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Harry S. Truman

Facts, information and articles about Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President

Harry S. Truman Facts






Bess Wallace

Years Of Military Service

(1905-1911), (1917-1919),(1920-1953)



Battles / Wars

World War I


Battery D
129th Field Artillery
60th Brigade,
35th Infantry Division

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Harry S. Truman summary: Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States of America. He was born in 1884 in Missouri. Raised on a farm, Truman did not attend college. After working a variety of jobs, he returned to the family farm and joined the National Guard. Although past draft age and eligible for an exemption due to his status as a farmer, Truman volunteered for service at the onset of World War I. He became a captain in France, and despite being assigned to an unruly battery, he led his troops to numerous successes on the battlefield. In 1934, Truman became a senator. During his run as senator, Truman helped to allocate money for FDR’s New Deal endeavors, and he helped to tighten the federal restrictions on the railroads. He also investigated wasteful spending and war profiteering.

FDR, in his bid for re-election in 1944, dropped Henry Wallace, his current vice-president, and asked Truman to be his running mate. Roosevelt won the election, but he died less than three months into his term. Truman became the 33rd president of the United States but wasn’t elected in on his first term. During his presidency, World War II was ended and the United Nations was created. Truman was the president in office and made the decision to use atomic weapons on Japan. He also was responsible for helping with the creation of NATO. Truman ran for re-election, famously upsetting opponent Thomas Dewey when he was in fact re-elected. Truman died in 1972.



Articles Featuring Harry S. Truman From History Net Magazines

Featured Article

American History: Harry Truman and the 1948 U.S. Presidential Election

Few people believed that President Harry S. Truman had a chance of winning the 1948 presidential election. The three great national polling organizations all predicted that Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, his Republican opponent, would win by a wide margin. The press was equally certain of a Dewey victory, for the odds against the incumbent seemed insurmountable. Truman’s own party had split, with Democrat Strom Thurmond running in the South as a ‘Dixiecrat’ and former vice president Henry Wallace running as the candidate of the newly formed Progressive Party. It was expected that Wallace would drain vitally needed liberal votes away from the president. Among Democratic politicians and his own campaign staff, it seemed that the only person who thought Truman could win was the candidate himself.

Of course, there were many who wondered how Harry Truman had ever made it into the White House in the first place. The son of a Missouri mule-trader-turned-farmer, Truman differed markedly from his predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Truman, who had served as a captain of artillery in World War I, was a failed businessman whose haberdashery in Kansas City had closed during a recession in 1922. While overseas, however, Truman had met Jim Pendergast, whose family was a Democratic political dynasty in Kansas City. With the support of less-than-reputable political boss Tom Pendergast, Truman was elected eastern judge of Jackson County and then, in 1934, United States Senator. Though Truman himself was a person of impeccable personal honesty and political integrity, many in Washington looked down on him as ‘the Senator from Pendergast.’ Only during his second term in the Senate, when he headed a committee investigating the national defense program, did he gain a reputation for hard work and diligence and the respect of his fellow senators.

In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt picked Truman as his running mate to replace Vice President Henry Wallace, whose extreme liberal views were far out of alignment which those of Democratic party leaders. When Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, Truman became president. It was not a job he had ever aspired to, and he confided to his diary and in letters to his family his doubts about his abilities.

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By 1948, however, Harry Truman had grown with the job and was determined to seek a full term in his own right. He also sought vindication for the rebuff his party had suffered at the polls in the 1946 congressional elections, when the Republicans gained an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate.

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The Republicans had selected Truman’s opponent, Thomas Dewey, in June on the third ballot at their convention at Philadelphia’s Convention Hall. For his running mate, Dewey picked California governor Earl Warren. Roosevelt had defeated Dewey in 1944, but Truman’s hopes looked slim. ‘Barring a political miracle, it was the kind of ticket that could not fail to sweep the Republican Party back into power,’ Time magazine proclaimed.

The Democratic convention opened on July 12 in the same Philadelphia hall the Republicans had used, but the mood in the building had darkened. The decorative flags and bunting had not been changed and now looked bedraggled and shop-worn. The Associated Press noted that ‘The Democrats act as though they have accepted an invitation to a funeral.’ Until a few days before the convention there had been an active movement to deny the nomination to Truman. A diverse group of party leaders, headed by James Roosevelt, son of the former president, had pushed hard for General Dwight Eisenhower. The Eisenhower boom ended only when the general stated unequivocally that he would not accept the nomination if it was offered.

The Democrats were further fractured when a coalition of liberals led by Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota inserted a strong civil rights plank, modeled after Truman’s own proposals to Congress, in the platform. Delegates from the conservative South, intent on maintaining segregation there, were adamantly opposed to the plank. Before the nominating process even began, Alabama’s Handy Ellis announced that his state’s presidential electors were ‘never to cast a vote for Harry Truman, and never to cast their vote for any candidate with a civil rights program such as adopted by the convention.’ Half of the Alabama delegation and the entire Mississippi contingent walked out. Two days later, disaffected southern Democrats met in Birmingham, Alabama, to nominate Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for president. The new party officially called itself the States’ Rights Democrats; the press dubbed them ‘Dixiecrats,’ and the name stuck. The ‘Solid South’–a traditional Democratic stronghold–seemed lost to Truman. Meanwhile, on July 27, the Progressive Party nominated Henry Wallace for president.

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Truman, who picked Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky as his running mate, was undeterred by the defections from his party. For his convention acceptance speech, the president used only an outline written in short, punchy sentences. He electrified the audience when he said, ‘Senator Barkley and I will win this election and make the Republicans like it–don’t you forget it.’ It was the first time during the convention that anyone had spoken of actually winning. Truman then praised the higher wages, higher farm income, and greater benefits for Americans he claimed as Democratic accomplishments, and went on to condemn the Republican Congress. He spoke with scorn of the recently adopted Republican platform, contrasting the programs it contained with congressional inaction on similar programs he had proposed.

Truman roused the convention to a standing ovation when he announced his intention to call Congress back into special session to ‘ask them to pass the laws to halt rising prices, to meet the housing crisis–which they say they are for in their platform.’ When this special session did convene it accomplished little, as Truman expected, but it gave the president a campaign issue. The country’s woes, he asserted, were the result of the ‘do-nothing’ Republican Congress.

This article was written by Michael D. Haydock and originally published in the December 2000 issue of American History Magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to American History magazine today!

Featured Article

President Harry S. Truman: Survived Assassination Attempt at the Blair House

At 7:30 p.m. on October 31, 1950, two dapper gentlemen arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and walked to the nearby Hotel Harris, where they registered separately, as though they were strangers. The front-desk clerk, noting their new suits and dark hats, surmised that the one with the steel-rimmed glasses and kindly face was a divinity student. Actually, the two polite guests were Puerto Rican terrorists who had come to Washington to kill President Harry S. Truman, and with wiser planning and better luck, they might have succeeded.

The would-be assassins were members of the small, volatile Puerto Rican Nationalist Party headed by Pedro Albizu Campos, a Harvard graduate whose exposure to racism in the American Army during World War I had left him an embittered advocate of the Caribbean island’s independence through violent revolution. Although the Nationalist Party had failed miserably at the polls and fielded no candidates after 1932, its members had remained convinced that their cause would triumph.

While most Puerto Ricans rejected Albizu Campos’s extremist policies, many shared his feelings toward the United States. For years a wide gulf had existed between the poor majority of the island’s population and the wealthy minority. Successful American efforts to eradicate various diseases had spurred a population explosion that often erased economic gains as fast as they occurred. Simultaneously, because the United States had granted the island no real self-government until the 1940s, Washington could be held at least partly responsible for difficulties within Puerto Rico. American missionaries, teachers, and physicians worked unselfishly to aid Puerto Rican citizens, but they could not solve all the problems, and the goodwill they created was often offset by unfortunate incidents.

One such episode occurred when a young American doctor named Cornelius Rhoads, who was conducting research in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, wrote an ill-advised letter that a technician found and gave to Albizu Campos. The island, the doctor had written, needed ‘not improved health but . . . something to exterminate the entire population . . . .’ Rhoads insisted that he was being facetious, and an investigation proved that none of his patients had been mistreated. Nonetheless, Albizu Campos and the Nationalists bitterly resented the United States for its refusal to punish the physician for his comments.

Although the Nationalists were weakened after 1932 by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal efforts to help the Puerto Rican people, Albizu Campos announced a new government on the island with himself at its head and organized a black-shirted army of liberation. During the next two decades the party’s tactics included bombings, assassinations, and pitched battles with the police. Its violent methods did not win it popular support but did intensify the dedication of the faithful. Ironically, the Nationalists received financial aid from several wealthy Puerto Rican landowners who were chafing under the reforms of the New Deal.

Among the Nationalist Party’s true believers in 1950 was 36-year-old Oscar Collazo. In 1932, at the age of 18, Collazo had traveled to his native Puerto Rico after several unhappy months working at the Army and Navy Club in New York City. Soon after hearing an impassioned speech by Albizu Campos and learning of Dr. Rhoads’ insulting letter, Collazo dedicated his life to the Nationalist Party. He returned to New York, where he married Rosa Mercado, a divorcée with two daughters, who was herself a devoted nationalist.

In 1941, the Collazo family moved into a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York whose residents suffered from homesickness, ethnic discrimination, and economic exploitation. By then Collazo had become a skilled metal polisher with an excellent reputation. On Sundays he would serve as an interpreter and guide to new immigrants, and he represented the workers on his union’s negotiating committee. Meanwhile, he was a model husband and father who paid his bills on time and did not smoke or drink. Collazo, in short, led a useful and reasonably successful life that might have satisfied a less complicated and confused personality.

Twenty-five-year-old Griselio Torresola’s radicalism was almost inbred, as his family had participated in every Puerto Rican revolution for a century. He and his brother, Elio, and two sisters, Angelina and Doris, were devoted to Albizu Campos almost from childhood. In August 1948, Griselio got a job in a New York stationery and perfume store, but he was let go when a divorce caused him to become despondent and unreliable. For the remainder of his life, Torresola, with a new wife and one of his two young daughters, lived on a relief stipend of $125 a month. He longed to do something important, and he had one talent that Collazo lacked; he was deadly with a pistol, while Collazo had never fired a handgun.

In 1943, Pedro Albizu Campos finished a federal prison term in Atlanta, stemming from his revolutionary activities in Puerto Rico, and joined Collazo in New York, where he established a new Nationalist Party headquarters. By 1948, Collazo’s revolutionary zeal had escalated, fueled by Albizu Campos’s influence, a new sense of importance as he rose in the party’s ranks, and his voracious reading about such heroes as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Simón Bolívar. Infuriated by discrimination against Puerto Ricans in New York City and by the indifference of most Americans toward his beloved island, Collazo could not comprehend the new realities of Puerto Rican progress.

Torresola spent much of 1950 purchasing arms for a planned October 28 revolt in Puerto Rico. On September 21 of that year, Albizu Campos directed that, should it become necessary, Torresola was to ‘assume the leadership of the movement in the United States without hesitation,’ and that he should ‘collect the funds…necessary to take care of the supreme necessities of the cause.’ The U.S. Secret Service later considered these letters proof that the subsequent actions of Collazo and Torresola were part of a larger conspiracy. However, the agency concluded that the poor planning evidenced by Collazo and Torresola indicated that they had acted on their own when they tried to kill the president.

The attempted coup of October 28 in San Juan was a fiasco, and efforts to assassinate Governor Muñoz Marín failed. Torresola’s sister was wounded, and his brother was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a policeman. In New York, Collazo and Torresola were frustrated and angered by their inability either to assist in the coup or die for the cause. Collazo then decided that the assassination of President Truman might lead to an American revolution that would provide the Nationalists with an opportunity to lead Puerto Rico to independence. The absurdity of such hopes was lost on the two zealots, who not only suffered from vengeful anger and martyr complexes, but remained under the powerful influence of Albizu Campos.

On Tuesday, October 31, Collazo and Torresola bought new suits and handbags, said fond farewells to their families, and purchased one-way train tickets to Washington. On the morning following their arrival in the nation’s capital, they went sightseeing, bought some postcards, and took a taxi to Blair House, President Truman’s temporary residence, where they carefully studied the security arrangements.

If Collazo and Torresola had planned more carefully, they might have succeeded in their mission, as no president in modern times has been more vulnerable to attack than Truman was during his years at Blair House.

In 1948, when inspectors discovered dangerous structural flaws in the White House, the decision was made to move the First Family to the Blair-Lee mansion across Pennsylvania Avenue, until repairs could be completed. This solution had seemed ideal to everyone, except those charged with ensuring Truman’s safety.

Unlike the White House, which stood protected behind iron fences that enclosed an enormous expanse of lawn, Blair House was separated from the sidewalk–where hundreds of people passed every hour–by only a five-foot-wide front yard, a low hedge, and a shoulder-high iron fence. Moreover, the doors to Blair House were not always locked, and the logistics involved in getting President Truman back and forth to the White House were a daily problem. Frequently, the gregarious president, who loved to walk and greet people, had to be escorted on foot. Truman was informal and friendly with his guards, but their resulting affection for him did not make their job any easier.

Blair House actually consisted of two town houses–named for their Civil War-era residents, Montgomery Blair and Admiral Samuel Philips Lee–which had been combined into a single unit. Having been two separate residences, Blair House had two front doors, each at the top of a short flight of steps leading up from the sidewalk. The fence along the sidewalk turned at right angles to form railings for the stairways. The basement floor was at street level, with narrow walkways at each end of the building leading from the sidewalk to service doors that were used by the household staff and the president’s guards. Each basement door was protected by a guard stationed in a white sentry box on the sidewalk.

The canopy-covered front stairs to the east, or Blair House, front door were used by the president and his guests, and a guard was always stationed at the bottom step.* Just inside this door another guard stood with a machine gun within reach. All the guards carried pistols and were expert marksmen. Six of the usual seven-man detail actually stood guard; the seventh handled other duties that arose. Three men guarded the three entrances to the building, another was stationed just inside the front door, and two, including the officer-in-charge, moved around wherever needed. On November 1, 1950, the main front door was open because of the warm weather, but its screen door was locked.

Four of the guards on duty that day were members of the White House Police, recruited from the Washington Metropolitan Police. The remaining three were part of the Secret Service, which shared the task of presidential security within the capital city and assumed the full burden when the president traveled. All the men had performed well in other jobs, had served in the armed forces, and were proud of their assignment. Only two had ever been under direct fire. As a Marine in Nicaragua in 1929, 44-year-old Private Joseph Downs had been commended for ‘exceptional coolness and bravery.’ Secret Service Agent Vincent Mroz, a former Michigan State University football star, had been involved in a shoot-out in Chicago just a few months earlier.

Stationed at the sentry box on the west, or Lee House, side of the residence was forty-year-old Private Leslie Coffelt, a quiet, good-humored man who was liked by everyone. At the other box was Private Joseph Davidson, at 37 the group’s only bachelor. Donald Birdzell, 41 years old, guarded the stairway to the all-important front door to Blair House, while Pennsylvania State Police veteran Stewart Stout stood just inside that door. In charge of the detail was another graduate of the Pennsylvania State Police, 35-year-old Secret Service Agent Floyd M. Boring.

Having planned their simple strategy, Collazo and Torresola ate lunch and returned to their hotel, where Torresola taught his cohort how to handle his gun. After cleaning and oiling their weapons, the men took a taxi cab back to Blair House, carrying 69 rounds of ammunition between them. Appearing unperturbed as he left the hotel, Collazo calmly asked the clerk about the posted check-out time and was assured that leaving an hour or so late was fine.

By this time, President Truman, having been driven home for lunch with Mrs. Truman, was taking a nap. His schedule called for him to leave Blair House at 2:50 p.m. to be driven to Arlington National Cemetery for the unveiling of a statue. Had the assassins looked at a Washington newspaper and learned something of the president’s schedule, they would have known that there would be ample opportunities to strike as the president walked to his car or from among the trees and monuments at Arlington. Fortunately, however, they were ignorant of his timetable; they were not even certain that he was at home.

At approximately 2:20 p.m., a half-hour before the president’s scheduled departure, Collazo and Torresola approached Blair House from opposite directions. Floyd Boring had just stepped outside for a routine check with his detail. He spoke with Private Coffelt, then moved to the other corner of the house, where he reported to headquarters on the phone in Private Davidson’s booth. He was chatting with Davidson when Collazo walked by.

At the front steps, Donald Birdzell, who was facing westward at the time, suddenly heard a sharp click. Collazo had tried to shoot him at point-blank range, but the gun had misfired. Either the first round in the clip was empty, or Collazo’s inexperience had caused him to engage the safety lock at the moment of firing. Birdzell whirled around to see Collazo pounding the gun with his left fist, which caused it to fire, striking Birdzell in the right knee. To draw the fire away from the house, the wounded officer limped out into the street before turning to shoot back at Collazo, who had started up the now unguarded steps.

Davidson halted Collazo by firing at him from the east booth area. Agent Boring also began firing. Collazo sat on the second step and fired a clip of bullets back at the two guards. He managed to reload, despite the bullets ricocheting off the iron picket fence and railing. Collazo’s nose and an ear were grazed by bullets, and another tore through his hat. Meanwhile, Stewart Stout grabbed the machine gun and took up a position inside the house, at the door.

Agent Mroz came out the basement door behind Boring and Davidson, took one shot at Collazo, then raced back into the Lee House basement to meet a new threat at the basement door on the other end of the building, where Torresola had acted with much more effectiveness than his partner. Approaching from the west, Torresola had reached Private Coffelt’s sentry box immediately behind Downs, who had been away from Blair House on personal business and arrived at the basement door just as the gunfire erupted. Because tourists often stopped at the box for information, Coffelt was taken completely by surprise as Torresola fired three times into his chest, abdomen, and legs. Mortally wounded, Coffelt sank back into his chair, but managed to draw his gun while struggling to remain conscious. Downs, standing in the doorway, tried to draw his pistol, but Torresola shot him three times. Then, seeing that Officer Birdzell was shooting at Collazo from the street, the skilled gunman disabled that officer with a bullet through his left knee.

At this crucial point, Torresola might have gone unimpeded through the west door to the basement, but Private Coffelt made a final supreme effort before losing consciousness and killed the assailant instantly with a shot through the head. If Torresola had gone through the door, he would have stood a very good chance of reaching the president, who now was guarded only by Agent Mroz and Officer Stout. Coffelt’s heroic act may have saved the president, because no one within range was safe as long as Torresola was shooting. Boring, meanwhile, had shot Collazo through the chest, and the battle was over. Approximately thirty shots had been fired in less than three minutes.

Leslie Coffelt died in a hospital less than four hours later. Birdzell’s wounds were temporarily disabling, but not life-threatening, while Downs survived wounds that would have killed a weaker man. Collazo was not hurt critically.

When the shooting ended, President Truman rushed to the window but was quickly waved back by Boring, who feared there might be more accomplices in the excited crowd on the street. Ten minutes later, the president left by a back door for his speech in Arlington. ‘A president has to expect such things,’ he calmly informed an aide. Truman later reassured Admiral William Leahy: ‘The only thing you have to worry about is bad luck. I never have bad luck.’

Private Coffelt’s seriously ill wife was scheduled to have a kidney removed only four days after the tragedy. Although she was still in shock from the death of her husband, presidential aides persuaded her to postpone the surgery and go to Puerto Rico. For three days she received expressions of sorrow from various Puerto Rican leaders and crowds, to whom she dutifully responded with a simple speech absolving the island’s people of blame for the acts of two fanatics. Puerto Rican school children contributed almost two hundred dollars, most of it in pennies, to their own special fund for her welfare. Observers believed that her visit helped to ease the tensions created by the earlier attempted coup of the Nationalists.

At his trial in 1951, Oscar Collazo, scorning his attorney’s advice that he plead insanity, delivered an impassioned oration from the witness stand decrying the brutal exploitation of Puerto Rico by the United States. Many of his facts were dated or inaccurate, and neither the American public nor the people of Puerto Rico paid much attention. The United States had already offered full political autonomy to Puerto Rico the year before, and in 1952, the island became a self-governing commonwealth. Truman himself had named the first native Puerto Rican governor of the island and had extended social security to its people. Mrs. Coffelt’s reception in Puerto Rico was a far more accurate indication of the mindset of the island’s people than were the actions of Oscar Collazo.

The jury found Collazo guilty of murder, attempted assassination, and assault with intent to kill. Since his collaboration with Torresola made him a principal in the death of Coffelt, Judge T. Alan Goldsborough sentenced Collazo to death. A higher court upheld the conviction, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The execution was set for August 1, 1952. On July 24, however, President Truman denied Collazo martyrdom by commuting the sentence to life imprisonment. Nearly thirty years later, President Jimmy Carter had the now-elderly Collazo released. Returning to Puerto Rico, Collazo lived quietly until his death in 1994.

Pedro Albizu Campos, the ill-starred near-genius who had inspired Collazo and Torresola and left a long trail of death and destruction in his wake, died peacefully in April 1965. The racial orientation of the U.S. Army in 1918 had cast a long and tragic shadow.

In May 1952, President Truman dedicated a plaque to Leslie Coffelt in front of Blair House. The fortunate president spoke from the heart and with wisdom gained from experience that day when he vowed to cooperate with his guards in every way possible. He did so, he said, not because he was personally afraid, but because he had learned the hard way the extent of his own responsibility for the safety of the men assigned to protect him.

This article was written by Elbert B. Smith and originally appeared in the May/June 1998 issue of American History. For more great articles, subscribe to American History magazine today!

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Book Review: Hell on Wheels ( Donald E. Houston) : WW2Hell on Wheels, by Donald E. Houston, Presidio Press, Novato, Calif., 1995, $15.95. Activated at Fort Benning, Georgia, in July 1940, the 2nd Armored (“Hell on Wheels”) Division fought in Sicily and then across northwestern Europe as one of the U.S. Army’s premier armored divisions in World War II. It distinguished itself by its mobility …
Book Review: Sisterhood of Spies (by Elizabeth P. McIntosh) : WWIIWomen who served the Allied cause as spies in World War II are finally receiving their due. By Michael D. Hull In November 1943 Baltimore-born Virginia Hall had a wooden leg and a price on her head. One of the bravest and ablest Allied secret agents during World War II, she entered German-occupied France twice …
Book Review: Wartime Missions of Harry L. Hopkins (Matthew B. Wills) : WW2The lengthy travels of Harry L. Hopkins, FDR’s trusted lieutenant, did much to foster cooperation among the Allies. By C. Brian Kelly Politically, he was not the most popular of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s lieutenants. But historically, Harry L. Hopkins played a crucial role for the Allies in World War II. Indeed, he was vital …
The Dragon Strikes (by Patrick C. Roe) : MH: Book ReviewSuccess at Inchon marked the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur’s career–and a prelude to its rapid decline. By Michael D. Hull If ever there was a zenith in the life of General Douglas MacArthur, it was September 15, 1950. And if there ever was a prelude to the decline of this brilliant but arrogant and …
Book Review: The Right to Fight (by Gerald Astor) : MHBlack U.S. servicemen had to prove themselves in World War I–and again in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. By Michael D. Hull Then the U.S. 369th Infantry Regiment landed in France early in 1918, no division in the American Expeditionary Force wanted it, because its soldiers were black. Eventually the commanding general of the …
Book Review: Odd Man Out: Truman, Stalin, Mao and the Origins of the Korean War (by Richard C. Thornton) : MHQOdd Man Out: Truman, Stalin, Mao and the Origins of the Korean War, by Richard C. Thornton, Brassey’s, $29.95. Richard C. Thornton, an international affairs author, has written a book that contains a carefully crafted conclusion about how and why the Korean War came about and a set of intriguing speculations on American spycraft during …
Book Review: FIGHTING WITH ALLIES: AMERICA AND BRITAIN IN PEACE AND AT WAR (Sir Robin Renwick) : AHFIGHTING WITH ALLIES: AMERICA AND BRITAIN IN PEACEAND AT WAR , by Sir Robin Renwick (Times Books, 468 pages, $35.00). Renwick, the formerBritish ambassador to the United States, analyzes the so-called “specialrelationship” that exists between the U.S. and Great Britain, explaining how andwhy it evolved by examining the letters, journals, and speeches of such notableleaders …
Book Review: GENERAL OF THE ARMY: GEORGE C. MARSHALL, SOLDIER AND STATESMAN (by Ed Cray) : AHIGENERAL OF THE ARMY: GEORGE C. MARSHALL, SOLDIER AND STATESMAN, by Ed Cray, Cooper Square Press, 862 pages, $29.95. General of the Army George C. Marshall is best remembered as the architect of the post-World War II Marshall Plan (European Recovery Act) that provided economic assistance to a devastated Europe. For this achievement, in 1953 …
Lord Root of the Matter: March ’00 American History FeatureLord Root of the Matter Lacking an official title for most of his years in Washington, Harry Hopkins came to be known as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s "Deputy President." by Bill McIlvaine JOKING TO THE PRESS that "we are going to Christmas Island to buy Christmas cards, and to Easter Island to buy Easter eggs," …
American History: August ’00 LettersSHAPING THE FUTURE It would take a railroad buff, a steel industry buff, and a history buff (and I’m all three) to fully appreciate the photograph shown in the “American Album” for March/April 2000. The tables were arranged in a special shape–to form a cross-section of a railroad rail, one of the main products of …
The Last Battleship: February ’99 American History FeatureWorld War II ended on the deck of the USS Missouri. Five years later the Korean War broke out--and the "Mighty Mo" was the only U.S. battleship ready to fight.

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Shoot-Out on Pennsylvania: May/June ’98 American History FeatureShoot-Out on Pennsylvania Thanks to the actions of themen assigned to protect him, President Harry S. Truman survived a harrowing attempt on his life by two Puerto Rican nationalists. By Elbert B. Smith At 7:30 p.m. on October 31, 1950, two dapper gentlemen arrived at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and walked to the nearby …
Midway – May ’98 World War II FeatureMidway Admiral Raymond A. Spruance displayed outstanding leadership and command capabilities during the battle that turned the tide in the Pacific. By Michael D. Hull Admiral Chester W. Nimitz called him “a fine man, a sterling character, and a great leader,” and said, “nothing you can say about him would be praise enough.” Admiral William …
Aviation History: September ’97 From The EditorBilly Mitchell fought for his beliefs--but he did not live to see his unorthodox concepts bear fruit in WWII.
Billy Mitchell Air Power VisionaryAs Brig. Gen. William Mitchell faced court-martial charges in 1925,the Kansas City Star described him as 'a zealot, a fanatic, a one-idea man...' but added that someday his dream might come true.
DEVOTION TO THE CHIEF: June ’97 American History FeatureDEVOTION TO THE CHIEF President Harry S. Truman relied heavily on Dean Acheson for his most significant foreign policy achievements. by Robert L. Beisner When he assumed the office of president of the United States in April 1945, Harry S. Truman possessed limited knowledge of international affairs. During his almost eight years in office, therefore, …
American History: February 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAs you read the print issue, you will notice a new logo appearing at the end of “Code Talkers” by William R. Wilson. In the future, this symbol will be used in each issue to signify that an article complementing the one to which the logo is affixed can be found on the …
American History: August 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAt the end of a 1980 interview with William R. Wilson, which begins on page 48 of this issue, the late General James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle declared: “I’d never want to relive my life. I couldn’t possibly be that lucky a second time.” Doolittle and collaborator Carroll V. Glines used a variation of …
Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team – July ’96 World War II FeatureThe Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team fought bravely in eight major campaigns. By Michael D. Hull Army Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii dreamed of becoming a doctor after World War II, but his hopes were shattered on an embattled ridge overlooking the Italian town of San Terenzo in April 1945. Inouye was leading a …

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