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Home : Biography : American Presidents
BIOGRAPHY : American Presidents

 

 

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Harry S. Truman

When Harry Truman was about five years old, his family noticed he was having eye troubles. With these eye problems, Harry wasn't able to see stars or the falling dust from fireworks. Harry never noticed this. When his mother got his first pair of glasses, they were thick glass in which the doctor said that he shouldn't run hard or play in many sports with them on. Harry saw a whole new world when he first got the glasses. He would stare for hours just looking at the bright stars. But, Harry's fun with the glasses soon ended when he went to school. The other kids would tease him about the glasses because he was the only one in the class with glasses. The teasing didn't bother him much because the other kids grew up learning not to hit kids with glasses.

Harry liked reading books in his spare time. He especially liked Mark Twain's books 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn'. He had to read mostly adult books. Another one of his favorite books were biographies of the U.S. presidents. Harry read most of the three- thousand books that were in a nearby library. Harry was very good in school because of reading all the books. His mom wanted Harry, his brother Vivian, and Their little sister Mary Jane to enrich their lives so she bought them a piano. She gave the children lessons and noticed that Harry was especially gifted with the piano. So, she sent him to get professional lessons with a woman named Mrs. Edwin C. White. Everyone in his family thought that Harry would become a concert Pianist. Harry thought so too. Harry had experiences that the other kids did not have while playing the piano. Harry's teacher once was a student of one of the greatest pianists ever to live named Ignacy Jan Paderewski. When he was having a concert in their town, Harry's teacher brought him to the concert and introduced Harry to Ignacy. Ignacy showed Harry how to play his own famous composition Minuet in G. It was a moment Harry never forgot. The kids at his school really started to make fun of him when they saw him going to school with music roles because they thought piano playing was for sissies. But he kept on going and still ignored them. Harry' father got harry a pony so he wouldn't be all books and piano playing.

Harry graduated as the class of '01 out of High School and planned to go to College but Harry's father lost money on their farm so Harry had to stay home and help out. Harry did finally go to school in the fall of 1901. Harry got into the Spaulding Commercial College in Kansas City. He studied business skills. But his father's money problems got worse and Harry had to quit music lessons even though his mother and his teacher plead him to let Harry go. Harry even had to quit college. Harry had to get a job to help his family. He got a job as a timekeeper for a railroad. He had to check all the railroad stops and see if people were working. While working, Harry became of Baptist religion. After, He found a job in a mailroom of the Kansas City Star newspaper to help his family. After that job, Harry and his family had to sell their house to pay debts. They moved in the same city but to a smaller house. Harry and his brother applied for jobs at the National Bank of Commerce. They started at the bottom, literally. They started in the basement. Harry had to work on the farm next. When he was 26, he met a girl named Bess Walace. They started dating for about a year then Harry proposed to her. She said 'NO'. Over the next two years, Harry's unlagging devotion and attention slowly won her heart and she accepted. They kept their engagement a secret because Harry couldn't afford to buy her a ring. The same year after Harry proposed, farm prices went down and worst of all, Harry's father died. Harry had to try to run the farm by himself. He had thee debts and the prospect of his marriage to Bess made him try to find ways to make money. Harry tried a lead and zinc mining business. He and two friends formed the TCH Mining Company. None of them knew much about mining. The prices also went down, their equipment broke, and they didn't have enough funds to keep it going so they lost eleven thousand dollars. World War I broke out in 1917 and their company couldn't get enough men and their company went bankrupt.

Harry wanted to live out his dream of fighting in the Army. So, he was now thirty-three years old, and he enlisted in the Missouri Army to fight in World War I. Even with his bad eyesight, they needed men badly so they let him in. His job was to recruit men. He told the people that if they joined then they would never have to walk. He signed up a lot of men and got promoted to Lieutenant of Battery F. His old rank was General. He and his men were sent to Oklahoma where he trained the men. He trained the men well under thee conditions that they had to live under, and got promoted to Battery D, also called 'Dizzy D.' This was one of the worst Batteries. Harry was sent with his men to Northeastern France where the fighting was light so they could train. The first fight with the Germans, Got everyone scared and they all ran everywhere. When Harry got the Battery under control, He led them to safety and screamed at them for acting the way they did. The next fight, they were the only Battery that was still there fighting and beet the Germans. They turned into one of the best batteries in the war.

Harry married Bess after he came back to his hometown in 1919 and, with a friend, opened up a men's clothing store which they owned from 1919 to 1922. In 1922, Farm income dropped and men no longer had the money to buy the type of clothes that Harry and his partner were selling so they went out of business. When he knew the store was going to go out of business, A friend from France said that he would help Harry win the election for Judge of Jackson County. He had the help from his friend and won. While Harry was in office, the county owed 2,000,000. dollars and Harry helped reduce it to 1,400,000 in two years. When he ran for a second term, he got double-teamed and lost. Again, Harry was out of work. Harry had a daughter named Margaret after Harry's sister and Bess's mother. Harry joined a cub as sales director of the Kansas City Automobile Club. Many people were buying cars but there were few paved roads, gas tanks, and barely any road signs. The club helped people would wanted to travel by car. He was also named president of the National Old Trails Association (N.O.T.A.), an educational group devoted to preserving the old trails and educating people on their history. Truman also thought that he should get a law degree so he started taking courses at the Kansas City Law School where he only studied for two years because he still liked politics better. In 1926, he ran for county judge again and easily won. When he returned, he visited every place that needed help personally, fired not needed workers to save money, and fixed the town roads by building 376 miles of paved road for the town to drive their buggies on. He was elected for a third term so the town could show their gratitude. When it was over the 'Roaring Twenties' came and prices went up. Right after that the stock market collapsed and the Great Depression started.

Harry was talked into running for Senator in 1934. The papers all made fun of Harry but he campaigned all over the world to the small towns, but then he collided with another car and was thrown threw the windshield. He broke several ribs, badly bruised his forehead, and sprained his wrist. But he kept on campaigning. He talked wherever people would listen. He won the election and became Senator Truman. He learned many things like the railroad's decline was because rich people wanted more money. Harry started investigations and uncovered more and more scandals. It was very successful.

Harry now was living in Washington D.C., so his family couldn't live in D.C. all year round. So, Half the year, Harry's wife and daughter would live with him, the other half they would live at the farm. His daughter was also going to two schools. Harry started having problems again. The Person who was supporting all of Harry's elections got prosecuted for evading 1,000,000. in income taxes, so that meant that Harry's future election was about shot. He had to put a campaign together himself. He went around to all the small towns again and talked to all the people personally. He won the election and was Vice President.

As Vice President, he didn't do much of anything and wasn't made known to everything that was going on. So, when the president died, it was a shock to Harry. Harry got sworn in and was made known to everything that was of importance to him, now. He was told about the Atomic bomb and was pressured to use it against Japan. After that, he sent an investigation to find spies. Two people were hung telling Atomic secrets. When the Korean war got started, Truman got an attempt on his life by two Puerto Ricans. Truman had a busy time as President. He also formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O.) while in office.

When his real term was over he went back to his farm and made a museum with all the papers he had so people would know what he did. Harry Truman died on December 26, 1972.

 



 

 



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