14 January 2009

The buck stops here



Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States. Five months into his presidency, Truman ordered the atomic bombing of Japan bringing an end to World War II. He supported the founding of the United Nations, orchestrated the rebuilding of Europe with the Marshall Plan, signed the National Security Act of 1947 which created the CIA and National Security Council and created the Truman Doctrine to support countries who resisted the spread of Communism. His folksy style included the use of such phrases as 'the buck stops here" and "if you can't stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen".

Truman planned on adding a second story balcony to the White House to be able to get fresh air. The idea was controversial to purists who did not want the historical building changed and the idea became a slogan for the Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey, in the 1948 election. Dewey stated that he looked forward to living in the new "porch" that Truman built. Truman delayed construction until after the election, an election he barely won. As it turned out, the White House needed extensive renovations to its foundation which required rebuilding the whole interior of the main part so the Truman family had to move into the Blair House and lived there for over two years.

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