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1884 - 1945 | 1948 - 1982


Harry Truman as a babyMay 8: Harry S. Truman is born in Lamar, Missouri.


The Trumans move to 619 Crysler Street in Independence, Missouri. Young Harry meets Bess Wallace for the first time in First Presbyterian Church's Sunday School.


President William McKinley is assassinated. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency.


Truman takes a job as a clerk for the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City, Missouri.


Truman works as a bookkeeper for the Union National Bank in Kansas City, Missouri.


Harry Truman in National Guard uniformTruman serves in Battery B of the Missouri National Guard. He enters as a private, but is soon promoted to corporal.


To help out his parents and his brother, Vivian, Truman moves to the 600-acre family farm near Grandview, Missouri and helps them manage and operate it.


Truman begins courting Bess Wallace.


Woodrow Wilson is elected President.


John Truman seated - on wedding dayNovember 2: Truman's father dies.


May 7: The British steamship Lusitania is sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland. The event will lead the United States to declare war on Germany.


Truman helps organize an oil-drilling company, later named the Morgan Oil and Refining Company, and invests $10,000 in it, managing perhaps to break even before the company is dissolved in 1919.

August: Truman is sworn into regular army service as a member of 129th Field Artillery regiment.


April 4: The U.S. enters World War I as President Wilson declares war on Germany.


April 13: Truman arrives in Brest, France, on board U.S.S. George Washington.

Harry Truman's WWI identity card  for US Expeditionary Forces -  no glassesMay: Truman is promoted to captain, although he will not receive official notification until October.

group photo of Battalion D - hard hatsJuly 11: Truman is assigned command of Battery D, 129th Field Artillery regiment, 35th Division. The battery is composed of 188 men, 167 horses, and a complement of French-designed 75mm guns.

September 6: Truman engages in his first combat operation in the Vosges Mountains.

4 people holding flags from France, US - celebrate victoryNovember 11: World War I ends.


January 16: The 18th Amendment is ratified, forbidding the manufacture, sale, import or export of liquor in the United States, and beginning the period known as Prohibition.

May 6: Truman is discharged from the army.

Wedding photo of Harry Truman & Bess Wallace TrumanJune 28: Harry Truman and Elizabeth (Bess) Virginia Wallace are wed at the bride's church, Trinity Episcopal, in Independence, Missouri, and move to 219 N. Delaware Street in Independence, the residence of Truman's mother-in-law, Madge Gates Wallace.

November: Truman opens a men's haberdashery store, in partnership with Edward Jacobson, at 104 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.


Truman is appointed major in Field Artillery, Officers Reserve Corps.

Women win the battle for suffrage with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.


Closing Out Sale sign for Truman & Jacobson haberdashery storeThe haberdashery business fails as a result of a business recession, but Truman refuses to file a petition of bankruptcy. He pays off his share of the firm's debts during the ensuing fifteen years.

With the endorsement of county Democratic party leader T. J. Pendergast, Truman wins election as an eastern judge on the Jackson County Court, an executive body that administers affairs of the county.


Truman attends the Kansas City School of Law.


Defeated for reelection by Henry Rummel, Truman faces the only electoral loss he will ever experience.


Truman is elected presiding judge of the Jackson County Court.


January: Truman is sworn in as presiding judge of the Jackson County Court. He will serve two four-year terms, through 1934.


November 8: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president.


Chancellor Adolf Hitler in processionJanuary 30: Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany.


May: Truman files as a Democratic candidate for the U. S. Senate.

November 6: Truman defeats incumbent Republican Roscoe C. Patterson by 262,000 votes.


WS Harry Truman standing with papers behind desk in Senate office at nightJanuary 3: Along with twelve other new Democratic senators, Truman is sworn in as U.S. Senator.


September 1: Germany invades Poland.


1940 Senate campaign,Exterior of June 15: Truman launches his reelection campaign in Sedalia, Missouri.

Summer: The mortgage on the Truman farm near Grandview is foreclosed; Truman's mother, Martha Ellen Truman, and sister Mary Jane move to town. (The family farm will be purchased by Truman friends and sold back to the Truman family several years later.)

Harry Truman at podium - pictures of FDR & Harry Truman in BGAugust 6: Truman wins the Democratic senatorial primary election, garnering 268,557 votes.

Harry Truman, daughter Margaret , and Bess in front of FDR poster,  At right, poster says September 18: The Transportation Act of 1940, also known as the Wheeler-Truman Act, is signed by President Roosevelt.


December 7: The Japanese attack the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The nation enters into World War II.


January 29: Truman speaks at the ceremony launching the battleship U.S.S. Missouri. His daughter Margaret christens the ship with a bottle of champagne.

May: Truman is selected as one of the ten most useful officials in Washington, D.C. in a poll of fifty-two correspondents conducted by Look magazine.

June 6: The Allies invade Normandy, France.

1944 Vice Presidential campaign,Harry Truman with arm raised by another man, at Democratic ConventionJuly 21: Truman is nominated for the office of vice-president at the Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois.

August 31: Truman launches his vice-presidential campaign at his birthplace, Lamar, Missouri.

October 12: Truman begins an official campaign tour by railroad with a speech in New Orleans. He uses the railroad car "Henry Stanley."

November 7: Truman is elected vice president of the United States.


Harry Truman announces Japanese surrender to reporters in White House Oval Office.April 12: Harry Truman is sworn in as thirty-third president of the United States upon the death of President Roosevelt.

May 7: Germany surrenders to the Allies.

May 8: Truman announces the end of the war in Europe via radio (V-E Day).

July 17-August 2: Truman attends a conference at Potsdam, Germany to discuss the post-war treatment of Germany with Premier Joseph Stalin of Russia and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain. Churchill is replaced by Prime Minister Clement Attlee on 29 July.

Enormous mushroom cloud - from Nagasaki Atomic Bomb dropAugust 6: Truman announces the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan by a U.S. Army Air Force B-29 bomber named Enola Gay.

August 14: Truman announces the end of war with Japan at a press conference. (V-J Day).

September 6: Truman presents his twenty-one-point legislative program to Congress for the reconversion period as a continuation and expansion of Roosevelt's New Deal, contrary to popular expectations that the policies of the new president would be more conservative than that of his predecessor.

July15: Truman signs a bill authorizing a loan of $3.75 billion to Great Britain.

March 12: Truman requests an appropriation of $400 million before a joint session of Congress to fight the spread of communism in Greece and Turkey (Truman Doctrine). The doctrine receives the backing of most of the Republican members of Congress in accordance with the bipartisan foreign policy that is in effect during most of the Truman administration.

May 22: Truman approves a bill providing $400 million in assistance to Greece and Turkey.

June 14: Truman signs a peace treaty ratification with Italy, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

July 28: Truman attends funeral of his mother in Grandview, Missouri.

1884 - 1945 | 1948 - 1982

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