1884 – 1972 33rd President of the United States
Born to a farming family in Missouri, Truman served as an artillery officer in World War One. He became active in local, then state politics and was elected as a US senator in 1934. As a senator, Truman called for and chaired a bipartisan committee into waste and profiteering in military procurement which is estimated to have saved the US taxpayer close to 250 billion dollars in today’s dollars. He ran for Vice-President with Roosevelt in 1944 as a compromise candidate, becoming President on the latter’s death in April 1945 and was re-elected in his own right in 1948. Following the end of the war, Truman instituted the Marshall Program, sending desperately-needed relief to a war-ravaged Europe. He helped found the new United Nations, supported the formation of NATO and committed US troops in support of the UN following the North Korean invasion of the South. Truman took the then-controversial steps of racially desegregating the US armed forces and beginning the US movement towards civil rights. Although not popular while serving, Truman is now adjudged to have been one of the best presidents.
Belton Lodge No. 450, Grandview, Missouri
“No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.”
“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”
“The Buck Stops Here.” (sign on Presidential desk)