Harry S. Truman Timeline
Timeline Description: Harry S. Truman was America's thirty-third president. He was the vice president under President Roosevelt during WWII, and he took office when Roosevelt died. He went on to win a full term.

Date Event
1884 Harry Truman is born

Harry was born in Missouri. His middle initial was "S", but it didn't stand for any name; it was simply "S".
1917 The Army

Harry never graduated from college, and when America entered World War I, he enlisted. He served in Oklahoma for a year.
1918 France

Truman was sent overseas to fight in France. He was a battery commander, and he never lost a single man from his unit.
1919 Marriage

Truman returned home after the war. He married a local woman named Bess Wallace.
1922 Public office

After the war and his marriage, Truman entered his first public office. He was elected a judge in the county court.
1934 US Senate

Truman worked as a judge for several years, and in 1934 he was nominated to run for the US Senate. He won easily, but accomplished little during his first term.
1940 The Truman Committee

While serving his second term in the Senate, Truman saw many questionable practices in government, such as overspending and greed. He began a campaign to stop it, and it became known as the Truman Committee.
1944 Running for vice president

After gaining popularity for the Truman Committee, Truman was encouraged to run as President Roosevelt's vice president in the 1944 election. They won the election, but Truman would only serve 82 days as vice president.
April 1945 President!

President Roosevelt's health had been going down for several months. In April 1945, he died, and Truman stepped in as president.
May 1945 End of the war

Victory was declared for the war in Europe. But the war with Japan still raged, and Truman had to decide how to stop it.
August 1945 The Atomic Bomb

Because the war with Japan was still raging, Truman authorized the use of a new weapon—the atomic bomb. The bombs were dropped in early August, and Japan surrendered shortly after.
1947 Cold War

After the war ended, Truman supported the making of the United Nations. However, this put his further at odds with Russia, and the Cold War began.
1948 Re-Election

Truman ran for his first official election after taking the White House upon Roosevelt's death. He was not favored to win, but he surprised everyone with a victory.
1950 The Korean War

The Korean War began when North Korean troops attacked South Korea. President Truman was criticized because he sent American troops to fight North Korea, and he didn't get approval first.
1972 Truman's death

Truman lived out his retirement in Missouri. In late 1972, he developed pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital, where he eventually passed away.






Educational Videos