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Mr. President

Harry S. Truman
Thirty-Third President, 1945–1953

“Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.”

Difficult Decisions:
In August 1945, Harry Truman ordered the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ushering in the Nuclear Age. The day after the second bomb was dropped, Japan asked for peace. Truman’s presidency was dominated by foreign policy decisions: the United States became a charter member of the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), sponsored the Truman Doctrine to contain the spread of communism throughout the world, and entered into the Korean War. Truman also developed the Marshall Plan, which helped economic recovery in war-torn western Europe.

 
Portrait by Greta Kempton , 1948 and 1970 . NPG.70.11 , Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Gift of friends of Harry Truman .

Fast Facts
Party: Democrat
Date of Birth: Thursday, May 08, 1884
Date of Death: Tuesday, December 26, 1972
Vice President: Alben W. Barkley
First Lady: Elizabeth Wallace Truman


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