Who was Harry Truman?

Harry Truman | The Only President Without A College Degree

Harry Truman was in the words of one of his biographers a man of the people. Truman was the guy who might live next door to you.Harry Truman was the Only President Without A College Degree

Harry Truman was born on May 8th,1884 and grew up in Independence Missouri. Harry Truman came from very modest means his father was a farmer. He didn’t have the money to go to college. He’s our only president in the 20th century to not have a college degree. He was a member of the National Guard and when World War one and broke out.


At age 33 he enlisted and became a captain and served in France. After World War one Harry Truman opened a men’s clothing shop in Kansas City Missouri and married Bess Wallace. There was a lot more to harry Truman than just having been a haberdasher great student of history. He’d been a really heroic captain in World War one and he’d grown up in the Pendergrast political culture of Missouri. Which was a real petri dish for learning how to be a good politician.

In 1934 Harry Truman was elected to the US Senate where he served until 1945. When he was elected vice president and not too long after, he’s in office FDR dies suddenly as he said talking to the press boys, he said the weight of all the planets in the world have just fallen on me, he made some big big decisions right away notably that we’re going to attack Japan with the first explosion of an atomic weapon.

In 1945 President Truman ordered the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan to avoid a costly land invasion of Japan and end the war quickly.


Truman also saw the need to change the makeup of the military. Harry Truman signed an executive order that integrated the United States military in 1948. He did it cleanly without any agonizing because he thought it was the right thing to do and didn’t listen to any objections. And that helped pave the way for the civil rights movement. Soon after the end of World War two the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Truman knew the threat of the rise of communism out of Moscow but also understood the best way of dealing with that is to rebuild Europe, rebuild it economically, rebuild it culturally, rebuild it politically and make it part of the Alliance. The Marshall Plan provided economic aid to the countries  of Western Europe. After the introduction of the Marshall Plan came the Berlin Airlift in response to Stalin’s decision to blockade the city of Berlin the airlift was an incredible success. It showed that the United States was committed to protecting the nations of Western Europe from the incursions of Communism. During Truman’s first term as president his approval ratings plummeted when the United States became involved in the Korean War.

People were exhausted by war and the sacrifices that had been made and he faced the prospect of running against the greatest American hero of World War two Dwight Eisenhower. Who was kind of everybody’s grandfather and everybody’s hero so he wisely stepped down and stepped out of the way.

Truman retired as president of the United States in January 1953. After he left office he basically went back to Independence Missouri and led a very quiet life. Truman died the day after Christmas in 1972, he lived a long life. He was 88 years old. He was a very unassuming simple man elevated to the presidency and yet when you look over his time in office he was the strong leader.



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