Key Dates

1944 Truman is elected Vice President.

1945 President Roosevelt dies and Harry Truman becomes President.

1945 Truman decides to use the atomic bomb.

1948 The Soviet Union blockades Berlin, Germany.

1950 The Korean War begins.

1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President.

1953 The Korean War ends.

1972 Harry Truman dies.

Harry S. Truman
1945 - 1953
33rd President

Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884. He was the first President born in Missouri.

Harry S. Truman has a middle initial but now middle name. His two grandfathers both had names that started with "S" so the middle initial honored both grandfathers.

Harry Truman was the great-great-great nephew of John Tyler

He was a Baptist.

He served in the military during WWI. He was in the artillery.

A good piano player, Truman considered a career in music but went into politics instead.

Harry Truman failed at a lot of things. He failed as a farmer. He also failed as a businessman.

Harry Truman became president when Franklin Roosevelt died.

When he was in the House of Representatives he lead a commission to clean up military spending.

Harry Truman didn't have a Vice President. He had been Franklin Roosevelt's last VP, and the position was not filled until Truman was elected for his own term in 1948.

President Truman was one of 15 Presidents who didn't win the popular vote in his election.

President Truman

Harry Truman, 1945.
Library of Congress

The train Truman used to campaign in 1948 was called the Ferdinand Magellan.
Truman was the first President to have his inauguration televised. He was the first President to give a speech on television.

One day Harry Truman walked into the Green Room and looked down at the rug. Something bothered him about that rug--finally he realized that the head of the eagle on the presidential seal in the center of the rug was turned the wrong way. Instead of facing the olive branch, this eagle's head pointed toward the arrows. Promptly Truman ordered that the rug be re-stitched with the eagle's head turned the right way.

The smartest boy in Truman's graduating class of 1901, Charles G. Ross, became Truman's press secretary.

President Truman was the first President to travel under water in a modern submarine. He was underwater for almost an hour of Key West.

Harry Truman was President at the conclusion of WWII and during the Korean War - 1950-1953.

He escaped assassination on November 1, 1950. Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola tried to shoot their way into Blair House. A White House guard was killed and two others were wounded.

Harry Truman would get up at 5 AM to practice the piano for two hours.

Bess never found a laundry she liked in Washington, so she sent the family's clothes back to Independence to be washed.

He had a pet goat named Dewey's Goat.

One of his most famous quotes was: "The buck stops here".

Harry Truman died on December 26, 1972 in Kansas City, Mo. He was 88 years old.


"There is always another crisis around the corner."1945


Quick Facts

33rd President

Born: Lamar, Mo. May 8, 1884.

Inaugurated President:
First term: April 12, 1945.
Second term: Jan. 20, 1949.

Party: Democratic

Died: Kansas City, Mo. Dec. 26, 1972, age 88.


Another good book but David McCullough.



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: January 31, 2012