Harry S. Truman
“Men make history, and not the other way round.
In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still.
Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders
seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
- Harry S. Truman
Born: May 8th, 1884; Lamar, Missouri
Died: December 26, 1972; Kansas City, Missouri
Harry S. Truman became the 33rd President of the United States after the unexpected death of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. During the first year of his presidency Truman oversaw the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of the War in Europe, the decision of using atomic bombs against Japan, the founding of the United Nations and the development of the increasing confrontational relationship with the Soviet Union.
In 1947, Truman set forth a policy known as the Truman Doctrine. The principle of the Doctrine was that the US would give support to countries threatened by Soviet forces or communistic insurgence. Truman delivered this policy in a speech to congress amid the Greek Civil War Crisis in order provide aid for Greece and Turkey. The communists however, saw the doctrine as an open declaration of the Cold War. (A short video of Truman outlining the Truman doctrine has been posted at the bottom of this page)
A couple of months later, Truman’s greatest success came via the Marshall Plan. George Marshall, Secretary of State, invited Europe to forge its own economic recovery programme to combat the spread of Communism. The goals of the plan were to remove trade barriers, rebuild war-devastated regions, modernize industry and make Europe prosperous again.
As a President Truman relied heavily on his cabinet, which was rampant with corruption. He was a democratic leader and held the belief that, “Punishment always follows transgression”. By the end of his presidency he became unpopular and seen as folksy and an unassuming president. In 1952, Truman decided not to run for re-election he was succeeded by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
For Truman’s full autobiography click here
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