Trivia (46)

The only U.S president to use the atomic bomb against a military target.

Member of the Democratic Party.

His first work was in a bank.

In 1906 came back home and combined his work in a farm with the job of judge.

Elected Vice President in 1944, with Franklin D. Roosevelt as President.

On April 12, 1945, he automatically became U.S. President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Elected President of the US in 1948 and served until 1953.

Born at 4:17pm-CST.

(1945-1953) Thirty-third president of the United States of America.

His middle initial, "S", did not stand for anything. Truman's grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young, both argued over whose would be the child's middle name. In the end, they agreed to make "S" his middle name, and Truman's full name was Harry S. Truman.

Many of Truman's family had either owned slaves, held pro-slavery views, or openly supported the Confederacy, and Truman grew up in an environment that harbored many racist views. While beginning his political career, he was encouraged to join the Ku Klux Klan (and ultimately declined). Nonetheless, Truman went on to espouse civil rights platforms and became the first twentieth century president to push strongly for civil rights legislation for blacks. In 1948, over the strong objections of top Defense Department officials, Army leadership and conservatives in Congress, he ordered the abolition of separate units for black and white soldiers, thus integrating the US armed forces.

The two most controversial decisions of his presidency were the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, and later the decision to relieve Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command during the Korean War. Truman took that step because MacArthur indirectly insulted the President by making policy pronouncements about how HE would handle the war--in direct contravention to the principle of US military leaders carrying out policy, not making it--and strongly implying that the limited conflict in Korea should be turned into a war against Russia and China. Also, during a scheduled meeting between the two in Korea, MacArthur ordered that Truman's plane be kept circling while his (MacArthur's) plane be allowed to land first. Truman took that, correctly, as a direct slap in the face to the office of the Presidency, and many historians believe it cemented his decision to relieve MacArthur of command.

In the 1948 presidential election, the right-wing Chicago Tribune, in a famous headline that was published before the election returns were completely in, declared that Truman had been "defeated" by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. The paper got a rude shock the next day when complete election returns showed Truman winning the presidency by a comfortable margin.

Father of Margaret Truman, writer of popular murder mysteries set in Washington, DC.

Inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, 1991.

Popularized - but did not invent - the phrase "The Buck Stops Here.".

Served in World War I in the US Army as a captain in an artillery unit. He was the first and only combat veteran of the war to be elected President.

Pictured on an 8¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 8 May 1973 (anniversary of birth immediately following his death).

Pictured on a 20¢ US definitive postage stamp in the Great Americans series, issued 26 January 1984.

Referred to the White House as "the big white prison".

Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" (1945 and 1948).

Pictured on a commerative 4 cent postage label issued by the (now defunct) Independent Postal System of America in 1973.

Was the only US president of the modern era not to have a college education.

In 1953 he made a well remembered departing speech from the end platform of the Baltimore & Ohio Rairload's National Limited train on leaving Washington, DC, for his home town of Independence, Missouri.

U.S. Senator from Missouri (1935-1945).

Vice President of the United States (1945).

During his time in the U.S. Senate, he was known as the most amiable member.

Hated air conditioning, and used fans in his office.

When he returned to Independence, Missouri, after choosing not to seek another term, there were no pensions at the time granted to former Presidents. He and Mrs. Truman survived solely on his military pension for service in World War I.

Sharply criticized a music critic for the man's caustic remarks about his daughter Margaret Truman's piano recital.

His nickname for his wife Bess Truman was, "The Boss".

Following his term as President, Truman received all kinds of offers for speaking engagements, or to plug commercial products. He turned them all down because he knew they did not want him, they wanted the endorsement of a president. He refused to compromise the dignity of the office.

Once owned a haberdashery where he sold men's clothing and suits.

In his last will and testament, executed in January 1959, he divided the bulk of his estate, valued at $600,000 to his wife and daughter. He also left a plot of land in Grandview, Missouri to his Masonic Lodge and $15,000 to be divided among various nieces, nephews, and their children.

In November of 1948, when Truman scored his upset presidential re-election victory, Bob Hope sent him a one-word telegram: "Unpack". Truman was so amused by it he kept it in his desk in the Oval Office.

Truman loved to play poker, and enjoyed introducing unorthodox versions of the game, such as numerous wild cards.

Term limits were introduced during his presidency, making him the last president who could have been elected a third time.

First U.S. President to appear on television delivering an address from the White House (October 5, 1947).

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

He was the first President to speak in front of the NAACP, where he declared before 10,000 audience members that "The only limit to an American's achievement should be his ability, his industry, and his character.".

His wife Bess Truman lived to be 97 years old, making her the longest-living First Lady.

Fifth cousin twice removed of Amy Adams.

Had universities and villages named after him.

Founder of the NSA (National Security Agency).

His founding of the National Security Agency (NSA) led to the formation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Truman's was the first ever televised presidential inaugural ceremony.