Harry S. Truman's Popularity and Place in History.
Throughout Harry S. Truman's weeks as Vice President, he barely saw President Roosevelt, and was not informed of the development of the atomic bomb or the significant difficulties with Soviet Russia. On April 12, 1945 because of the death of FDR, these and a swarm of other wartime problems became Truman's to solve when he suddenly became President. He told reporters, "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me." and later called his first year as President a "year of decisions." As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history. He ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work - Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese surrender quickly followed. In June 1945 Truman witnessed the signing of the charter of the United Nations.
In his domestic policies, Truman sought to accomplish the difficult transition from a war to a peace economy without plunging the nation into recession, and he hoped to extend New Deal social programs by presenting a 21-point program, known as the Fair Deal, proposing the expansion of Social Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Act, and public housing and slum clearance.
He was successful in achieving a healthy peacetime economy, but only a few of his social program proposals became law. Truman's presidency was marked throughout by important foreign policy initiatives as well. In 1947 as the Soviet Union pressured Turkey and, through guerrillas, threatened to take over Greece, he asked Congress to aid the two countries, enunciating the program that bears his name-the Truman Doctrine. The Marshall Plan, stimulated spectacular economic recovery in war-torn Western Europe.
In 1948, Truman won reelection. His defeat had been widely expected and often predicted, but Truman's energy...