Truman Day in Missouri Date in the current year: May 8, 2024

Truman Day in Missouri Truman Day is a state holiday in Missouri. It is celebrated on May 8 to commemorate the birthday of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States and the only American president to come from Missouri.

Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884. The oldest child in a family of farmers, Truman considered attending West Point because the academy had no tuition, but his poor eyesight prevented him from being admitted. In 1905, he passed the medical examination by secretly memorizing the eye chart and enlisted in the Missouri National Guard. He served until 1911, rising to the rank of corporal.

When the United States entered World War I, Truman rejoined his National Guard unit and was appointed first lieutenant. During the war, he was deployed in France. Upon his return to the United States after his wartime service, Truman was honorably discharged as a captain. He ran a haberdashery for a few years, but the business went bankrupt during the post-war recession.

Truman’s political career took off due to his friendship with Lieutenant James M. Pendergast, nephew of Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. With Tom Pendergast’s help, Truman was elected as a county judge in 1922. In 1934, he was elected as U.S. senator from Missouri, again with the help of the Kansas City Democratic machine led by Pendergast. Five years later, Pendergast was convicted of tax evasion, but Truman was still re-elected to the Senate in 1940.

During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1944 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party announced Truman as his running mate. Roosevelt proceeded to win the election, and Truman was sworn in as vice president in January 1945. 82 days into his presidential term, Roosevelt unexpectedly died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and Truman assumed the office as president.

One of the first decisions that Truman made during his presidency was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Originally reluctant to use atomic weapons, he came to a conclusion that dropping the bombs would save more lives in the long run than it cost. Japan agreed to surrender following the Nagasaki bombing.

In addition to authorizing the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Truman is remembered for implementing the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western European economies after the war, establishing the Truman Doctrine to contain Soviet geopolitical expansion, which led to the formation of NATO and started the Cold War, and intervening in the Korean War. Truman’s presidency was criticized when he left office after the second term, but modern assessments of his tenure tend to be favorable.

Although Harry S. Truman was one of the most controversial presidents in the history of the United States, he is generally well-respected in Missouri due to being the only president to come from the state. His birthday is even celebrated in Missouri as Truman Day. Although the state government tried to abolish the holiday during the Great Recession, Truman Day remains a paid holiday for Missouri state employees.

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Truman Day in Missouri, holidays in Missouri, holidays in the United States, state holidays, Harry S. Truman