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Constituting America Founder & Co-President Actress Janine Turner

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Constituting America first published this message from Founder & Co-President 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 10th 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.

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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.

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Guest Essayist: Juliette Turner

 

Harry S. Truman: Thirty-Third President of the United States

Nickname: The High-Tax Harry

Terms in Office: 1945-1949; 1949-1953

Fast Stats

  • 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)

Bottom Line:

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.

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Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

 

In 1932, the U.S. economy reached its nadir during the Great Depression.  Unemployment had risen to more than 20 percent, or 11 million Americans, matched by a similar number of the underemployed as factories and businesses closed their doors.  Banks were closing at an alarming rates as people instantly lost their life savings.  Hundreds of thousands of farmers and urban dwellers alike were suffering forecloses and lost their homes.  Breadlines were long and strained the resources of private charities and local governments.

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Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

 

The 1932 Presidential election took place during the height of the Great Depression.  While a number of candidates ran on third party tickets, the main fight for the White House featured the incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt and none of the other candidates garnered more than 2% of the popular vote.  Hoover had won the presidential election in 1928 on a pro-business platform promising continued prosperity.  Nine months into Hoover’s term, on October 24, 1929, the stock market crashed, beginning the period that would become known as the Great Depression.  The challenges created by the downward economic spiral consumed Hoover’s term and were a main focus of the 1932 presidential election.

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Guest Essayist: Juliette Turner

 

Thirty-First President of the United States

Nickname: The Great Humanitarian

Terms in Office: 1929-1933

Fast Stats

  • Born August 10, 1874, in West Branch, Iowa
  • Parents: Jesse Clark and Hulda Randall Minthorn Hoover
  • Died October 20, 1964, in New York City, New York; age 90
  • Age upon Start of Term: 54, Age upon Conclusion of Term: 58
  • Religious Affiliation: Society of Friends (Quaker)
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Height: 6 Feet
  • Vice President: Charles Curtis

The Bottom Line

Herbert Hoover served one term, during which he struggled to combat the Great Depression that began the first year he was in office.

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Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

 

The Election of 1920: The Sedition Act, Eugene Debs, and the “Red Scare”

Eugene V. Debs was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a frequent Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.  Debs became a well-known socialist both through his political activity and as a result of the government’s criminal prosecution of his activities.  Other essays in this series cover the numerous Presidential elections in which Debs ran, as well as the other candidates in the 1920 Presidential election. This essay focuses on the Sedition Act of 1918, Debs, and the “Red Scare.”

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