Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). As President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States (1945), he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his unprecedented fourth term.
Known by his popularized phrases as “The buck stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen”, his approval ratings in the polls started out very high, then steadily sank until he was one of the most unpopular men to leave the White House. Popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency eventually became more positive after his retirement from politics.(Wikipedia)
But what do we really know of a politician such as he? Little is known of Harry Truman. Believe me they don’t make politicians like him anymore & we certainly could do with a few like him in our parliament.
The “Bushy’ & “Blaring” type of politicians should never be allowed to take centre stage on world affairs ever again!
Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.
The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.
When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.
After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.
When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”
Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”
As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.
Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois).
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician.” And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!
What a man!
There is, however, his one great controversial legacy in the nuclear bombing destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August 1945 to end WW2.