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portrait of Harry S. Truman

Truman's strong personality and fighting spirit won him loyal friends and bitter enemies. Blunt and outspoken, he often lashed out with strong language at those who opposed him. His opponents said he was too undignified, while his friends loved him as a straightforward man of the people.

Chronology of His Life and Career

  May 8, 1884 Born in Lamar, Missouri.
  1901 Graduated from high school.
  1906-1917 Ran the family farm at Grandview, Missouri.
Captain Harry Truman 1917-1919 Served in the U.S. Army during World War I.
  June 28, 1919 Married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace.
  1919-1921 Owned and operated a men's clothing store in Kansas City, Missouri.
  1922 Elected judge of Jackson County, Missouri.
  1926-1934 Served as presiding county judge.
  1934 Elected to the United States Senate.
  1941-1944 Served as chairman of the Truman Committee.
  1944 Elected Vice-President of the United States.
President Harry Truman April 12, 1945 Became President of the United States.
  1948 Elected President of the United States.
  1955 Published Year of Decisions.
  1956 Published Trial and Hope.
Clifton Truman Daniel June 5, 1957 Grandson Clifton Truman Daniel was born.
Harry S. Truman Memorial Library July 6, 1957 The Harry S. Truman Memorial Library was dedicated in Independence, Missouri.
1958 1958 Vacationed in Europe.
  April 19, 1959 Truman's birthplace in Lamar was dedicated as a state park.
  December 5, 1959 Received the Four Freedoms Award of the United Italian American Labor Council.
  December 26, 1972 Died in Kansas City, Missouri.


Although Truman always signed his name as "Harry S. Truman" (with a period after the "S"), he did not have a "true" middle name. His parents, John Anderson and Martha Ellen Truman, could not initially decide what to name their son. When it came time to file a birth certificate with the county clerk (a month after the birth), they decided to name him "Harry S," in honor of his maternal uncle Harrison Young, maternal grandfather Solomon Young, and paternal grandfather Anderson Shippe Truman.

Sites of Interest

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

See Also

World War I

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The Robinson Library >> Harry Truman's Administration

This page was last updated on December 26, 2018.