Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States. Born on May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri, he was the oldest of three children. Truman had no middle name. His parents apparently gave him the middle initial “S” to appease two family relatives.
At age six, his family moved to Independence, Missouri, where he attended Sunday school. There he met five year-old Elizabeth Wallace, with whom he later fell in love with. Beginning school at age eight, Truman modeled thick glasses to correct his poor eyesight. Fortunately, his eyesight did not seriously interfere with his two favorite pastimes, music and reading. He woke up early everyday to practice the piano and visited a music teacher twice a week, until he was fifteen. He read about four or five books a week, developing his knowledge of world leaders and famous battles.
In 1901, Truman graduated from high school, uncertain of his future. College wasn’t an option due to his family’s financial situation, and an appointment to West Point was ruled out by his poor eyesight. Without much choice, he began work. He started on the Santa Fe railroad at thirty-five dollars a month. He later moved to Kansas City where he worked for the Kansas City Star, then onto the National Bank of Commerce, and finally to the Union National Bank. In 1906, he was called back home to help his family with their farms.
For the following ten years, Truman was a successful farmer. Throughout this time, his political affiliation was revealed. He joined the local Democratic Party organization, known as the Kansas City Ward Democratic Club. In 1915, he invested in lead mines, losing his money. He then turned to oil fields in Oklahoma. With the outcry of World War I, he gave up his oil shares and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He began his training at Fort Sill, in Oklahoma, but then returned to Missouri to help recruit others. He was then elected first lieutenant by Missouri’s Second Field Artillery.
World War I began in 1914 creating friction amongst the European people, along with hostility and violence. Even though the United States wanted to remain neutral, they were drawn in during April of 1917.
Truman left for France as a captain in the U.S.Army. He was given command of Battery D, a rowdy and out of control group, otherwise known as Dizzy D. Truman succeeded in taming his unit, and the Dizzy D distinguished themselves through the battles of Argonne and Saint-Mihiel. In April of 1919, Truman returned home, now as a major. On June 28th of the same year, he married Elizabeth Wallace, his Sunday school love.
Truman decided to spark his political career. So he started by entering a four way Democratic primary for a judgeship, which was essentially a job supervising roads and buildings. His popularity was expected to increase if he got the support...