Truman, Harry


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Truman, Harry

 

S. Born May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Mo.; died Dec. 26,1972, in Kansas City, Mo. US political figure.

The son of a farmer, Truman held a variety of jobs before embarking on a political career. He was a bank clerk, a farmer, and, after service in World War I, co-owner of a haberdashery. In 1926 he was elected presiding judge of a county court in Missouri, retaining that position until his election to the US Senate in 1934 as a member of the Democratic Party. He served in the Senate until 1944. In January 1945, Truman became vice-president of the USA. From April 1945, after the death of F. D. Roosevelt, to January 1953 he was president. As president, Truman in August 1945 ordered that the atomic bomb be dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After World War II, Truman’s administration openly adopted an anti-Soviet policy aimed at the containment of the world revolutionary movement by means of the cold war and the consolidation of the USA’s role as leader of the international anticommu-nist forces. The administration also sought to ensure the USA’s dominant position in the imperialist system—through its policy of containment, enunciated in 1946, which led to the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other aggressive blocs, and the unleashing of war in Korea.

Truman advocated demagogic domestic policies intended to serve the interests of the monopolies. Under his presidency, reactionary forces consistently assailed the progressive and democratic elements of American society, including the Communist Party. In the last years of his life, however, Truman became somewhat more realistic in his approach both to international problems, including Soviet-American relations, and to the domestic policies of the USA.

Truman, Harry

(1884–1972) 33rd U.S. president who, despite much controversy over his policies, is remembered for impeccable honesty and plain speaking. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 2793]
See: Honesty