Miller Center

Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972)

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Life in Brief: Harry S. Truman became President of the United States with the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. During his nearly eight years in office, Truman confronted enormous challenges in both foreign and domestic affairs. Truman's policie… more life in brief »

Essays about Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman Presidential Recordings

Facts about Harry S. Truman

33rd President of the United States (1945 – 1953)
May 8, 1884, Lamar, MO
Political Party
December 26, 1972
"Give ’Em Hell Harry"
June 28, 1919, to Elizabeth “Bess” Virginia Wallace (1885–1982)
Mary Margaret (1924–2008)
Farmer, Businessman, Public Official
Independence, MO

Memoirs (2 vols., 1955-56)

Harry S. Truman Exhibits

‘The Marshall Plan’

The Marshall Plan was an extensive program that provided economic relief to Europe from 1947 to 1951 in the aftermath of World War II. The United States offered monetary aid to the infrastructure of European nations to help prevent the spread of Soviet-sponsored Communism. Secretary of State George C. Marshall first backed restoring the war-torn countries of Europe during a commencement address at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. President Harry Truman and other Western European political leaders responded favorably, and the Economic Cooperation Act, or Marshall Plan, became law on April 3, 1948.

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No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.
March 12, 1947
As Americans, we believe that every man should be free to live his life as he wishes. He should be limited only by his responsibility to his fellow countrymen.
June 29, 1947

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Alonzo L. Hamby

Professor Hamby is a Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University. His writings include:

For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s (Free Press, 2004)

Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Beyond the New Deal: Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism (Columbia University Press, 1973)

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