Harry S. Truman is born

On May 8, 1884, Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri. The son of a farmer, Truman couldn’t afford to go to college. He joined the military at the relatively advanced age of 33 in 1916 to fight in the First World War. After the war, he opened a haberdashery in Kansas City. When this business went bankrupt in 1922, he entered Missouri politics. Truman continued to serve in the United States Senate from 1934 until he was chosen as the fourth vice-president of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945; it was during his term in the Senate that he built a reputation for honesty and integrity.

When the FDR died on April 12, 1945, Truman became the 33rd President of the United States, assuming the role of commander-in-chief of a country still involved in The Second World War. With the impending victory in Europe, Truman agonized over whether or not to use the newly developed atomic bomb to force Japan to surrender. After only four months in power, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945. He and his military advisers argued that the use of the bomb had ultimately saved American and Japanese lives, as it appeared that the Japanese would fiercely resist any conventional attempt. by the Allies to invade Japan and end the war. The use of the new weapon, dropped in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August, succeeded in forcing the capitulation of Japan, but also marked the start of the Cold War. From this point until the late 1980s, the United States and Russia ran to spend and produce each other in nuclear weapons.

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