American Presidents






Harry S. Truman: Life Portrait

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from 10/18/99


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  • LIFE FACTS

    Personal

    First Lady: Elizabeth "Bess" Virginia Wallace Truman, Wife

    Wife's Maiden Name:
    Elizabeth Wallace

    Number of Children: 1

    Education Level: High School

    School Attended:
    Independence High School, (attended night classes at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law. Did not graduate.)

    Religion: Baptist

    Profession:
    Bank Clerk, Farmer, Soldier, Businessman, Politicain

    Military Service:
    Colonel


    Public Service

    Dates of Presidency: 4/12/1945 - 1/20/1953

    Presidency Number: 33

    Number of Terms: 2

    Why Presidency Ended: Retire

    Party: Democratic

    His Vice President(s): Alben William Barkley

    Vice President For: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945-1945)

    Senator: Missouri (1935-1945)

    Other Offices: Judge of Jackson County (MO); Presiding Judge of Jackson County (MO)

    Footnotes  
    Methodology  &  Resources



    Did You Know?

    He made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to the end of World War II.
    His started his career as a banker in Missouri.
    He presided over the Korean War.
    He approved the creation of NATO.

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    Harry S. Truman: Life Portrait Video Clip List


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    Harry S. Truman Program
    Video Clip List
    Clip # Start Time End Time Description
    1 0:11 6:54 Biographical vignette
    2 6:54 9:33 Introduction of Alonzo Hamby biographer of Truman; how Truman became president; preparedness for presidency; knowledge of Atomic bomb; state of World War II when Truman entered office
    3 9:33 11:14 Truman's Masonic activity; involvement with War Crimes Tribunal
    4 11:14 12:18 Truman's childhood in Missouri
    5 12:18 14:07 Mural in Truman library; characteristics of Independence, MO as source of Oregon and Santa Fe trails; influence of the West on Truman as a boy, stories by his grandfather
    6 14:07 15:01 Question and response regarding the generational influence of Truman
    7 15:01 16:49 Truman's announcement of V-E day May 8th 1945
    Watch Clip 7
    8 16:49 20:31 Truman's decision making process, decision to drop the atomic bomb
    9 20:31 22:26 Discussion of Truman library; Truman kept office in library after his presidency, mixed blessing for researchers having Truman in library
    10 24:04 25:31 Truman in Key West; recreation
    11 25:31 28:55 Discussion of Truman Doctrine; Truman address to Congress March 12, 1947, unofficial declaration of Cold War
    12 28:55 32:31 Caller speaking of Truman's ideas regarding historical periods of hysteria; popularity of Truman over time
    13 32:29 37:30 Director of Truman library; exhibition on Truman; Independence, MO, childhood home of Harry Truman, drugstore where he held his first job
    14 37:30 40:40 Accessibility for researchers; fundraising and funding for Truman Presidential library; relationship between National Archives and Presidential Libraries
    15 40:40 42:48 Disscussion of Truman's lack of a college education; attendance of law school without a college degree
    16 42:48 44:47 Caller question regarding Korean conflict; firing of General MacArthur
    17 44:47 45:52 Truman calling Korean war a police action
    18 45:52 47:12 Birthplace of Truman; early life and family
    19 47:12 49:34 Question from caller, could Truman had done anything to stop other countries from developing nuclear weapons?
    20 49:34 52:13 Caller's personal story regarding meeting the president in the Truman library
    21 52:13 53:36 Harry and Bess Truman as private people; life in the post presidential years
    22 53:36 57:12 Caller story about Truman speaking to students at Yale; question regarding Truman's relationship with Adelai Stevenson and Winston Churchill; Truman speaking to students
    23 57:12 59:54 Marshall Plan; relationship between Sec. of State Dean Atchison and Truman; Joseph Stalin
    24 59:54 1:00:57 Potsdam Conference 1945
    25 1:00:57 1:02:48 Uncertainty of China's future after World War II
    26 1:02:48 1:04:00 Marshall Plan and Congressional response
    27 1:04:00 1:05:20 Relationship between Generals Marshall and Eisenhower; selection of General Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander
    28 1:05:20 1:07:49 Relationship between General Eisenhower and Truman; similarities between speculation about generals in Gulf War; political fallout between Eisenhower and Truman
    Watch Clip 28
    29 1:07:49 1:11:05 Election of 1948, Democratic Convention; Civil Rights; Truman victory without united South
    30 1:11:06 1:14:36 Loyalty Program; renovation of the White House; assassination attempt
    31 1:14:36 1:18:47 Discussion of Truman's video tour of the White House; cars driven by Trumans; President's interest in cars
    32 1:18:35 1:21:12 White House renovation, missing mantelpiece
    33 1:21:12 1:22:49 Berkley loyalty oath; Saturday night lectures
    34 1:22:49 1:25:12 Caller perspective on lives saved by Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb
    35 1:25:12 1:30:33 Bess Wallace, Truman's wife; Truman's letters to wife Bess
    36 1:30:33 l:31:26 Letter from Truman to his wife, time line of significant dates in thirty-two years of marriage
    37 1:31:26 1:32:38 Caller comments on how his military experience was affected by President Truman
    38 1:32:38 1:33:44 One of Truman's first letters to Bess during the White House years
    39 1:33:44 1:36:02 Truman's attitude upon entering presidency; Truman's wife's reaction to his entering office
    40 1:36:02 1:38:50 Renovation of White House; Theodore Roosevelt's buffalo mantelpiece; letters to Bess about ghosts in the White House
    Watch Clip 40
    41 1:39:45 1:43:56 Conversation with teacher who uses Truman library resources; what students learned from primary sources; Truman Trunk
    42 1:44:43 1:46:23 Truman's farewell address
    43 1:51:20 1:53:06 Truman's acceptance of Democratic Presidential nomination, 1948
    44 1:53:06 1:55:08 Timelime of Truman; cabinet officers; significant dates during Truman's administration
    45 1:55:51 1:57:54 Caller question regarding dropping of atomic bomb; Roswell; how did knowing that the United States had that kind of power affect him?
    46 1:57:54 1:59:19 Caller question regarding Truman's home in Independence,MO
    47 1:59:19 2:00:34 Caller story about flying on Truman's inaugural day parade; "I took care of the old rascal"
    48 2:00:34 2:02:27 Question regarding rift between Eisenhower and Truman; Joe McCarthy charges against George Marshall
    49 2:02:27 2:06:11 Executive Order to integrate the military; reaction of black soldiers; Eisenhower's opinion regarding integration of military
    50 2:06:11 2:10:30 Margeret Truman Daniel, daughter of President Truman
    51 2:10:30 2:11:13 Margeret Truman Daniel on painting the kitchen light green
    52 2:11:13 2:12:55 Discussion of Truman's decision to fire General MacArthur
    54 2:12:55 2:15:01 Caller regarding letter from Truman to AJ Knob, fellow soldier in World War I; Truman's war career
    55 2:15:01 2:18:24 Margeret Truman Daniel on her father's eyesight; love of books
    56 2:18:24 2:19:54 Margeret Truman on her mother's life after President Truman's death; selling home in Missouri
    57 2:19:54 2:21:23 Caller story about visit to the White House with Truman's daughter
    58 2:21:23 2:23:40 Documents available to researchers in Truman Library; recognition of state of Israel; President's decision to recognize Israel
    59 2:23:40 2:26:53 Unsent letter to Senator Joe McCarthy; diary entries; frustration with Congress
    Watch Clip 59
    60 2:26:53 2:28:04 Relationship with Congresses; Fair Deal program
    61 2:28:04 2:29:43 Dropping of atomic bomb; ultimatum to Japan after Potsdam Conference
    62 2:29:43 2:31:02 Caller information on Truman scholarship foundation
    63 2:31:02 2:33:33 Draft letter to Secretary of State James F. Burns regarding frustration with Soviet Union
    64 2:33:33 2:35:51 Letter to Kansas City friend regarding civil rights and executive order to integrate troops
    65 2:35:51 2:37:01 Caller regarding Truman's decision to integrate troops
    66 2:37:01 2:39:40 22nd Amendment; lobby for Presidential pensions; vice presidents
    67 2:39:40 2:40:33 Presidential cab ride
    68 2:40:33 2:41:46 President and Mrs. Truman's gravesite
    69 2:41:46 2:44:10 Potsdam Conference; partition of Korea; China


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