In particular, his decision to fire [=MacArthur=], while deeply unpopular at the time, is now commonly viewed as a smart move that prevented the Korean War from escalating into World War III (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead defeating it is the real reason the war was ultimately a stalemate). He has a carrier named after him, a bit ironic, since Truman actually tried to limit the expansion of the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier program during his tenure. Truman has also become a kind of political trope in and of himself, as he is frequently cited by politicians down in the polls as a reason for supporters to keep the faith. As a general rule, when a politician starts citing Harry Truman, it's a bad sign for his electoral prospects. Truman was known for his honesty and responsibility. Famously, the plaque on his desk stated "The Buck Stops Here," his promise to take full responsibility for all of the actions of the Executive Branch. However, his loyalty to the political friends he appointed sometimes came back to haunt him; some of them were pretty corrupt and caused a few scandals, though Truman himself was never involved. He was also famous for being very plainspoken and "telling it how it is." While he was still President, Truman [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments wrote a very scathing letter]] to a critic who wrote [[PapaWolf a negative review of his daughter’s concert]]. Most famously, when he read [=MacArthur=]'s speech to Congress after he got sacked, Truman turned to the Army Secretary and said [[DeadpanSnarker “Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit.”]] His wife Bess lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-lived First Lady. While he was in office, the White House was found to be in such dire shape that it needed immediate emergency renovations. The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, and Truman spent most of his second term in the Blair House, the official state guest house for the President. The exterior of the building was kept intact, though, because it was too iconic to lose. He also built a new second-floor balcony on the House's south side, which is still known as the Truman Balcony. ---- !!Provides real life examples of: * AccidentalProposal: Truman always maintained that he married his wife, Bess, because of something like this. When the US entered World War I, Truman decided he would sign up with the army, and went to see Bess (whom he had been courting informally) to let her know his decision. During their conversation, Bess apparently joked, with no actual intent behind it, that "if this were a novel, I suppose you'd be proposing to me about now." After a few moment's thought, he replied, "Well, Bess, I think that's a right fine idea, but given the war and all maybe we should wait until I'm back from Europe." And they did. * AssumedWin * BadassBookworm * BatmanGambit: Used to get him to accept the Vice Presidency. See ThanatosGambit below. * CatchPhrase: "The buck stops here" (Translation: "I'm not going to make others clean up my messes" or "It's never [[BystanderSyndrome just somebody else's problem]]".) * ClusterFBomb: A master of it. His profane language even became a campaign issue between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, where Nixon argued that such language wasn't appropriate for the high office. Of course, when the Watergate tapes came out and [[HypocriticalHumor recorded Nixon getting bleeped out every other word]]... * CoversAlwaysLie: The infamous "DeweyDefeatsTruman" newspaper incident. * CrowningMomentOfAwesome: During a rally Truman, after just being declared the winner of the 1948 presidential election against Thomas Dewey, holds up a factually incorrect Chicago Tribune newspaper proclaiming "Dewey Defeats Truman". All the while, Truman laughs triumphantly. ** During Truman's first meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov after becoming president, Truman gave Molotov a ''vicious'' tongue-lashing involving [[ClusterFBomb lots of four-letter words]] for Russia's failure to live up to its postwar promises, particularly free elections in Poland. Molotov incredulously declared that he had never been spoken to like that in his life. Truman replied, "Keep your promises, and you won't be spoken to like that." ** Being the first President to speak in front of the NAACP, where he declared before 10,000 audience members that "The only limit to an American's achievement should be his ability, his industry, and his character." And this was when his chances of winning reelection were pretty slim. ** Kicking out [=MacArthur=], who was widely beloved by the press and the public, even though it would have cost Truman nearly all of his popularity. He knew it was the right thing to do and he didn't care what people would say about him. * [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Crowning Moment of Funny]]: After a rather mean spirited critic gave his daughter's concert a bad review, Truman wrote a letter to said critic where he implicitly threatened to give him a rather well-earned [[GroinAttack nut shot]]. * DeadpanSnarker: Truman, a plainspoken Missourian, disdained typical political puffery. His greatest moment came immediately after Douglas [=MacArthur=]'s farewell speech, whom Truman had just fired for insubordination. Truman's comment on the speech: "Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit." ** His response to Molotov being indignant to how Truman was talking to him counts, too. * DeweyDefeatsTruman * GodzillaThreshold: He believed that it was crossed and that using the atomic bombs was a justified decision. Whether or not it was is up for you to decide. * HappilyMarried: To his wife, Bess. * LesserOfTwoEvils: He viewed using the bombs on Japan as this. For what it is worth, he never bowed to pressure and used them again. * LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield their]] [[UsefulNotes/WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[UsefulNotes/WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman. * NeverLiveItDown: To people who do not think dropping the bombs was a good idea, this trope applies. * OddFriendship: With HerbertHoover. Despite their deep political differences both men liked and respected each other. After Hoover's death truman wrote the preface for a biography of the late president that ended with the words "Briefly put, he was my friend and I was his." * OneLetterName: His middle name is just "S", which was to placate his two grandfathers Solomon and Shippe. Truman's parents didn't want to favor one over the other, so they named him "S" and said Harry could choose which it would stand for when he got older. Also not wanting their wrath, Harry chose neither. * PapaWolf: His daughter, Margaret, was an aspiring concert soprano. When one of her concerts was poorly reviewed, he informed the critic that he would need "a new nose and plenty of beefsteak, [[GroinAttack and perhaps a supporter below]]." * SingleTargetSexuality: Toward Bess, his wife. At 5 years old, little Harry fell for his sunday school classmate and a family member said ''there never was but one girl in the world'' for him. Unlike who came before and after Truman in the office, he remained absolutely faithful to his wife, even during the years in the first world war before they got married. * {{Tearjerker}}: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President. * ThanatosGambit: Several of Roosevelt's more conservative advisors were aware of his declining health, and suspected he might not live to see the end of the war. His current Vice President, Henry Wallace, was deemed too liberal by them and unsuited to take over should FDR die. Deciding Truman was best for the job, Roosevelt and several of the Democrats subtly maneuvered him into the running for the nomination, [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial assuring him his chances were slight while quietly whittling away his opponents]]. Truman, however, began to suspect them, and did not want the position, since he didn't want to bring publicity to his wife, who was currently on the payroll. As such, Roosevelt and the others staged a conversation in a next-door hotel room where they "accused" Truman of not standing up for the party. This was enough to motivate Truman, and he reluctantly accepted the vice-presidential nomination, a job he only held for 82 days. * TrueCompanions: One of Truman's defining characteristics. He even attended [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Pendergast Tom Pendergast's funeral]] (while Vice-President) for all that Pendergast did for him, despite all the controversy he had gathered Truman by helping him get office. * VindicatedByHistory: Though he was wildly unpopular during his time in office, Truman experienced a resurgence in popularity among historians since many of his policies actually turned out to be good ideas, such as his firing of [=MacArthur=], the desegregation of the armed forces, the creation of NATO, and the approval of the Marshall Plan. ---- !!Truman in fiction: * The one-man play and film ''Give 'Em Hell, Harry!'' (his campaign slogan in 1948) feature James Whitmore as Truman. A performance of this was filmed in 1976 and Whitmore received an [[AcademyAward Oscar nomination]]. This is one of only three times that every credited cast member received a nomination, the others being ''Theatre/WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf'' and ''{{Theatre/Sleuth}}''. * ''Truman'', a 1995 {{HBO}} feature starring [[Film/ForrestGump Gary Sinise]] in the title role. * Makes a brief and symbolic appearence getting the first Medicare card in HBO's ''The Path to War'', where {{LBJ}} is portrayed as his spiritual successor. * In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}},'' Rorschach frequently expresses admiration for 'decent men' like Truman and his father. It's shown in several in-story documents that he wrote an essay in his youth expressing how good it was that he dropped the bomb, because he saved many more lives by ending World War II. This is particularly ironic given that Rorschach claims to be a moral absolutist and attacks [[spoiler:Veidt]] for killing millions in [[spoiler:a fake 'alien' attack on New York]] to prevent World War III from breaking out. * A ''Series/DoctorWho'' TieInNovel. * In ''Series/{{Mash}}'', it is often mentioned that Truman is President. ** In one episode ("Dear Harry") Hawkeye actually writes a letter to Truman describing conditions in Korea and imploring him to end the war. *** Interestingly, Truman was portrayed by Harry Morgan in the series ''Series/BackstairsAtTheWhiteHouse'', and Morgan played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on ''Mash''. * ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'' has a ghoul (that tries to abduct the main character) who is named after Truman, or rather, called "The 33rd President of the United States". ** The book mentions that the ghouls are named after the [[FridgeHorror main course of their first meal]]. * Appears in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "RoswellThatEndsWell", treated with all the respect you'd expect ''Futurama'' to show a POTUS: --> [''interrogating a captured Zoidberg''] If you come in peace, surrender or be destroyed! If you come to make war, we surrender! ** He is also, for some reason, depicted punching his way out of a crate of "eggs" being delivered to Roswell. ** ''Canned'' eggs, at that... *** [[http://www.google.com/search?q=%22canned+eggs%22 Oh, they're far from impossible...]] * Makes a minor appearance at the end of the {{Timeline-191}} AlternateHistory series by HarryTurtledove as the Democratic nominee for vice-president in the post-war election of 1944 (Thomas Dewey is the top half of the ticket). When they pull off a surprise victory against the Socialist Party incumbnent (Charles M. [=LaFollette=]), Truman is seen holding a copy of the ''Chicago Tribune'' with the headline ''[=LaFollette=] Beats Dewey''. * In an ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' episode, Peter Puppy found a framed letter from President Truman in a museum and read it. "Thank you for your kind offer to end UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but we have a bomb we wanna try out." * In the ''Series/That70sShow'' episode "Prank Day", Red says to Eric that his punishment for putting a bucket of oatmeal over the door (intended for Kelso) will be "the kind of thing that Harry Truman might order to end the war!" Fez asks who's Harry Truman and Kelso responds that he "invented electricity". * In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace claims to have met Truman when he was serving as a US Army captain in that conflict. * Music/{{Chicago}} wrote the song "Harry Truman" after RichardNixon's resignation, praising Truman's emphasis on responsibility and straightforwardness. It was released as a single in 1975. * He's given a HistoricalVillainUpgrade in Creator/OliverStone[='s=] ''The Untold History of the United States'', with Henry Wallace cast as the tragic hero who could have prevented the Cold War and made everything awesome. ** Well not exactly a villain. The documentary states that Truman was a well-meaning man who was in way over his head, something that, according to the documentary, Truman himself agreed with. ----
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[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/korea-president-truman_8202.jpg]] ->''"The Buck Stops Here"''\\ --'''Plaque on Truman's desk''' ->''"I'm From Missouri"''\\ --'''Other side of plaque on Truman's desk''' '''Harry S. Truman''' (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]]-[[TheFifties 1953]]), following [[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] and preceding [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]], and was the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the presidency, taking over from FranklinDRoosevelt after he died three months into his fourth term. His middle name ''is'' actually [[OneLetterName just an "S"]]; it was tradition among Scots-Irish families to name boys after their grandfathers, and his parents wanted to please both of his grandfathers, “Solomon” and “Shippe,” that way. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it grandfather-claused him, making him the last president who could have served more than two terms.[[note]]The actual amendment is a bit more nuanced than that; it prohibits any holder of that office from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that LyndonJohnson could technically have run for a second full term in 1968 and would have been above board.[[/note]] He still decided not to run for a third term both to honor GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]] Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press. Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. On the domestic front, the economy entered a recession during his first term as the economy tried to adjust to large numbers of returning veterans. Additionally, labor unions that hushed up during the war years started to increase public activity and, in some cases, organize strikes. By the end of the decade, the economy settled down and prosperity and growth was widespread during most of TheFifties and TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing CivilRightsMovement, desegregated the U.S. military in 1948 because of his disgust over the way African-American war veterans were treated; the fact that it also saved some tax dollars getting rid of that ridiculous redundancy helped sell it too. Truman was the first President to really call for full rights for African Americans - he proposed civil rights legislation to Congress (they were defeated, sadly) and he was also the first to speak in front of the NAACP. During his second term, [[RedScare anti-Communist hysteria]], led from the Senate by Wisconsin Republican Joseph [=McCarthy=], started to spread throughout the nation, leading to the formation of the (infamous) House Un-American Activities Committee. Truman called his domestic policy, which included national health care and civil rights bills, the “Fair Deal,” though the conservative coalition in Congress (Republicans and right-leaning Democrats from the DeepSouth) prevented most of them from getting passed. (Ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal than that of BarackObama was pursued, but defeated in Congress.) Years later, LyndonJohnson would pass many bills similar to what Truman proposed. In fact, Johnson signed the Medicare bill in Truman’s house and gave the first two Medicare cards to the former president and his wife, Bess.[[note]]And Truman had long been on the verge of ''needing'' Medicare; on account of his meager pre-politics savings (from all his failed business ventures) Truman was all but impoverished upon retiring from the presidency. His only source of income was his army pension, which wasn't very much (just over $100 annually). He pulled back up by taking out a loan to write his memoirs, which turned out to be quite successful, but the public was sufficiently appalled by the fact that a past president would have to do that just to live that it gave the impetus for the first-ever presidential pensions.[[/note]] Truman is most famous, however, for his foreign policy achievements. He passed the Marshall Plan, General and Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s plan to rebuild the nations of western Europe (and prevent the spread of Communism there) by pouring billions of dollars of aid money into their ruined economies. Truman recognized Israel (eleven minutes after they declared independence, actually) [[note]]His involvement in the formation of Israel as a state goes rather deeper than this. During the immediate aftermath of WW2, Britain was nominally in charge of the Palestinian territory and was attempting to reach a conclusion to the issue that allowed a Jewish diaspora into Palestine without completely displacing the resident Palestinians. The Zionist movement wanted them to accelerate Jewish movement into Palestine and basically allow them to form Israel unimpeded, which Britain opposed because of its commitments to the Arab world (and need to maintain a good supply of Arab oil). For various reasons, Britain needed America's backing in trying to pursue a "two-state solution", but Truman, in the depths of his re-election campaign, needed support from the powerful Jewish organisations in the North-east, and in particular their money. As a result he equivocated, forcing Britain to deal with the problem more or less alone, and dooming the Palestinians to their eventual fate. He did try to support them more after re-elected, but by that point the genie was out of the bottle.[[/note]] and began America’s policy of providing support to that nation. He also did the same to Taiwan after [[RedChina mainland China became communist]]. The Cold War kicked off almost immediately after the war in Europe ended, and Truman supported a policy of the “containment” of communism throughout the world, known as the "Truman Doctrine." This included the founding of several international alliances (most importantly, NATO), organizing the airlift of food and other supplies to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade, and sending American aid to nations that were fighting communism, such as Greece and Turkey. Most famously, he sent American troops as part of a UN-joint military mission into [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]] when the Communist [[UsefulNotes/NorthKorea north]] invaded the democratic [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea south]]. Led by General DouglasMacArthur (who lead American troops on the Pacific front during World War II), the UN forces pushed the North Koreans out of the South and then invaded North Korea in an attempt to free all of the Korean peninsula from communism. [=MacArthur=], however, ignored RedChina’s warning not to approach the border, and Chinese forces got involved and pushed the UN forces back to the 38th parallel. [=MacArthur=] proposed that America [[GeneralRipper directly attacks China with thermonuclear weapons]], which Truman rejected. Afterwards, [=MacArthur=] tried to obtain permission from the Joint Chief of Staff to use nuclear weapons without the president's permission to continue the assault on China, which prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The {{CIA}} was also formed during his presidency. Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "DeweyDefeatsTruman" photo. If you look at the example picture on that page, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman's 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]] Since his death, however, Truman [[VindicatedByHistory has enjoyed an amazing rise in popularity]], and he is rated highly by many historians and the public. In particular, his decision to fire [=MacArthur=], while deeply unpopular at the time, is now commonly viewed as a smart move that prevented the Korean War from escalating into World War III (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead defeating it is the real reason the war was ultimately a stalemate). He has a carrier named after him, a bit ironic, since Truman actually tried to limit the expansion of the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier program during his tenure. Truman has also become a kind of political trope in and of himself, as he is frequently cited by politicians down in the polls as a reason for supporters to keep the faith. As a general rule, when a politician starts citing Harry Truman, it's a bad sign for his electoral prospects. Truman was known for his honesty and responsibility. Famously, the plaque on his desk stated "The Buck Stops Here," his promise to take full responsibility for all of the actions of the Executive Branch. However, his loyalty to the political friends he appointed sometimes came back to haunt him; some of them were pretty corrupt and caused a few scandals, though Truman himself was never involved. He was also famous for being very plainspoken and "telling it how it is." While he was still President, Truman [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments wrote a very scathing letter]] to a critic who wrote [[PapaWolf a negative review of his daughter’s concert]]. Most famously, when he read [=MacArthur=]'s speech to Congress after he got sacked, Truman turned to the Army Secretary and said [[DeadpanSnarker “Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit.”]] His wife Bess lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-lived First Lady. While he was in office, the White House was found to be in such dire shape that it needed immediate emergency renovations. The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, and Truman spent most of his second term in the Blair House, the official state guest house for the President. The exterior of the building was kept intact, though, because it was too iconic to lose. He also built a new second-floor balcony on the House's south side, which is still known as the Truman Balcony. ---- !!Provides real life examples of: * AccidentalProposal: Truman always maintained that he married his wife, Bess, because of something like this. When the US entered World War I, Truman decided he would sign up with the army, and went to see Bess (whom he had been courting informally) to let her know his decision. During their conversation, Bess apparently joked, with no actual intent behind it, that "if this were a novel, I suppose you'd be proposing to me about now." After a few moment's thought, he replied, "Well, Bess, I think that's a right fine idea, but given the war and all maybe we should wait until I'm back from Europe." And they did. * AssumedWin * BadassBookworm * BatmanGambit: Used to get him to accept the Vice Presidency. See ThanatosGambit below. * CatchPhrase: "The buck stops here" (Translation: "I'm not going to make others clean up my messes" or "It's never [[BystanderSyndrome just somebody else's problem]]".) * ClusterFBomb: A master of it. His profane language even became a campaign issue between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, where Nixon argued that such language wasn't appropriate for the high office. Of course, when the Watergate tapes came out and [[HypocriticalHumor recorded Nixon getting bleeped out every other word]]... * CoversAlwaysLie: The infamous "DeweyDefeatsTruman" newspaper incident. * CrowningMomentOfAwesome: During a rally Truman, after just being declared the winner of the 1948 presidential election against Thomas Dewey, holds up a factually incorrect Chicago Tribune newspaper proclaiming "Dewey Defeats Truman". All the while, Truman laughs triumphantly. ** During Truman's first meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov after becoming president, Truman gave Molotov a ''vicious'' tongue-lashing involving [[ClusterFBomb lots of four-letter words]] for Russia's failure to live up to its postwar promises, particularly free elections in Poland. Molotov incredulously declared that he had never been spoken to like that in his life. Truman replied, "Keep your promises, and you won't be spoken to like that." ** Being the first President to speak in front of the NAACP, where he declared before 10,000 audience members that "The only limit to an American's achievement should be his ability, his industry, and his character." And this was when his chances of winning reelection were pretty slim. ** Kicking out [=MacArthur=], who was widely beloved by the press and the public, even though it would have cost Truman nearly all of his popularity. He knew it was the right thing to do and he didn't care what people would say about him. * [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Crowning Moment of Funny]]: After a rather mean spirited critic gave his daughter's concert a bad review, Truman wrote a letter to said critic where he implicitly threatened to give him a rather well-earned [[GroinAttack nut shot]]. * DeadpanSnarker: Truman, a plainspoken Missourian, disdained typical political puffery. His greatest moment came immediately after Douglas [=MacArthur=]'s farewell speech, whom Truman had just fired for insubordination. Truman's comment on the speech: "Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit." ** His response to Molotov being indignant to how Truman was talking to him counts, too. * DeweyDefeatsTruman * GodzillaThreshold: He believed that it was crossed and that using the atomic bombs was a justified decision. Whether or not it was is up for you to decide. * HappilyMarried: To his wife, Bess. * LesserOfTwoEvils: He viewed using the bombs on Japan as this. For what it is worth, he never bowed to pressure and used them again. * LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield their]] [[UsefulNotes/WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[UsefulNotes/WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman. * NeverLiveItDown: To people who do not think dropping the bombs was a good idea, this trope applies. * OddFriendship: With HerbertHoover. Despite their deep political differences both men liked and respected each other. After Hoover's death truman wrote the preface for a biography of the late president that ended with the words "Briefly put, he was my friend and I was his." * OneLetterName: His middle name is just "S", which was to placate his two grandfathers Solomon and Shippe. Truman's parents didn't want to favor one over the other, so they named him "S" and said Harry could choose which it would stand for when he got older. Also not wanting their wrath, Harry chose neither. * PapaWolf: His daughter, Margaret, was an aspiring concert soprano. When one of her concerts was poorly reviewed, he informed the critic that he would need "a new nose and plenty of beefsteak, [[GroinAttack and perhaps a supporter below]]." * SingleTargetSexuality: Toward Bess, his wife. At 5 years old, little Harry fell for his sunday school classmate and a family member said ''there never was but one girl in the world'' for him. Unlike who came before and after Truman in the office, he remained absolutely faithful to his wife, even during the years in the first world war before they got married. * {{Tearjerker}}: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President. * ThanatosGambit: Several of Roosevelt's more conservative advisors were aware of his declining health, and suspected he might not live to see the end of the war. His current Vice President, Henry Wallace, was deemed too liberal by them and unsuited to take over should FDR die. Deciding Truman was best for the job, Roosevelt and several of the Democrats subtly maneuvered him into the running for the nomination, [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial assuring him his chances were slight while quietly whittling away his opponents]]. Truman, however, began to suspect them, and did not want the position, since he didn't want to bring publicity to his wife, who was currently on the payroll. As such, Roosevelt and the others staged a conversation in a next-door hotel room where they "accused" Truman of not standing up for the party. This was enough to motivate Truman, and he reluctantly accepted the vice-presidential nomination, a job he only held for 82 days. * TrueCompanions: One of Truman's defining characteristics. He even attended [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Pendergast Tom Pendergast's funeral]] (while Vice-President) for all that Pendergast did for him, despite all the controversy he had gathered Truman by helping him get office. * VindicatedByHistory: Though he was wildly unpopular during his time in office, Truman experienced a resurgence in popularity among historians since many of his policies actually turned out to be good ideas, such as his firing of [=MacArthur=], the desegregation of the armed forces, the creation of NATO, and the approval of the Marshall Plan. ---- !!Truman in fiction: * The one-man play and film ''Give 'Em Hell, Harry!'' (his campaign slogan in 1948) feature James Whitmore as Truman. A performance of this was filmed in 1976 and Whitmore received an [[AcademyAward Oscar nomination]]. This is one of only three times that every credited cast member received a nomination, the others being ''Theatre/WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf'' and ''{{Theatre/Sleuth}}''. * ''Truman'', a 1995 {{HBO}} feature starring [[Film/ForrestGump Gary Sinise]] in the title role. * Makes a brief and symbolic appearence getting the first Medicare card in HBO's ''The Path to War'', where {{LBJ}} is portrayed as his spiritual successor. * In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}},'' Rorschach frequently expresses admiration for 'decent men' like Truman and his father. It's shown in several in-story documents that he wrote an essay in his youth expressing how good it was that he dropped the bomb, because he saved many more lives by ending World War II. This is particularly ironic given that Rorschach claims to be a moral absolutist and attacks [[spoiler:Veidt]] for killing millions in [[spoiler:a fake 'alien' attack on New York]] to prevent World War III from breaking out. * A ''Series/DoctorWho'' TieInNovel. * In ''Series/{{Mash}}'', it is often mentioned that Truman is President. ** In one episode ("Dear Harry") Hawkeye actually writes a letter to Truman describing conditions in Korea and imploring him to end the war. *** Interestingly, Truman was portrayed by Harry Morgan in the series ''Series/BackstairsAtTheWhiteHouse'', and Morgan played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on ''Mash''. * ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'' has a ghoul (that tries to abduct the main character) who is named after Truman, or rather, called "The 33rd President of the United States". ** The book mentions that the ghouls are named after the [[FridgeHorror main course of their first meal]]. * Appears in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "RoswellThatEndsWell", treated with all the respect you'd expect ''Futurama'' to show a POTUS: --> [''interrogating a captured Zoidberg''] If you come in peace, surrender or be destroyed! If you come to make war, we surrender! ** He is also, for some reason, depicted punching his way out of a crate of "eggs" being delivered to Roswell. ** ''Canned'' eggs, at that... *** [[http://www.google.com/search?q=%22canned+eggs%22 Oh, they're far from impossible...]] * Makes a minor appearance at the end of the {{Timeline-191}} AlternateHistory series by HarryTurtledove as the Democratic nominee for vice-president in the post-war election of 1944 (Thomas Dewey is the top half of the ticket). When they pull off a surprise victory against the Socialist Party incumbnent (Charles M. [=LaFollette=]), Truman is seen holding a copy of the ''Chicago Tribune'' with the headline ''[=LaFollette=] Beats Dewey''. * In an ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' episode, Peter Puppy found a framed letter from President Truman in a museum and read it. "Thank you for your kind offer to end UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but we have a bomb we wanna try out." * In the ''Series/That70sShow'' episode "Prank Day", Red says to Eric that his punishment for putting a bucket of oatmeal over the door (intended for Kelso) will be "the kind of thing that Harry Truman might order to end the war!" Fez asks who's Harry Truman and Kelso responds that he "invented electricity". * In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace claims to have met Truman when he was serving as a US Army captain in that conflict. * Music/{{Chicago}} wrote the song "Harry Truman" after RichardNixon's resignation, praising Truman's emphasis on responsibility and straightforwardness. It was released as a single in 1975. * He's given a HistoricalVillainUpgrade in Creator/OliverStone[='s=] ''The Untold History of the United States'', with Henry Wallace cast as the tragic hero who could have prevented the Cold War and made everything awesome. ** Well not exactly a villain. The documentary states that Truman was a well-meaning man who was in way over his head, something that, according to the documentary, Truman himself agreed with. ----[[redirect:UsefulNotes/HarryTruman]]
23rd Jan '14 2:12:51 PM LongLiveHumour
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Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.
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Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[DwightEisenhower [[UsefulNotes/DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.

* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley [[UsefulNotes/WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding [[UsefulNotes/WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
18th Jan '14 12:41:19 PM MarkLungo
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield [[UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
8th Jan '14 11:12:03 AM MarkLungo
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[WilliamHenryHarrison [[UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
28th Dec '13 7:31:29 PM RossN
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Added DiffLines:
* OddFriendship: With HerbertHoover. Despite their deep political differences both men liked and respected each other. After Hoover's death truman wrote the preface for a biography of the late president that ended with the words "Briefly put, he was my friend and I was his."
28th Dec '13 12:32:59 PM MarkLungo
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->''The Buck Stops Here'' ->--Plaque on Truman's desk ->''I'm From Missouri'' ->--Other side of plaque on Truman's desk '''Harry S. Truman''' (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]]-[[TheFifties 1953]]), following [[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] and preceding [[DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]], and was the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the presidency, taking over from FranklinDRoosevelt after he died three months into his fourth term. His middle name ''is'' actually [[OneLetterName just an "S"]]; it was tradition among Scots-Irish families to name boys after their grandfathers, and his parents wanted to please both of his grandfathers, “Solomon” and “Shippe,” that way. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it grandfather-claused him, making him the last president who could have served more than two terms.[[note]]The actual amendment is a bit more nuanced than that; it prohibits any holder of that office from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that LyndonJohnson could technically have run for a second full term in 1968 and would have been above board.[[/note]] He still decided not to run for a third term both to honor GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]] Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press.
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->''The ->''"The Buck Stops Here'' ->--Plaque Here"''\\ --'''Plaque on Truman's desk ->''I'm desk''' ->''"I'm From Missouri'' ->--Other Missouri"''\\ --'''Other side of plaque on Truman's desk desk''' '''Harry S. Truman''' (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]]-[[TheFifties 1953]]), following [[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] and preceding [[DwightDEisenhower [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]], and was the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the presidency, taking over from FranklinDRoosevelt after he died three months into his fourth term. His middle name ''is'' actually [[OneLetterName just an "S"]]; it was tradition among Scots-Irish families to name boys after their grandfathers, and his parents wanted to please both of his grandfathers, “Solomon” and “Shippe,” that way. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it grandfather-claused him, making him the last president who could have served more than two terms.[[note]]The actual amendment is a bit more nuanced than that; it prohibits any holder of that office from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that LyndonJohnson could technically have run for a second full term in 1968 and would have been above board.[[/note]] He still decided not to run for a third term both to honor GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]] Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[JamesMonroe [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press.

<<|ThePresidents|>>
26th Dec '13 11:32:21 AM Fresison
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changing image because overlaps with image on the 'Dewey defeats truman' page.
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Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "''Dewey Defeats Truman''" photo. If you look at the example picture, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman's 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]]
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Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "''Dewey Defeats Truman''" "DeweyDefeatsTruman" photo. If you look at the example picture, picture on that page, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman's 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]]

* CoversAlwaysLie: The infamous "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper incident.
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* CoversAlwaysLie: The infamous "Dewey Defeats Truman" "DeweyDefeatsTruman" newspaper incident.

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* CoversAlwaysLie: The infamous "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper incident.DeweyDefeatsTruman
23rd Nov '13 3:54:45 PM JIKTV
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Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press. Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the ColdWar.
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Missouri-born Truman was the last American president who never went to college; he was a very good student in high school and had had his heart set on attending [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]], but his [[BlindWithoutEm extremely poor eyesight]] kept him from getting an appointment; he enrolled in business school and law school later on (you could do that without a degree back then) but didn't have the heart for it (because it wasn't West Point) and dropped out fairly quickly. He is the last American President to never earn a college degree. Despite his eyesight, he managed to serve in WorldWarI UsefulNotes/WorldWarI by memorizing the eye chart, serving in the artillery in the Missouri National Guard. He reached the rank of captain by the time Germany surrendered and the battery under his command impressively did not lose a single man, which served as the basis of his political career that would eventually lead him to the Senate in 1935. Between then, he owned a haberdashery (a men’s clothing store) and did various odd jobs after that didn't work out. Somehow, he managed to attract the eye of the UsefulNotes/KansasCity/Jackson County Democratic machine, led by a [[CorruptPolitician somewhat unpleasant fellow]] by the name of Tom Pendergast. Pendergast used his leverage to get Truman elected a county judge (which in Missouri actually means "county commissioner"--the position is legislative rather than judicial), which Truman himself leveraged into appointment as director of one of the state’s New Deal programs during TheGreatDepression. He was elected Senator from Missouri in 1934, against Pendergast's judgment (he backed Truman reluctantly).[[note]]Although Truman benefited from the Pendergast machine, historians are sure Truman was never himself corrupt.[[/note]] In 1941, he was appointed head of what was known as the Truman Committee, which investigated and exposed government waste in the [[WorldWarII [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII war effort]] and brought Truman to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was nicknamed the “second [[JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press. Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President after Roosevelt died. Germany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan proved more problematic. The atomic bombs, which were supposed to be used against the Germans, were fully developed just after Germany surrendered. Truman was never told about the Manhattan Project until he was the President (hell, [[JosefStalin Stalin]] and his spies knew more about it than he did!), which is very controversial among historians. Truman vowed to continue Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy, and turned down Japan’s attempts at a conditional surrender. Additionally, all of his military advisors predicted that millions would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[DwightEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention, '''don't use it'''". [[note]]Eisenhower's reasoning ''was'' sound: As a seasoned general he was (on principle) opposed to using a ''prototype'' of '''any'''thing in combat where it could kill at least as many of your ''own'' forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Against this backdrop, Truman decided to risk it and approved the atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to unconditional surrender. While the merits (if any) of dropping the bombs have been debated for decades, what ''isn’t'' debated is that it led to the Soviet Union escalating their own nuclear research, which escalated the ColdWar. UsefulNotes/ColdWar.

Truman is most famous, however, for his foreign policy achievements. He passed the Marshall Plan, General and Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s plan to rebuild the nations of western Europe (and prevent the spread of Communism there) by pouring billions of dollars of aid money into their ruined economies. Truman recognized Israel (eleven minutes after they declared independence, actually) [[note]]His involvement in the formation of Israel as a state goes rather deeper than this. During the immediate aftermath of WW2, Britain was nominally in charge of the Palestinian territory and was attempting to reach a conclusion to the issue that allowed a Jewish diaspora into Palestine without completely displacing the resident Palestinians. The Zionist movement wanted them to accelerate Jewish movement into Palestine and basically allow them to form Israel unimpeded, which Britain opposed because of its commitments to the Arab world (and need to maintain a good supply of Arab oil). For various reasons, Britain needed America's backing in trying to pursue a "two-state solution", but Truman, in the depths of his re-election campaign, needed support from the powerful Jewish organisations in the North-east, and in particular their money. As a result he equivocated, forcing Britain to deal with the problem more or less alone, and dooming the Palestinians to their eventual fate. He did try to support them more after re-elected, but by that point the genie was out of the bottle.[[/note]] and began America’s policy of providing support to that nation. He also did the same to Taiwan after [[RedChina mainland China became communist]]. The ColdWar kicked off almost immediately after the war in Europe ended, and Truman supported a policy of the “containment” of communism throughout the world, known as the “Truman Doctrine.” This included the founding of several international alliances (most importantly, NATO), organizing the airlift of food and other supplies to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade, and sending American aid to nations that were fighting communism, such as Greece and Turkey. Most famously, he sent American troops as part of a UN-joint military mission into [[TheKoreanWar Korea]] when the Communist [[{{UsefulNotes/NorthKorea}} north]] invaded the democratic [[{{UsefulNotes/SouthKorea}} south]]. Led by General DouglasMacArthur (who lead American troops on the Pacific front during World War II), the UN forces pushed the North Koreans out of the South and then invaded North Korea in an attempt to free all of the Korean peninsula from communism. [=MacArthur=], however, ignored RedChina’s warning not to approach the border, and Chinese forces got involved and pushed the UN forces back to the 38th parallel. [=MacArthur=] proposed that America [[GeneralRipper directly attacks China with thermonuclear weapons]], which Truman rejected. Afterwards, [=MacArthur=] tried to obtain permission from the Joint Chief of Staff to use nuclear weapons without the president's permission to continue the assault on China, which prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The {{CIA}} was also formed during his presidency. Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "''Dewey Defeats Truman''" photo. If you look at the example picture, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman’s 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]]
to:
Truman is most famous, however, for his foreign policy achievements. He passed the Marshall Plan, General and Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s plan to rebuild the nations of western Europe (and prevent the spread of Communism there) by pouring billions of dollars of aid money into their ruined economies. Truman recognized Israel (eleven minutes after they declared independence, actually) [[note]]His involvement in the formation of Israel as a state goes rather deeper than this. During the immediate aftermath of WW2, Britain was nominally in charge of the Palestinian territory and was attempting to reach a conclusion to the issue that allowed a Jewish diaspora into Palestine without completely displacing the resident Palestinians. The Zionist movement wanted them to accelerate Jewish movement into Palestine and basically allow them to form Israel unimpeded, which Britain opposed because of its commitments to the Arab world (and need to maintain a good supply of Arab oil). For various reasons, Britain needed America's backing in trying to pursue a "two-state solution", but Truman, in the depths of his re-election campaign, needed support from the powerful Jewish organisations in the North-east, and in particular their money. As a result he equivocated, forcing Britain to deal with the problem more or less alone, and dooming the Palestinians to their eventual fate. He did try to support them more after re-elected, but by that point the genie was out of the bottle.[[/note]] and began America’s policy of providing support to that nation. He also did the same to Taiwan after [[RedChina mainland China became communist]]. The ColdWar Cold War kicked off almost immediately after the war in Europe ended, and Truman supported a policy of the “containment” of communism throughout the world, known as the “Truman "Truman Doctrine." This included the founding of several international alliances (most importantly, NATO), organizing the airlift of food and other supplies to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade, and sending American aid to nations that were fighting communism, such as Greece and Turkey. Most famously, he sent American troops as part of a UN-joint military mission into [[TheKoreanWar [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]] when the Communist [[{{UsefulNotes/NorthKorea}} [[UsefulNotes/NorthKorea north]] invaded the democratic [[{{UsefulNotes/SouthKorea}} [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea south]]. Led by General DouglasMacArthur (who lead American troops on the Pacific front during World War II), the UN forces pushed the North Koreans out of the South and then invaded North Korea in an attempt to free all of the Korean peninsula from communism. [=MacArthur=], however, ignored RedChina’s warning not to approach the border, and Chinese forces got involved and pushed the UN forces back to the 38th parallel. [=MacArthur=] proposed that America [[GeneralRipper directly attacks China with thermonuclear weapons]], which Truman rejected. Afterwards, [=MacArthur=] tried to obtain permission from the Joint Chief of Staff to use nuclear weapons without the president's permission to continue the assault on China, which prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The {{CIA}} was also formed during his presidency. Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Few newspapers expected him to win, and several of them already had "Truman lost" stories ready. The ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'', however, made the mistake of actually printing the story (it didn't help that for the duration of a printers' strike, the ''Tribune'' had to make do with a printing method that required it to publish hours in advance), resulting in the famous "''Dewey Defeats Truman''" photo. If you look at the example picture, you can see how happy he is. This unexpected victory can be considered his CrowningMomentOfAwesome, especially when one considers that he had to contend with ''two'' third-party splinter candidacies during his campaign from within the Democratic Party: one from Henry Wallace (a leftist who opposed Truman's anti-Communism) and another from Strom Thurmond (a Southern segregationist who opposed Truman's support for civil rights). His second term, however, was a slew of unpopular decisions and a slide in the polls. Truman became seriously unpopular when the Korean War turned into a stalemate and he sacked [=MacArthur=]; he ended up going as low as ''22%'' in approval ratings, the lowest of all time in the Gallup poll. (Though GeorgeWBush’s ''dis''approval rating would surpass Truman’s Truman's 67% height.) He decided that he couldn't stand the heat any longer and got out of the kitchen (an expression popularized by Truman, though [[BeamMeUpScotty he spread it around by way of quoting a friend]]), announcing he would not run again in 1952 after he lost the New Hampshire primary. The eventual Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson, would lose to DwightDEisenhower, due largely to how unpopular Truman was at the time.[[note]]For that matter, Stevenson ran against Eisenhower again in 1956 and lost by a slightly larger margin than he had done in 1952.[[/note]]

Truman was known for his honesty and responsibility. Famously, the plaque on his desk stated “The Buck Stops Here,” his promise to take full responsibility for all of the actions of the Executive Branch. However, his loyalty to the political friends he appointed sometimes came back to haunt him; some of them were pretty corrupt and caused a few scandals, though Truman himself was never involved. He was also famous for being very plainspoken and “telling it how it is.” While he was still President, Truman [[CrowningMomentOfFunny wrote a very scathing letter]] to a critic who wrote [[PapaWolf a negative review of his daughter’s concert]]. Most famously, when he read [=MacArthur=]'s speech to Congress after he got sacked, Truman turned to the Army Secretary and said [[DeadpanSnarker “Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit.”]] His wife Bess lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-lived First Lady. While he was in office, the White House was found to be in such dire shape that it needed immediate emergency renovations. The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, and Truman spent most of his second term in the Blair House, the official state guest house for the President. The exterior of the building was kept intact, though, because it was too iconic to lose. He also built a new second-floor balcony on the House's south side, which is still known as the Truman Balcony.
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Truman was known for his honesty and responsibility. Famously, the plaque on his desk stated “The "The Buck Stops Here,” Here," his promise to take full responsibility for all of the actions of the Executive Branch. However, his loyalty to the political friends he appointed sometimes came back to haunt him; some of them were pretty corrupt and caused a few scandals, though Truman himself was never involved. He was also famous for being very plainspoken and “telling "telling it how it is." While he was still President, Truman [[CrowningMomentOfFunny [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments wrote a very scathing letter]] to a critic who wrote [[PapaWolf a negative review of his daughter’s concert]]. Most famously, when he read [=MacArthur=]'s speech to Congress after he got sacked, Truman turned to the Army Secretary and said [[DeadpanSnarker “Nothing but a bunch of damn bullshit.”]] His wife Bess lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-lived First Lady. While he was in office, the White House was found to be in such dire shape that it needed immediate emergency renovations. The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, and Truman spent most of his second term in the Blair House, the official state guest house for the President. The exterior of the building was kept intact, though, because it was too iconic to lose. He also built a new second-floor balcony on the House's south side, which is still known as the Truman Balcony.

* AccidentalProposal: Truman always maintained that he married his wife, Bess, because of something like this. When the US entered WorldWarI, Truman decided he would sign up with the army, and went to see Bess (whom he had been courting informally) to let her know his decision. During their conversation, Bess apparently joked, with no actual intent behind it, that "if this were a novel, I suppose you'd be proposing to me about now." After a few moment's thought, he replied, "Well, Bess, I think that's a right fine idea, but given the war and all maybe we should wait until I'm back from Europe." And they did.
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* AccidentalProposal: Truman always maintained that he married his wife, Bess, because of something like this. When the US entered WorldWarI, World War I, Truman decided he would sign up with the army, and went to see Bess (whom he had been courting informally) to let her know his decision. During their conversation, Bess apparently joked, with no actual intent behind it, that "if this were a novel, I suppose you'd be proposing to me about now." After a few moment's thought, he replied, "Well, Bess, I think that's a right fine idea, but given the war and all maybe we should wait until I'm back from Europe." And they did.

* CrowningMomentOfFunny: After a rather mean spirited critic gave his daughter's concert a bad review, Truman wrote a letter to said critic where he implicitly threatened to give him a rather well-earned [[GroinAttack nut shot]].
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* CrowningMomentOfFunny: [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Crowning Moment of Funny]]: After a rather mean spirited critic gave his daughter's concert a bad review, Truman wrote a letter to said critic where he implicitly threatened to give him a rather well-earned [[GroinAttack nut shot]].

* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.
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* LockedOutOfTheLoop: During his tenure as Vice President, he suffered from this because the VP was pretty much a placeholder -- even though by that time it was getting noticed that presidents elected in years ending in '''0''' [[WilliamHenryHarrison expired]] [[AbrahamLincoln [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln before]] [[JamesGarfield their]] [[WilliamMcKinley terms]] [[WarrenGHarding did]] and FranklinDRoosevelt had been elected in ''194'''0'''''--oh, and he had polio.[[note]]Ironically, this wasn't what killed him. However, the strain of hiding his disability in addition to his longtime smoking habit didn't help.[[/note]] Although Roosevelt knew this, and even suspected he might die in office, a seeming last-minute improvement in his health convinced him he could carry out his term and didn't really need Truman.

* [=Tearjerker=]: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
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* [=Tearjerker=]: {{Tearjerker}}: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.

* In an ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' episode, Peter Puppy found a framed letter from President Truman in a museum and read it. "Thank you for your kind offer to end WorldWarII, but we have a bomb we wanna try out." * In the ''{{That 70s Show}}'' episode "Prank Day", Red says to Eric that his punishment for putting a bucket of oatmeal over the door (intended for Kelso) will be "the kind of thing that Harry Truman might order to end the war!" Fez asks who's Harry Truman and Kelso responds that he "invented electricity". * In ''{{Peanuts}}'', Snoopy as the WorldWarOne Flying Ace claims to have met Truman when he was serving as a US Army captain in that conflict.
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* In an ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' episode, Peter Puppy found a framed letter from President Truman in a museum and read it. "Thank you for your kind offer to end WorldWarII, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but we have a bomb we wanna try out." * In the ''{{That 70s Show}}'' ''Series/That70sShow'' episode "Prank Day", Red says to Eric that his punishment for putting a bucket of oatmeal over the door (intended for Kelso) will be "the kind of thing that Harry Truman might order to end the war!" Fez asks who's Harry Truman and Kelso responds that he "invented electricity". * In ''{{Peanuts}}'', ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', Snoopy as the WorldWarOne World War I Flying Ace claims to have met Truman when he was serving as a US Army captain in that conflict.

* He's given a HistoricalVillainUpgrade in Creator/OliverStone[='s=] ''The Untold History of the United States'', with Henry Wallace cast as the tragic hero who could have prevented the ColdWar and made everything awesome.
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* He's given a HistoricalVillainUpgrade in Creator/OliverStone[='s=] ''The Untold History of the United States'', with Henry Wallace cast as the tragic hero who could have prevented the ColdWar Cold War and made everything awesome.
23rd Nov '13 3:48:27 PM JIKTV
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* [=TearJerker=]: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
to:
* [=TearJerker=]: [=Tearjerker=]: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
23rd Nov '13 3:48:07 PM JIKTV
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* TearJerker: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
to:
* TearJerker: [=TearJerker=]: During the Korean War, a soldier was killed and had received the Purple Heart for his heroic duties. However, the soldier's family sent the Purple Heart ''back'' to Truman with a letter telling him how he it was his fault that their son died. For the rest of his days, Truman kept that Purple Heart on his desk as a reminder about all of the difficult decisions that came with being President.
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