Our Presidential Throwback Thursday features a very small Harry S. Truman!
Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Missouri. Truman’s early life was plagued with accidents, poor eyesight, and a nearly paralyzing disease. However, Truman grew up surrounded by loving, strong-willed, and doting parents, grandparents, and other relatives, including his grandfather, Solomon Young.
Truman had one younger brother, Vivian. Vivian had long curls that his mother refused to cut. The long curls bothered his grandfather Solomon so much that one day he had Harry help him haul Vivian—highchair and all—out onto the south porch where he quickly gave Vivian a short haircut.
A few days later, Harry decided to experiment with his own hair and comb it a different way. He pulled a big chair up close to a mirror in order to see the back of his head. He kept leaning in the chair until he fell over backwards, breaking his collarbone—his first, but not his last, broken bone.
Learn more about Truman’s childhood from the Truman Library.
Sometimes an “S” is just an “S”
When Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, his parents decided to name him Harry, after his mother’s brother Harrison Young. But what about a middle name? Should it be Shipp, in honor of his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman? Or should it be Solomon, in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young?
In the end, they entered his middle name as simply S, which led to a never-ending controversy about Harry S. Truman’s middle name. Read more.
Here’s President Truman behind his Oval Office desk sign - “The Buck Stops Here.”
Harry S. Truman was born on this day. On what would have been the President’s 128th birthday, take a look at his life in pictures.
The controversial trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg concluded on March 29, 1951 with their conviction of espionage for passing atomic bomb secrets to Soviet agents. Both were ultimately executed on June 18, 1953.
Among the exhibits introduced at their trial was a Jell-O box, specially cut into matching pieces to be used by the spies to confirm their identities. It was not the original box, but “trial transcript shows that the prosecution introduced this facsimile Jell-O box to represent the recognition signal.”
This photo from the Truman Library is of a Christmas party at the Department of the Interior. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Straus hand out glasses of punch to staff. December 23, 1947.
from the Truman Library
Do you partake of punch at holiday office parties?
This Thanksgiving, two turkeys from Minnesota will travel to the White House to be pardoned by President Obama. The annual tradition began in 1947 when the Poultry and Egg National Board presented a live turkey to President Truman for the holiday. Earlier presentation birds did not fare as well as their modern day counterparts and were handed over for, ahem,dining, rather than pardoning.
This photo shows the Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation to President Nixon on November 18, 1969. As you might imagine, we’ve got a number of POTUS photos from previous turkey days in our holdings. More to come next week.
What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?
Nary a costume here - Before she became Queen of England, Princess Elizabeth made one of her first visits to a foreign county by visiting the United States on October 31, 1951. She and her husband, Prince Philip, stayed with the Trumans through November 3.
President Truman’s daughter, Margaret, had visited England earlier in the year. Both fathers, King George VI and President Truman, exchanged letters, thanking the other for taking care of their daughter during their respective visits.
L-R: Prince Phillip, Margaret Truman, Bess Truman, Princess Elizabeth, and President Truman. ID #20003-165
Dog with a baseball on top of its head. Circa 1930.
A find from the Truman Library archives. The notes indicate that the dog was possibly an Army Mascot. Other photos in the same set show soldiers whose uniforms indicate the photo was taken around 1920 to 1930.