33rd President Harry Truman Birthday
May 8, 2024
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 8 of May, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1884, 33rd president Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri. Truman became president under trying circumstances. Upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, the former vice-president faced difficult choices relating to the first use of the atomic bomb, the subsequent end of World War II, and the rebuilding of war-torn countries, as well as the spread of communism and beginning of the Cold War.
Truman had been vice-president for less than 3 months when he was thrust into the presidency. During those preceding months he was never briefed on the development of the atomic bomb, or increasing problems with Soviet Russia. “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me,” he told reporters.
Did you know? With responsibilities lifted upon leaving office, President and Mrs. Truman took a casual road trip from Missouri to New York. In a time before constant Secret Service monitoring, the Trumans drove across the country, stopping (and being recognized) at roadside diners, gas stations, and motels. A surprised police officer even pulled them over for driving too slow in the fast lane.
Presidential portrait of Harry Truman, Greta Kempton, 1945