Constituting America first published this message from Founder & Co-Chair Janine Turner over Memorial Day Weekend, 2010, the inaugural year of our organization. We are pleased to share it with you again, as we celebrate our 6th birthday!
On this Memorial Day weekend, I think it is appropriate to truly contemplate and think about the soldiers and families who have sacrificed their lives and loved ones, and given their time and dedication to our country.
Harry S. Truman: Thirty-Third President of the United States
Nickname: The High-Tax Harry
Terms in Office: 1945-1949; 1949-1953
- Born May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri
- Parents: John Anderson and Martha Ellen Young Truman
- Died December 26, 1972, in Kansas City, Missouri; age 88
- Age upon Start of First Term: 60; Age upon Conclusion of First Term: 64
- Age upon Start of Second Term: 64; Age upon Conclusion of Second Term: 68
- Religious Affiliation: Baptist
- Political Party: Democrat
- Height: 5 feet 9 inches
- Vice President: none (1945-1949) and Alben W. Barkley (1949-1953)
Harry Truman assumed the presidency in 1945 after the death of Franklin Roosevelt. As president, he oversaw the conclusion of both the European and the Pacific front in World War II. Truman won a surprise second term, during which time he worked to stabilize the American economy to prevent a second depression and organized the American invasion of Korea during the Korean War.
When asked what might derail his agenda for his new Conservative Party government, former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan is said to have responded, “Events, dear boy. Events.” That aptly describes how the political fortunes of war-time Presidents play out. It is surprisingly difficult for incumbent commanders-in-chief to win even if military campaigns are successful. True, Franklin Roosevelt won in 1944. But, even as the Allies were defeating the Axis powers, the popular Roosevelt won with the lowest percentage margin of victory of his campaigns. When elections occurred while the war effort appeared to be flagging, incumbents have fared badly. In 1952, as a result of the Korean War stalemate, President Harry Truman could not even win re-nomination by his own party, and the Democrats lost decisively. In a similar vein, in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson declined to pursue the Democratic Party nomination for re-election after the newscaster Walter Cronkite and other elements of the media turned the disastrous and strategic military defeat of the Viet Cong during the Tet offensive into a prevailing popular tale of American defeat.