As one of the United States’ Presidents, Harry S. Truman lived during one of the most difficult times in the history of the United States; however, he overcame his struggles by his diligent work ethic. Due to his popularity, Mr. Truman is known by many biographers, who uncover the interesting secrets of President Truman.
Harry S. Truman Facts
1. The Middle Name of Truman Stands for the Letter S Itself
In the United States, many parents name their children with a first, middle, and last name; moreover, this tradition also applied to Harry S. Truman. After long pondering months, his parents chose the letter S as a tribute to his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young, and his paternal grandfather, Shipp Truman. Due to the dismay of both parents, they couldn’t agree on which name should the letter s stand for.
In short, the letter S in Harry S. Truman stands for the letter S itself, so it is not a shortened version of a long middle name, a fun fact about Harry Truman.
2. Truman Served in the US Armed Forces
One of the main jobs of a US President is to command the US Armed Forces; in fact, military experience is taken into account when picking a US Presidential Candidate, and Truman was not an exception. After the eruption of WWI, Harry S. Truman could have been exempt from the draft due to his old age and poor eyesight; however, he volunteered to serve in any way possible.
Because of his poor eyesight, Truman wasn’t able to serve in the front lines, but he was assigned to an artillery unit in the back lines. Even though they were assigned in the rear, Captain Truman and his unit saw action during World War I.
3. Mr. Truman Was in $20,000 Debt ($600,000 Today)
If you recall the introductory paragraph, I have said that Truman lived during one of the most difficult times in US history; and yes, he lived during WWI, but he also lived during the Great Depression. Before the economic hit, Mr. Truman owned a hat store with his business partner; but, due to the economic deflation, his business went downhill quickly. Due to his business failure, Harry S. Truman was in a debt of $20,000; and, if you count the inflation of the 1900s, it would be nearly $600,000 today.
If Truman filed for bankruptcy, he would be free from the $20,000 debt; but instead, he chose to pay the money back, which took about 20 years, an interesting Harry Truman fact.
4. Harry S. Truman Was Vice President for Only 82 Days
Before he was elected Vice President, Truman had previous political experience due to his role as a country judge and later as a US Senator. After his second term in the US Senate, President Roosevelt chose Harry S. Truman as his Vice Presidential Candidate. Due to his frank honesty and integrity, Truman was a popular political figure; and, due to Roosevelt’s reelection, Mr. Truman became the Vice President of the United States.
After being in office for 82 days, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away due to a severe stroke; and consequently, Harry S. Truman became the next President of the United States.
5. Harry S. Truman Is the 33rd President of the United States
Due to Roosevelt’s sudden illness, Vice President Truman became the 33rd President of the United States; however, Truman was not prepared for what awaited him since President Roosevelt didn’t inform his Vice President about the urgent matters of the State. During this period, the United States was involved in WWII during this time; and, few minutes after being sworn into office, Truman found out of a weapon that could change the balance of World War II.
6. President Truman Authorized the Usage of Atomic Bombs
Being thrust into the middle of WWII, President Truman faced several hard decisions that would determine the fate of the world. Under Roosevelt’s strict orders, several scientists were experimenting with nuclear weapons to test their true potential, and one thing led to the next, which led to the creation of the atomic bomb. This horrible weapon prevented further bloodshed in the Western Front since Germany knew much devastation would be caused if she didn’t surrender.
On the other hand, Imperial Japan continued to fight in spite of being given several severe warnings. As the United States’ Commander in Chief, President Truman ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which lead to the Japanese surrender.
7. President Truman Almost Lost His Reelection
Even today, news reports are biased and filled with agendas of their own; similarly, media back then acted against the President by printing out false news. When President Truman was running for reelection, he ran against Thomas Dewey, who was a popular governor of New York. Due to the certainty of Dewey’s victory, the press printed out many papers concerning the loss of President Truman even before the results were finalized; however, the greatest upset in US political history happened that day when Truman won against overwhelming odds.
The actual percentage of the votes was 49.5 for Truman and 45.1 for Dewey, a fun fact about Harry Truman.
8. President Truman Fired General McArthur
Before he ended his political career, President Truman spent his last days struggling with the Korean War. Instead of cutting off Communism by its roots, Truman chose to contain Communism by surrounding North Korea and preventing China’s support. There was one person who disagreed with Truman’s policy, who was General Douglas MacArthur.
Instead of keeping his thoughts private, General MacArthur chose to announce his disagreement with Truman in public. Since it was a form of insubordination, President Truman had no choice but to dismiss MacArthur from his service. Due to his dismissal, Truman received a lot of backfires and hate from the press since General MacArthur was a popular general that was known for his loyalty through his service. As Truman retired from his political life, he was remembered as the one who dismissed the greatest general of the United States Armed Forces.
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