Harry S. Truman

Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd United States President. Truman succeeded FDR when he died early in his 4th term in 1945.. Truman held office April 12, 1945 - January 20,1953 (nearly 2 full terms). Shortly taking over the President position, he was informed of a secret project that FDR was aware of, but very few others—the Manhattan Project (essentially the building of an atomic bomb).

Side note, we visited Oakridge (TN) last year and learned about the Manhattan Project—something we knew nothing about prior to the visit. I can’t imagine be Truman and having the same experience—knowing nothing about this huge scientific research project prior to moving into the Presidential position.

During his first term, President Truman issued the command to drop atomic bombs on Japan when Japan refused to surrender. After the bombs hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan changed its response and WW2 ended. Also during this term, Truman assisted in founding the United Nations and supporting the Marshall Plan (to rebuild Europe after the war).

During his second term, President Truman faced the rise of communism in the Soviet Union (leading the US into the Cold War), brought the US into the Korean War, and dealt with a general steel industry strike in America.

Following his two terms as President, he and his wife, Bess, moved back into the role of “ordinary people” and took an American road trip. Before we began our first year of travel, Mike read “Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure”.

I love when pieces of our traveling life come together like this (taking Harry S. Truman for this family history project, visiting Oakridge and learning about the Manhattan Project last year and having read about Truman’s trip).  Can’t wait to see more of these connections happen as we research more events/people during this project.

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