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Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]] to [[TheFifties 1953]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh vice president to succeed to the presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it {{grandfather|Clause}}ed 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 president from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

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Harry '''Harry S Truman[[note]]His Truman'''[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]] to [[TheFifties 1953]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh vice president to succeed to the presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it {{grandfather|Clause}}ed 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 president from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]


A native of Missouri (the only president born or living there, in fact), Truman was also 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 in life (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. 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 UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany surrendered; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 somewhat unpleasant fellow named 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 him to the national spotlight. As part of a Coup inside the Democratic Party he was chose by party chair Edwin Pauley as FDRs running mate in the 1944 election to replace the highly popular New Dealer Henry A Wallace; the press nicknamed it the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]].”

Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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. Despite General Marshall’s prediction that only thirty old thousand would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Of the seven US five star Generals who got their fifth star in WWII six where opposed to the atomic bombing believing it to be militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible or both, this opinion was so well known that Groves issued an order for all commanders to check with the War Department before making public statements, despite this General Curtis LeMay later stated that “Even without the atomic bomb and the Russian entry into the war, Japan would have surrendered in two weeks.” “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war.” At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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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A native of Missouri (the only president born or living there, in fact), Truman was also 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 in life (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. 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 UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany surrendered; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 somewhat unpleasant fellow named 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 him to the national spotlight. As part of a Coup inside the Democratic Party he was chose by party chair Edwin Pauley as FDRs [=FDR=]'s running mate in the 1944 election to replace the highly popular New Dealer Henry A Wallace; the press nicknamed it the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]].”

Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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. Despite General Marshall’s prediction that only thirty old thousand would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Of the seven US five star Generals who got their fifth star in WWII six where were opposed to the atomic bombing believing it to be militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible or both, this opinion was so well known that Groves issued an order for all commanders to check with the War Department before making public statements, despite this General Curtis LeMay [=LeMay=] later stated that “Even without the atomic bomb and the Russian entry into the war, Japan would have surrendered in two weeks.” “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war.” At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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.



*** Interestingly, Truman was portrayed by Harry Morgan in the series ''Series/BackstairsAtTheWhiteHouse'', and Morgan played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on ''Mash''.

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*** Interestingly, Truman was portrayed by Harry Morgan in the series ''Series/BackstairsAtTheWhiteHouse'', and Morgan played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on ''Mash''.''M*A*S*H''.


Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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. Despite General Marshall’s prediction that only thirty old thousand would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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.

to:

Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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. Despite General Marshall’s prediction that only thirty old thousand would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] Of the seven US five star Generals who got their fifth star in WWII six where opposed to the atomic bombing believing it to be militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible or both, this opinion was so well known that Groves issued an order for all commanders to check with the War Department before making public statements, despite this General Curtis LeMay later stated that “Even without the atomic bomb and the Russian entry into the war, Japan would have surrendered in two weeks.” “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war.” At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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.


Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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.

to:

Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting president after Roosevelt died. UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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 President (hell, [[UsefulNotes/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 Despite General Marshall’s prediction that millions only thirty old thousand would die, civilian and American soldier alike, if a land invasion was attempted. Despite this, [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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.


A native of Missouri (the only president born or living there, in fact), Truman was also 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 in life (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. 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 UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany surrendered; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 somewhat unpleasant fellow named 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 him to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; the press nicknamed it the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]].”

to:

A native of Missouri (the only president born or living there, in fact), Truman was also 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 in life (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. 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 UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany surrendered; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 somewhat unpleasant fellow named 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 him to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by As part of a Coup inside the attention Truman Democratic Party he was attracting, chose him by party chair Edwin Pauley as his FDRs running mate in the 1944 election; election to replace the highly popular New Dealer Henry A Wallace; the press nicknamed it the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]].”


Added DiffLines:

**The dropping of the atomic bombs was well known to be unnecessary and most historians would agree with the motivation of the bombs as to attempt to intimidate the Soviets and it is true that Truman and many of his backers worked deliberately to prevent a postwar settlement. While the speculation about how Wallace would have been different, it is certainly possible.


* Makes a minor appearance at the end of the Literature/Timeline191 AlternateHistory series by Creator/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''.

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* Makes a minor appearance at the end of the Literature/Timeline191 AlternateHistory series by Creator/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 incumbent (Charles M. [=LaFollette=]), Truman is seen holding a copy of the ''Chicago Tribune'' with the headline ''[=LaFollette=] Beats Dewey''.


Since his death, however, Truman [[VindicatedByHistory has enjoyed a marked 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 WorldWarIII (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead of 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[[labelnote:history lesson]]A bit more than that. Post-WWII, Truman saw no need for a worldwide military and proposed slicing the military budget by nearly 90%, an attempt to return to the antebellum U.S. policy of maintaining a token planning and training cadre in peacetime and surging with draftees in wartime, but with places that needed defending against the Soviet Union in Europe and occupying in Japan and others, there were too many obligations for such a huge drawback. He and some military advisors had the thought that nuclear weapons would fill the gap of traditional military force and so advocated for nearly the entire dismantling of the Navy and Marine Corps. [[InterserviceRivalry Interservice fights]] for budget money, equipment, and literal survival were fierce, leading to Marine Corps General Alexander Vandegrift's famous "On Bended Knee" speech to Congress and newspaper articles published by several Navy Admirals imploring leaders not to "scuttle the Navy". Truman got his way and cut the military to the quick, just in time for the Korean War, where nuclear weapons weren't an option not nearly enough forces from elsewhere could be scrounged up to do the least good[[/labelnote]]. 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.

to:

Since his death, however, Truman [[VindicatedByHistory has enjoyed a marked 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 WorldWarIII (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead of 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[[labelnote:history lesson]]A bit more than that. Post-WWII, Truman saw no need for a worldwide military and proposed slicing the military budget by nearly 90%, an attempt to return to the antebellum U.S. policy of maintaining a token planning and training cadre in peacetime and surging with draftees in wartime, but with places that needed defending against the Soviet Union in Europe and occupying in Japan and others, there were too many obligations for such a huge drawback. He and some military advisors had the thought that nuclear weapons would fill the gap of traditional military force and so advocated for nearly the entire dismantling of the Navy and Marine Corps. [[InterserviceRivalry Interservice fights]] for budget money, equipment, and literal survival were fierce, leading to Marine Corps General Alexander Vandegrift's famous "On Bended Knee" speech to Congress and newspaper articles published by several Navy Admirals imploring leaders not to "scuttle the Navy". Truman got his way and cut the military to the quick, just in time for the Korean War, where nuclear weapons weren't an option and not nearly enough forces from elsewhere could be scrounged up to do the least good[[/labelnote]]. 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.


Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Almost all the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanNewspapers newspapers]] [[AssumedWin expected New York Governor Thomas Dewey would be elected]] to succeed him, 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 was definitely impressive, 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[[note]]To boot, he had been vice president ''immediately before Truman'' too.[[/note]]) 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 UsefulNotes/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 the popular Republican UsefulNotes/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 a marked 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 WorldWarIII (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead of 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.

to:

Despite the conga line of domestic and foreign crises during his first term, Truman still ran for reelection in 1948. Almost all the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanNewspapers newspapers]] [[AssumedWin expected New York Governor Thomas Dewey would be elected]] to succeed him, 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 was definitely impressive, 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[[note]]To boot, he had been vice president ''immediately before Truman'' too.[[/note]]) and another from Strom Thurmond[[labelnote:note]]At the time, Thurmond was the Governor of South Carolina who ran for President as a State's Rights Democrat, a Southern regional offshoot of the main Democratic party known as "Dixiecrats", who compared to mainline Democrats were a bit more conservative and a lot more racist. He would later be elected Senator, where his claim to fame would be holding the longest-ever one-man filibuster against the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which failed. After switching parties to Republican, he would continue to be elected Senator for another 45 years until his death in 2003 at the astonishing age of 100.[[/labelnote]] (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 UsefulNotes/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 the popular Republican UsefulNotes/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 a marked 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 WorldWarIII (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead of 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.tenure[[labelnote:history lesson]]A bit more than that. Post-WWII, Truman saw no need for a worldwide military and proposed slicing the military budget by nearly 90%, an attempt to return to the antebellum U.S. policy of maintaining a token planning and training cadre in peacetime and surging with draftees in wartime, but with places that needed defending against the Soviet Union in Europe and occupying in Japan and others, there were too many obligations for such a huge drawback. He and some military advisors had the thought that nuclear weapons would fill the gap of traditional military force and so advocated for nearly the entire dismantling of the Navy and Marine Corps. [[InterserviceRivalry Interservice fights]] for budget money, equipment, and literal survival were fierce, leading to Marine Corps General Alexander Vandegrift's famous "On Bended Knee" speech to Congress and newspaper articles published by several Navy Admirals imploring leaders not to "scuttle the Navy". Truman got his way and cut the military to the quick, just in time for the Korean War, where nuclear weapons weren't an option not nearly enough forces from elsewhere could be scrounged up to do the least good[[/labelnote]]. 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.


Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884–December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]] to [[TheFifties 1953]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh vice president to succeed to the presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it {{grandfather|Clause}}ed 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 president from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

to:

Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884–December 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd president of the United States (serving from [[TheForties 1945]] to [[TheFifties 1953]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh vice president to succeed to the presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it {{grandfather|Clause}}ed 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 president from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another president's term'', which meant that UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]


->''"I'm From Missouri"''
-->--'''Other side of plaque on Truman's desk'''

Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

A native of Missouri, 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. 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; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 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 him 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, [[UsefulNotes/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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the Soviets' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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 UsefulNotes/TheFifties and UsefulNotes/TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing UsefulNotes/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.[[note]]For example, the Pentagon to this day has a huge number of bathrooms, because being in Virginia it was built as a segregated facility.[[/note]] 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. 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 (Including, ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal than that UsefulNotes/BarackObama pursued). Years later, UsefulNotes/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]]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--less than $900 in 2015 dollars). 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-- (after bad investments had depleted the savings of UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant, he had his memoirs detailing his military career published to provide a suitable income for his wife Julia after his death)-- 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). And all this is to say nothing of the fact that even if the Arab links could be ignored, allowing more Jewish immigration would (1) potentially displace Palestinians, presenting a moral as well as a practical dilemma and (2) perhaps more importantly, incense the Palestinians even further, which was not only bad for the people living there but also cost the already-overstretched British Empire even more men and money at a time that UsefulNotes/ClementAttlee was trying to build more or less the same welfare state Truman wanted to build--but ''succeeding'', and the success didn't come cheap. 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 Northeast, and in particular their money. Although most of these organizations were fine with a "two-state" solution, a few weren't, and even among those that were, many American Jewish activists were impatient for the establishment of a Jewish state and regarded the processes the British were engaging in as delaying tactics (which, in fairness, they partly if not entirely were) and regarded the Palestinian leadership as obstructionist (and, in fairness, they were rather obstinate). As a result, Truman 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 UsefulNotes/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 attack 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 (along with [=MacArthur's=] rather public criticism of Truman's policies, bordering on outright insubordination) prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The UsefulNotes/{{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 was definitely impressive, 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/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.”]] When asked after his Presidency about why he fired [=MacArthur=], he made this scathing comment: "I didn't fire him because he was a stupid son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for Generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be behind bars. I fired him because he wouldn't accept the authority of the President."

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 flooring was so weak that a piano leg fell through an upper floor and into a room Truman was in at the time). The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, with the rotting original wooden frame taken out and replaced with steel (what little good wood remained was sawn into paneling for the new Ground Floor) and Truman spent most of his second term in Blair House, official state guest house for foreign heads of state, right across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Old Executive Office Building and catercorner from the White House itself.[[note]]In one of the stranger incidents of American presidential history, Truman actually endured an assassination attempt while at Blair House, as at one point in 1950 [[UsefulNotes/PuertoRico Puerto Rican]] independence activists armed with pistols tried to storm Blair House while Truman was there, but were stopped by the Secret Service and a White House Police officer; the latter was mortally wounded keeping the assassins away from the President. The kicker to all of this is that Truman was taking a nap when it started and slept through most of it, only awoken by the gunfire shortly before the second attacker was killed.[[/note]] The exterior of the White House 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.

to:

->''"I'm From from Missouri"''
-->--'''Other side of the same plaque on Truman's desk'''

Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 1884–December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President president of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), (serving from [[TheForties 1945]] to [[TheFifties 1953]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President vice president to succeed to the Presidency, presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. Presidents presidents to a maximum of two complete terms, was ratified while he was in office, but it grandfather-claused {{grandfather|Clause}}ed him, making him the last President president who could have served more than two terms.[[note]]The actual amendment is a bit more nuanced than that; that: it prohibits any holder of that office president from serving more than two full terms ''and more than half of another President's president's term'', which meant that UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

A native of Missouri, Missouri (the only president born or living there, in fact), Truman was also the last American President 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 appointment. He enrolled in business school and law school later on in life (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. 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 UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany surrendered; the battery under his command did not lose a single man thanks to the Entente Cordiale's massive (more than 3:1 and increasing) superiority in artillery and doctrinal emphasis on counter-battery fire (i.e. anti-artillery artillery fire, something easier when you have more artillery to begin with). His experience in command served as the basis of a 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 somewhat unpleasant fellow by the name of named 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 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 him to the national spotlight. Roosevelt, impressed by the attention Truman was attracting, chose him as his running mate in the 1944 election; this was the press nicknamed it the “second [[UsefulNotes/JamesMonroe Missouri Compromise]]” by the press.

Compromise]].”

Less than three months after assuming this new office, Truman suddenly found himself the sitting President president after Roosevelt died. Germany, UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, already on the verge of defeat, surrendered weeks after he succeeded (on his 61st birthday, actually), but Japan UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan 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, [[UsefulNotes/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 [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower one military advisor]] who '''did''' know about the secret superbomb, when asked by Truman about it, said, "Brilliant new invention; '''don't use it'''". 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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the Soviets' UsefulNotes/{{Soviet|RussiaUkraineAndSoOn}}s' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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 UsefulNotes/TheFifties and UsefulNotes/TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing UsefulNotes/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.[[note]]For example, the Pentagon to this day has a huge number of bathrooms, because being in Virginia it was built as a segregated facility.[[/note]] Truman was the first President president to really call for full rights for African black Americans - in earnest -- 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=], UsefulNotes/JosephMcCarthy, started to spread throughout the nation. 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 (Including, (including, ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal social than that UsefulNotes/BarackObama pursued). Years later, UsefulNotes/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]]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--less than $900 in 2015 dollars). 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-- live (after bad investments had depleted the savings of UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant, he had his memoirs detailing his military career published to provide a suitable income for his wife Julia after his death)-- death) 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 UsefulNotes/{{Israel}} (eleven minutes after they it declared independence, actually) [[note]]His actually)[[note]]His involvement in the formation of Israel as a state goes rather deeper than this. During the immediate aftermath of [=WW2=], Britain UsefulNotes/{{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). And all this is to say nothing of the fact that even if the Arab links could be ignored, allowing more Jewish immigration would (1) potentially displace Palestinians, presenting a moral as well as a practical dilemma and (2) perhaps more importantly, incense the Palestinians even further, which was not only bad for the people living there but also cost the already-overstretched British Empire even more men and money at a time that UsefulNotes/ClementAttlee was trying to build more or less the same welfare state Truman wanted to build--but largely ''succeeding'', and the success didn't come cheap. 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 support, especially financial support, from the powerful Jewish organisations in the Northeast, and in particular their money. Northeast. Although most of these organizations were fine with a "two-state" solution, a few weren't, and even among in those that were, many American Jewish activists were impatient for the establishment of a Jewish state and regarded the British government's processes the British were engaging in as delaying tactics (which, in fairness, they at least partly if not entirely were) and regarded the Palestinian leadership as obstructionist (and, in (in fairness, they were rather obstinate). As a result, Truman equivocated, forcing leaving Britain to deal with the problem more or less basically 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 for UsefulNotes/{{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 UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}} during the Soviet blockade, and sending American aid to nations that were fighting communism, such as Greece UsefulNotes/{{Greece}} and Turkey. UsefulNotes/{{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]] UsefulNotes/{{North|Korea}} invaded the democratic [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea south]]. UsefulNotes/{{South|Korea}}. Led by General UsefulNotes/DouglasMacArthur (who lead led 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 attack 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 (along with [=MacArthur's=] rather public criticism of Truman's policies, bordering on outright insubordination) prompted an angered Truman to fire him. The war in Korea remained a stalemate until his successor UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower negotiated an end to the conflict. The UsefulNotes/{{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 Almost all the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanNewspapers newspapers]] [[AssumedWin expected him New York Governor Thomas Dewey would be elected]] to win, succeed him, 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 was definitely impressive, 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) anti-Communism[[note]]To boot, he had been vice president ''immediately before Truman'' too.[[/note]]) 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 UsefulNotes/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 the popular Republican UsefulNotes/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 a marked 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 WorldWarIII (though there are plenty who still say that focus on simply holding the North, instead of defeating it it, is the real reason the war was ultimately a stalemate). He has a carrier named after him, 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.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.”]] When asked after his Presidency presidency about why he fired [=MacArthur=], he made this scathing comment: "I didn't fire him because he was a stupid son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for Generals.generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be behind bars. I fired him because he wouldn't accept the authority of the President."

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 flooring was so weak that a piano leg fell through an upper floor and into a room Truman was in at the time). The ''entire interior'' of the building was destroyed and rebuilt, with the rotting original wooden frame taken out and replaced with steel (what little good wood remained was sawn into paneling for the new Ground Floor) ground floor) and Truman spent most of his second term in Blair House, official state guest house for foreign heads of state, right across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Old Executive Office Building and catercorner from the White House itself.[[note]]In one of the stranger incidents of American presidential history, Truman actually endured an assassination attempt while at Blair House, as at one point in 1950 [[UsefulNotes/PuertoRico Puerto Rican]] UsefulNotes/{{Puerto Ric|o}}an independence activists armed with pistols tried to storm Blair House while Truman was there, but were stopped by the Secret Service and a White House Police officer; the latter was mortally wounded keeping the assassins away from the President. The kicker to all of this is that Truman was taking a nap when it started and slept through most of it, only awoken by the gunfire shortly before the second attacker was killed.[[/note]] The exterior of the White House 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.



--> [''interrogating a captured Zoidberg''] If you come in peace, surrender or be destroyed! If you come to make war, we surrender!

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--> [''interrogating -->[''Interrogating a captured Zoidberg''] If you come in peace, surrender or be destroyed! If you come to make war, we surrender!



* 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".

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* 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 who Harry Truman is and Kelso [[TheDitz Kelso]] responds that he "invented electricity".



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "The Trouble With Trillions", Truman authorized the one-time printing of a trillion dollar bill to help Europe rebuild after World War II. Unfortunately, the person Truman chose to deliver the bill was Mr. Burns, who stole it for himself.
--> '''British man''': Well, this is a kick in the knickers.\\

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "The Trouble With with Trillions", Truman authorized the one-time printing of a trillion dollar trillion-dollar bill to help Europe rebuild after World War II. Unfortunately, the person Truman chose to deliver the bill was Mr. Burns, who stole it for himself.
--> '''British -->'''British man''': Well, this is a kick in the knickers.\\


Harry S. Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

to:

Harry S. S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]


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, [[UsefulNotes/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 that 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.

to:

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, [[UsefulNotes/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 that could kill at least as many of your own forces as it could of the enemy.[[/note]] At the Potsdam Conference, when discussing the terms of surrender, Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo suggested Japan was to wait for the Soviets' response before giving an official reply. Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki stated that their policy would be one of ''mokusatsu'', which was mistakenly translated as "rejection by ignoring" instead of "withholding comment", which erroneously told the U.S. that Japan had rejected the surrender terms. 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 UsefulNotes/TheFifties and UsefulNotes/TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing UsefulNotes/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.[[note]]For example, the Pentagon to this day has a huge number of bathrooms, because being in Virginia it was built as a segregated facility.[[/note]] 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. 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 (Including, ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal than that UsefulNotes/BarackObama pursued). Years later, UsefulNotes/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]]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--less than $900 in 2015 dollars). 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]]

to:

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 UsefulNotes/TheFifties and UsefulNotes/TheSixties. He also, in a move that added some much-needed help to the growing UsefulNotes/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.[[note]]For example, the Pentagon to this day has a huge number of bathrooms, because being in Virginia it was built as a segregated facility.[[/note]] 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. 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 (Including, ironically, a universal health care plan far more liberal than that UsefulNotes/BarackObama pursued). Years later, UsefulNotes/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]]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--less than $900 in 2015 dollars). 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 live-- (after bad investments had depleted the savings of UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant, he had his memoirs detailing his military career published to provide a suitable income for his wife Julia after his death)-- that it gave the impetus for the first-ever presidential pensions.[[/note]]


Harry S Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]

to:

Harry S S. Truman[[note]]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.[[/note]] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States ([[TheForties 1945]]–[[TheFifties 53]]), following UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt and preceding UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, and the eleventh from the Democratic Party. He was the seventh Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, taking over after FDR died three months into his fourth term. The Twenty-second Amendment, which limits U.S. 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington’s tradition and because of his massive unpopularity during his second term.[[note]]As did LBJ.[[/note]]


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 was definitely impressive, 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). He is one of only two ‘accidental’ Presidents to subsequently get elected to a proper term of their own (the other one, funny enough, is FDR’s distant cousin UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt). 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/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:

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 was definitely impressive, 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). He is one of only two ‘accidental’ Presidents to subsequently get elected to a proper term of their own (the other one, funny enough, is FDR’s distant cousin UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt). 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 UsefulNotes/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 UsefulNotes/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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How well does it match the trope?

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