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Harry S. Truman Essay

3917 words - 16 pages

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) was the 33rd president of the United States. He was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884. He was the oldest of three kids of John Anderson and Martha Ellen Young Truman. There is something interesting about the "S" in Truman's name. His family did not want to choose between his grandfathers names - Anderson Shippe Truman and Solomon Young, so they just made the "S" his middle name.In 1890, the Trumans moved to Independence, Missouri, which was a town that was still close to the rugged life of the American frontier. When they moved, Truman was six years old. He was not his father's favorite. Unlike his father's wishes, Harry S. Truman was into reading and piano ...view middle of the document...

# Harry was one of the few boys in his town who went to high school. However, he didn't go to college because his family's financial situation was not good at the time. Going to West Point was one of his hopes, but unfortunately his poor eyesight ruined that hope. Harry S. Truman started taking jobs that came his way. He was a mailroom boy for a newspaper, a timekeeper for a railroad construction company and a bank clerk. After four years, he had a good salary and finally seemed to settle down. As bad timing had it, his father, John Truman, was forced to sell his house, all his livestock, and he even had to take a job as a night watchman. John Truman's mother in law asked him to take over the family ranch 15 miles South of Independence. However J. Truman knew that he couldn't run it by himself, and at 21 years of age, Harry Truman quit his job and moved back home to help his father. He spent the next 11 years on the farm. After being in that environment for so long, Truman "experienced a personality change, becoming less withdrawn, much more gregarious, much more confident in his realizations with other people than before."# He began to actively participate in Democratic party politics. He also joined several organizations, including the Masons.When World War I came along, so did new chances for Truman. He joined the National Guard. Captain Truman served in France fighting in major battles late in World War I. He discovered that he had talents as a leader, "and he gained the affection and esteem of a group of men who voted for him later."#After WWI, Truman once again came back home in 1919 and married Elizabeth "Bess" Wallace. He also established a clothing store which did not have as much luck as his marriage. The store collapsed during the postwar depression.After holding random jobs, Truman became interested in politics. He was encouraged by the Kansas City political organization which was headed by Thomas Pendergast. Thanks to Pendergast, Truman was elected judge of the Jackson county court in 1922, however he failed to be reelected in 1924, so he became presiding judge of the court two years later and was reelected in 1930. Politics became Truman's biggest interest as he wanted to move up in politics. Thomas Pendergast was now looking for a new Senator, and someone recommended Harry Truman. Pendergast seemed doubtful, "Do you mean to tell me, you actually believe that Harry Truman can be elected to the United States Senate?"# Three other men that Pendergast had in mind had turned him down, so he decided to settle for Truman and backed him in the Missouri primary. Truman's opponents called him "Pendergast's bellhop."# Pendergast actually stuffed the ballot boxes with illegal votes and people that were not registered to vote. Truman won the primary and defeated and anti-New Deal Republican in the general election. Truman, now 50 years old, had never been to Washington before for more than a few days. It was not easy for Truman in Washington....

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