1. Date of Birth & Birth Place
Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri.
John A. Truman sold and bought livestock form a lot adjacent to their
house when Harry was first born. When Harry was ten months old the
Trumans sold their house and stocklot to move to Harrisonville, Missouri.
From Harrisonville they moved to Belton, then to Grandview, and finally
settled in Independence, Missouri when Harry Truman was six years old.
President Truman was the oldest of three children and the only one born in
Lamar. His brother John Vivian, was born on April 25, 1885, at Belton,
Missouri and his sister, Mary Jane, was born August 12, 1889, in Grandview,
Missouri. Harry grew up on a farms all his life. he was forbidden to play
roughhouse games because of his glasses. He was a bookworm--a sissy, as
he said himself later on, using the dreaded word.
When Truman was six years old, his family moved to Independence,
Missouri, where he attended the Presbyterian Church Sunday school. There
he met five-year-old Elizabeth Virginia (“Bess';) Wallace, with whom he was
later to fall in love. Truman did not begin regular school until he was eight,
and by then he was wearing thick glasses to correct extreme nearsightedness.
His poor eyesight did not interfere with his two interests, music and reading.
He got up each day at 5 AM to practice the piano, and until he was 15, he
went to the local music teacher twice a week. He read four or five histories or
biographies a week and acquired an exhaustive knowledge of great military
battles and of the lives of the world’s greatest leaders. In 1901, when
Truman graduated from high school, his future was uncertain. College had
been ruled out by his family’s financial situation, and appointment to the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point was eliminated by his poor eyesight.
Harry S. Truman’s family included his father John Anderson Truman
and his mother Martha Ellen Young Truman. His siblings included his sister
Mary Jane Truman and his brother John Vivian Truman.
5. Prior Employment Before the Presidency
In 1901 Harry began work as a timekeeper for the Santa Fe Railroad
at $35 per month, and in his spare time he read histories and encyclopedias.
He later moved to Kansas City, where he worked as a mail clerk for the
Kansas City Star, then as a clerk for the National Bank of Commerce, and
finally as a bookkeeper for the Union National Bank. In 1906 he was called
home to help his parents run his grandmother’s large farm in Grandview,
Missouri. For the next ten years, Truman was a successful farmer. When
his dad died in 1914 he succeeded him as a road overseer. An argument