PRESIDENTIAL ENDS: President Harry Truman’s Presidential final train stump for Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson in October of 1952

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When President John F. Kennedy, Forty-Five Years Old, Began His Presidency, President Harry S. Truman Was Seventy-Seven Years Old and Had Left Office Eight Years Earlier When Dwight Eisenhower Was Elected.


Harry S. Truman was the only American president to serve in World War One.  He was promoted to the rank of captain during the height of the war in 1918.

John F. Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940 and entered the United States Navy in World War II, serving in the South Pacific where a Japanese Destroyer rammed and sank his PT Boat. President Lyndon Baines Johnson was a Navy pilot in World War Two. President Dwight David Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

About President Harry S. Truman

 From the White House records:

During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S. Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman’s to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President. He told reporters, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”

Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884. He grew up in Independence, and for 12 years prospered as a Missouri farmer.

He went to France during World War I as a captain in the Field Artillery. Returning, he married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace, and opened a haberdashery in Kansas City.

Active in the Democratic Party, Truman was elected a judge of the Jackson County Court (an administrative position) in 1922. He became a Senator in 1934. During World War II he headed the Senate war investigating committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as 15 billion dollars.

As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history. Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage. An urgent plea to Japan to surrender was rejected. Truman, after consultations with his advisers, ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work. Two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese surrender quickly followed.

President Harry S. Truman in the front yard of his home in Independence, Missouri, shortly after attending the 1952 Democratic National Convention. Date(s) July 26, 1952

Presidential Campaign Train featured President Harry S. Truman on the stump for Democratic candidate Gov. Adlai Stevenson.

President Harry S. Truman (top left) with Margaret Truman (top right) on the rear of a train. The sign below them reads “Vote for Stevenson and Sparkman.” The sign refers to the 1952 Democratic Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees, Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. Date(s) October 10, 1952

President Harry S. Truman standing at rear platform of a train pointing, with his cane, to a sign to vote for Stevenson and Sparkman

President-Truman-points-out-his-favorite-Candidates-in-October-train-election-special-1952

From left to right, President Harry S. Truman, Bess Wallace Truman, and Margaret Truman voting in the 1952 Presidential election in Independence, Missouri. All others are unidentified.

President-and-Mrs.-Truman-voting-in-the-presidential-election-at-Independence-Missouri-on-Nov.-4-1952

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