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Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States (1945), he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his unprecedented fourth term
Truman, in sharp contrast to the imperious Roosevelt who kept personal control of all major decisions, was a folksy, unassuming president who relied on his cabinet. He popularized such phrases as "The buck stops here" and "If you can't stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen." His approval ratings in the polls started out very high, then steadily sank until he was one of the most unpopular men to leave the White House. Popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency eventually became more positive after his retirement from politics. Truman's legendary upset victory in 1948 over Thomas E. Dewey is routinely invoked by underdog presidential candidates.
Truman gained national visibility by fighting waste and mismanagement in the war effort through his committee (popularly known as the "Truman Committee"). The Roosevelt administration had initially feared the Truman Committee would hurt war morale, and Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson wrote to the president declaring it was "in the public interest" to suspend the committee. Truman replied that the committee was "100 percent behind the administration" and did not intend to criticize the military conduct of the war. The committee is reported to have saved at least $15 billion and thousands of lives. Truman's advocacy of common-sense cost-saving measures for the military attracted much attention. In 1943, he appeared on the cover of Time. He would eventually appear on nine Time covers and would be named the magazine's Man of the Year for 1945 and 1948. After years as a marginal figure in the Senate, Truman was cast into the national spotlight after the success of the Truman Committee
When he left office in 1953, Truman was one of the most unpopular chief executives in history. His job approval rating of 22% in the Gallup Poll of February 1952 was lower than Richard Nixon's was in August 1974 at 24%, the month that Nixon resigned. American public feeling toward Truman grew steadily warmer with the passing years, and the period shortly after his death consolidated a partial rehabilitation among both historians and members of the public. As early as 1962, a poll of 75 distinguished historians conducted by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. ranked Truman among the "near great" presidents. Since leaving office, Truman has fared well in polls ranking the presidents among Americans. He has never been listed lower than ninth, and most recently was fifth in a C-SPAN poll in 2009
Giving Them More Hell....
"I fired him [MacArthur] because he wouldn't respect the authority of the President ... I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail."
Harry S. Truman, quoted in Time magazine
edit on 15-6-2012 by redneck13 because: v