Truman, Harry Shipp, born 08-05-1884 in Lamar, Missouri, the oldest child of John Anderson Truman (1851–1914) and Martha Ellen Young Truman (1852–1947). His parents chose the name Harry after his mother’s brother, Harrison Young (1846–1916), Harry’s uncle. His parents chose “S” as his “middle name” in an attempt to please both of Harry’s grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. The initial did not actually stand for anything, a common practice among the Scots-Irish. Truman enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1905, and served until 1911. At his physical in 1905, his eyesight had been an unacceptable 20/50 in the right eye and 20/40 in the left. Reportedly, he passed by secretly memorizing the eye chart. With the onset of American participation in World War I, Truman rejoined the Guard. Before going to France, he was sent to Camp Doniphan, near Lawton, Oklahoma for training. Truman became an officer, and then battery commander in an artillery regiment in France.
unit was Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division, known for its discipline problems. During a sudden attack by the Germans in the Vosges Mountains, the battery started to disperse; Truman ordered them back into position using profanities that he had “learned while working on the Santa Fe railroad.” Shocked by the outburst, his men reassembled and followed him to safety. Under Captain Truman’s command in France, the battery did not lose a single man. His battery also provided support for George Smith Patton’s
tank brigade during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. On 11-11-1918 his artillery unit fired some of the last shots of World War I into German positions after the armistice was signed at 5 am but before the ceasefire took effect at 11 am. In a letter he wrote, “It is a shame we can’t go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids’ hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men”. The war was a transformative experience that brought out Truman’s leadership qualities; he later rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserves and his war record made possible his later political career in Missouri. At the war’s conclusion, Truman was mustered out as a captain; he returned to Independence, and married Bess Wallace on 28-06-1919. The couple had one child, Mary Margaret , 17-02-1924 – 29-01-2008. In September 1940, during the general election campaign, Truman was elected Grand Master of the Missouri Grand Lodge of Freemasonry. Truman said later that the Masonic election assured his victory in the general election. On 23-06-1941, the day after Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Senator Truman declared: “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word.” Although the sentiment was in line with what many Americans felt at the time, it was regarded by later biographers as both inappropriate and cynical. Truman was selected as Franklin Roosevelt vice presidential candidate in 1944. Truman visits his mother in Grandview, Missouri, after being nominated the Democratic candidate for vice president, July 1944 When president Roosevelt had died after suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage on 12-04-1945, age 63. Truman take over and in August he decided to drop the atomic bombs on Japan ending the war on 02-09-1945 as the Japanese signed their surrender on the Cruiser Missouri.
Death and burial ground of Truman, Harry Shipp.
Truman, on 05-12-1972, was admitted to Kansas City’s Research Hospital and Medical Center with lung congestion from pneumonia. He developed multiple organ failure died at the age of 88, of heart failure, on 26-12-1972 in Kansas City, Missouiri and is buried on the Harry Shipp Truman Library, Independence, Missouri.
His wife Bess Truman opted for a simple private service at the library for her husband rather than a state funeral in Washington. A week after the funeral, foreign dignitaries and Washington officials attended a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral. Bess died in 1982.
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