Harry S. Truman Essay, Research Paper
1. Date of Birth & Birth Place
Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri.
John A. Truman sold and bought livestock form a lot adjacent to their
house when Harry was first born. When Harry was ten months old the
Trumans sold their house and stocklot to move to Harrisonville, Missouri.
From Harrisonville they moved to Belton, then to Grandview, and finally
settled in Independence, Missouri when Harry Truman was six years old.
President Truman was the oldest of three children and the only one born in
Lamar. His brother John Vivian, was born on April 25, 1885, at Belton,
Missouri and his sister, Mary Jane, was born August 12, 1889, in Grandview,
Missouri. Harry grew up on a farms all his life. he was forbidden to play
roughhouse games because of his glasses. He was a bookworm–a sissy, as
he said himself later on, using the dreaded word.
When Truman was six years old, his family moved to Independence,
Missouri, where he attended the Presbyterian Church Sunday school. There
he met five-year-old Elizabeth Virginia ( Bess ) Wallace, with whom he was
later to fall in love. Truman did not begin regular school until he was eight,
and by then he was wearing thick glasses to correct extreme nearsightedness.
His poor eyesight did not interfere with his two interests, music and reading.
He got up each day at 5 AM to practice the piano, and until he was 15, he
went to the local music teacher twice a week. He read four or five histories or
biographies a week and acquired an exhaustive knowledge of great military
battles and of the lives of the world s greatest leaders. In 1901, when
Truman graduated from high school, his future was uncertain. College had
been ruled out by his family s financial situation, and appointment to the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point was eliminated by his poor eyesight.
Harry S. Truman s family included his father John Anderson Truman
and his mother Martha Ellen Young Truman. His siblings included his sister
Mary Jane Truman and his brother John Vivian Truman.
5. Prior Employment Before the Presidency
In 1901 Harry began work as a timekeeper for the Santa Fe Railroad
at $35 per month, and in his spare time he read histories and encyclopedias.
He later moved to Kansas City, where he worked as a mail clerk for the
Kansas City Star, then as a clerk for the National Bank of Commerce, and
finally as a bookkeeper for the Union National Bank. In 1906 he was called
home to help his parents run his grandmother s large farm in Grandview,
Missouri. For the next ten years, Truman was a successful farmer. When
his dad died in 1914 he succeeded him as a road overseer. An argument
soon ended the job, but Truman became the Grandview postmaster. In 1915
he invested in lead mines in Missouri, lost his money, and then turned to the
oil fields of Oklahoma. Two years later, just before the United States
entered World War I, he sold his share in the oil business and enlisted in the
U.S. Army. He trained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, but returned to Missouri to
help recruit others. He was elected first lieutenant by the men of Missouri s
Second Field Artillery.
6. Date Elected
Harry Truman was elected to the presidency at 7:09 PM on April 12,
1945 after being vice-president of the United States for only 82 days.
Harry Truman was of the democratic party.
8. Vice President
Alben William Barkley, who live from 1877-1956, was an American
statesman and 35th vice president of the United States from 1949-1953. He
was born on November 24, 1877, in Graves County, Kentucky, and
educated at Marvin College (Clinton, Kentucky), Emory College (Oxford,
Georgia), and the University of Virginia Law School. In 1901 he was
admitted to the Kentucky bar. After holding various county offices in
Kentucky, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of
Representatives in 1912 and served until 1927. He was elected U.S. senator
from Kentucky for four terms beginning in 1927. Barkley was majority
leader of the Senate from 1937 to 1947 and minority leader from 1947 to
1949. In 1948 he was elected U.S. vice president on the Democratic ticket
headed by Harry S. Truman. He was again elected U.S. senator from
Kentucky in 1954 and served until his death on April 30, 1956.
9. Role of the President s First Lady
Harry Truman s first lady was Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman
who was born in 1885 and died in 1982. While she lived in the White
House, it s lack of privacy was distasteful to her. As her husband put it
later, she was not especially interested in the formalities and pomp or the
artificiality which, as we had learned…, inevitably surround the family of the
President. While the White House was being rebuilt the Trumans lived at
Blair House and she kept there social life to a minimum.
Truman retired to his home in Independence, Missouri, at the age of
67. He remained active in politics but found that his opinion no longer had
much effect on his party s affairs. One of Truman s proudest moments
came in July 1957, when he dedicated the Harry S. Truman Library in
Independence, where he maintained his office. Truman maintained his habit
of taking brisk morning walks, and spoke with reporters who could keep up
with him. In 1965 he received the Freedom Award. Truman died in 1972
and is buried on the grounds of the Truman Library in Independence,