harry s. truman Quotes

Harry S. Truman Quotes

Birth Date: 1885-02-13 (Friday, February 13th, 1885)
Date of Death: 1972-12-26 (Tuesday, December 26th, 1972)

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harry s. truman life timeline

Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece.Thursday, May 22nd, 1947
Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.Saturday, July 26th, 1947
The first televised White House address is given by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.Sunday, October 5th, 1947
President Harry S. Truman signs the Marshall Plan, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.Saturday, April 3rd, 1948
US President Harry S. Truman issues a peacetime military draft in the US amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union.Tuesday, July 20th, 1948
U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States.Monday, July 26th, 1948
US President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment, streamlining the defense agencies of the United States government, and replacing the National Military Establishment with the United States Department of Defense.Wednesday, August 10th, 1949
President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.Tuesday, January 31st, 1950
Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate US President Harry S. Truman at Blair House.Wednesday, November 1st, 1950
President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War.Saturday, December 16th, 1950

Quotes

    • Now days battles are just sort of a 'You shoot up my town and I'll shoot up yours.' They say that Americans don't play fair. They shoot 'em up all the time. I hope so because I want to finish this job as soon as possible and begin making an honest living again.
    • Have fired 500 rounds at the Germans, at my command, been shelled, didn't run away thank the Lord and never lost a man. Probably shouldn't have told you but you'll not worry any more if you know I'm in it than if you think I am. Have had the most strenuous work of my life, am very tired but otherwise absolutely in good condition physically mentally and morally.
    • When a High Explosive shell bursts in fifteen feet and does you no damage, you can bet your sweet life you bear a charmed life and no mistake. I didn't have sense enough to know what was going on until the next day and then I was pretty scared. The men think I am not much afraid of shells but they don't know. I was too scared to run and that is pretty scared.
    • If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word.
    • Tell him to go to hell; I'm for Jimmy Byrnes.
    • Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don't know whether you fellows ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me yesterday what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me. I've got the most terribly responsible job a man ever had.
    • I sincerely wish that every member of Congress could visit the displaced person's camp in Germany and Austria and see just what is happening to 500,000 human beings through no fault of their own.
    • 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.
    • At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression. The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
    • Had ten minutes conversation with Henry Morgenthau about Jewish ship in Palistine. Told him I would talk to Gen[eral] Marshall about it. He'd no business, whatever to call me. The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgement on world affairs. Henry brought a thousand Jews to New York on a supposedly temporary basis and they stayed. When the country went backward - and Republican in the election of 1946, this incident loomed large on the DP [Displaced Person] program. The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as DP as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes. Look at the Congress[ional] attitude on DP - and they all come from DPs.
    • The people can never understand why the President does not use his powers to make them behave. Well all the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
    • Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make these Republicans like it - don't forget that! We will do that because they are wrong and we are right, and I will prove it to you in just a few minutes.
    • I was the only calm one in the house. You see I've been shot at by experts.
    • I have read your lousy review of Margaret's concert. I've come to the conclusion that you are an eight ulcer man on a four ulcer job : Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below.
    • On the one hand, the Republicans are telling industrial workers that the high cost of food in the cities is due to this government's farm policy. On the other hand, the Republicans are telling the farmers that the high cost of manufactured goods on the farm is due to this government's labor policy. That's plain hokum. It's an old political trick: 'If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em.' But this time it won't work.
    • I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
    • I don't give a damn about 'The Missouri Waltz' but I can't say it out loud because it's the song of Missouri. It's as bad as 'The Star-Spangled Banner' so far as music is concerned.
    • A politician is a man who understands government, and it takes a politician to run a government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead 10 or 15 years.
    • Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
    • I've said many a time that I think the Un-American Activities Committee in the House of Representatives was the most un-American thing in America!
    • We are in a troublesome period, and some 'nonsense' as you term it - but this is a great nation with a high purpose, and we shall come to our senses and resume our course.
    • The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.
    • He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides.
    • What do you mean 'helped create'? I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus.
    • Nothing but a damn bunch of bullshit!
    • It isn't important who is ahead at one time or another in either an election or horse race. It's the horse that comes in first at the finish line that counts.
    • I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell.
    • So much blood has already been shed for the ideals which we cherish, and for which Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived and died, that we dare not permit even a momentary pause in the hard fight for victory. Today, the entire world is looking to America for enlightened leadership to peace and progress. Such a leadership requires vision, courage and tolerance. It can be provided only by a united nation deeply devoted to the highest ideals.
    • In this shrinking world, it is futile to seek safety behind geographical barriers. Real security will be found only in law and in justice. Here in America, we have labored long and hard to achieve a social order worthy of our great heritage. In our time, tremendous progress has been made toward a really democratic way of life. Let me assure the forward-looking people of America that there will be no relaxation in our efforts to improve the lot of the common people.
    • It is not enough to yearn for peace. We must work, and if necessary, fight for it. The task of creating a sound international organization is complicated and difficult. Yet, without such organization, the rights of man on earth cannot be protected. Machinery for the just settlement of international differences must be found. Without such machinery, the entire world will have to remain an armed camp. The world will be doomed to deadly conflict, devoid of hope for real peace.
    • In bitter despair, some people have come to believe that wars are inevitable. With tragic fatalism, they insist that wars have always been, of necessity, and of necessity wars always will be. To such defeatism, men and women of good will must not and can not yield. The outlook for humanity is not so hopeless.
    • If wars in the future are to be prevented the nations must be united in their determination to keep the peace under law. Nothing is more essential to the future peace of the world than continued cooperation of the nations which had to muster the force necessary to defeat the conspiracy of the Axis powers to dominate the world. While these great states have a special responsibility to enforce the peace, their responsibility is based upon the obligations resting upon all states, large and small, not to use force in international relations except in the defense of law. The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not to dominate the world.
    • Today, America has become one of the most powerful forces for good on earth. We must keep it so. We have achieved a world leadership which does not depend solely upon our military and naval might. We have learned to fight with other nations in common defense of our freedom. We must now learn to live with other nations for our mutual good. We must learn to trade more with other nations so that there may be - for our mutual advantage - increased production, increased employment and better standards of living throughout the world. May we Americans all live up to our glorious heritage. In that way, America may well lead the world to peace and prosperity.
    • The British, Chinese, and United States Governments have given the Japanese people adequate warning of what is in store for them. We have laid down the general terms on which they can surrender. Our warning went unheeded; our terms were rejected. Since then the Japanese have seen what our atomic bomb can do. They can foresee what it will do in the future.
    • The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.
    • If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction.
    • I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster, which would come to this Nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first. That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production. We won the race of discovery against the Germans.
    • Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.
    • I do not understand a mind which sees a gracious beneficence in spending money to slay and maim human beings in almost unimaginable numbers and deprecates the expenditure of a smaller sum to patch up the ills of mankind.
    • Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
    • Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
    • It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
    • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    • My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.
    • The job of the Vice President is to go to weddings and funerals.
    • Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
    • Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.
    • If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    • The buck stops here!
    • harry s. truman

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