44 Days of Presidents: Harry Truman
Posted On: 10/27/2016 - 2:00pm, Posted By: Christine Engels, Archives Manager, Manuscripts Department
In our series, 44 Days of Presidents, we present artifacts, documents, and connections to our local and national history from our collections that represent each of the 44 Presidents of the United States as we gear up for the 2016 Presidential election.
Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) began his life on a farm in Larmar, Missouri but ended up as President at a most crucial time following FDR’s death in 1945. Truman began his political career after serving in France in WWI and quickly rose to be a leader in the Democratic Party. He served as a judge and senator in Missouri before being selected as Roosevelt’s running mate in the 1944 election. When Truman assumed the presidency the war in Europe was winding down but the Japanese were still a mighty foe. Truman had to make the tough decision whether to use the atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender. After WWII there were still many foreign issues to deal with, including assisting war-torn Europe via the Marshall Plan, addressing increased aggression from the Soviet Union, and formally recognizing of the State of Israel in 1948. His second term was engulfed by the Korean War and the beginning of the Cold War, but Truman also had a hand in domestic social improvement policies known as the Fair Deal. He ordered the desegregation of the US military in 1948 and also made racial discrimination illegal in the hiring process of civil service workers and government contractors. In 1951 the 22nd amendment was passed which limited presidents to two terms. Truman left office in 1953.
On October 31, 1952, President Harry S. Truman visited Cincinnati to give a speech at the Netherland Plaza Hotel in support of the Democratic ticket in that year’s election. Truman arrived by train at Union Terminal where he was greeted by a contingent of local leaders and press. A convertible car was waiting for Truman at the front doors of Union Terminal. Joining him for the ride to the hotel was Norwood Mayor R. Edward Tepe (center) and Democratic candidate for Senator Michael V. DiSalle. Cincinnati Museum Center. Marsh Collection.