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Truman, Harry S.

b. 1884 - d. 1972

Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. president (1945-1953), took office when President Franklin Roosevelt died. After serving in France in World War I, Truman was a judge in the Jackson County (Missouri) Court. Elected to the U.S. Senate, he supported Roosevelt’s New Deal, labor unions and farmers. Known to make racist remarks, he opposed legalized racial discrimination. As president, he desegregated the military, established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights and set up a fair employment board for the federal government. Truman was the first president to address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He made the decision to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war but launching the nuclear arms race. Dr. King opposed the testing of nuclear weapons and believed that the destructive power of modern weapons had eliminated any possibility that war could ever again serve a negative good by stopping an evil force. King praised Truman’s civil rights record but was angered when Truman stated in 1960 that Communists were behind the lunch counter sit-ins in the South.

Associated Archive Content : 11 results

"Negro Rights: Key Dates"

This image depicts the chronological history of laws passed as it pertains to the life and wellbeing of Negros. The first date of reference is January 1st, 1863, the day when slavery was abolished.

ABC's Issues and Answers: MLK Interview

Dr. King sat down with Tom Jerriel, Atlanta Bureau Chief, and John Casserly, Washington Correspondent, of the American Broadcasting Company for their program "Issues and Answers." They discussed the civil rights movement, Dr. King's upcoming book, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Dr. King would serve jail time in Birmingham.

Draft of Address at the Fourth Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO

In this address to the AFL-CIO, Dr. King compares the labor and civil rights movements. He argues that those who are anti-labor are also likely anti-civil rights. Thus, the Negro understands the labor movement and shares the same enemies. Dr. King also predicts that the coming years will be trying ones for laborers due to the automation of work processes, stating that "automation will grind jobs into dust." Dr. King urges the labor movement to strengthen itself by embracing the Negro people.

Letter from Fred Gardner to MLK

Mr. Gardner believes that Dr. King is responsible for the acts of violence displayed by the Negros in Chicago. He states that as a man of the cloth, Dr. King should be more concerned with convincing Negros to "go back to where they came from."

Letter from Jack Egle to Reverend Martin Sargent

The European Director of the Council of Student Travel, Jack Egle, writes Martin Sargent addressing a statement made in the Herald Tribune regarding Dr. King's and Harry Belanfonte's opinions on the Vietnam War.

Letter from Robert Carr to MLK

This note from Robert Carr is attached to a copy of the "Report of President Truman's Committee on Civil Rights," sent to Dr. King as a gift.

MLK Address at the AFL-CIO Fourth Constitutional Convention

Dr. King delivers a speech at the Fourth Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO to address the lack of equality and rights for laborers and people of color. Dr. King encourages those at the convention to remain steadfast in the fight for social justice in order to overcome the mountain of oppression.

MLK Address to Chicago's Peace Parade and Rally

Dr. King discusses the nation's present-day involvement with Vietnam. The civil rights leader claims that as a nation founded on democratic and revolutionary ideas, the United States has a moral obligation to intervene on behalf of those suffering and dying throughout the world.

MLK Speech at 4th Constitutional Convention - AFL-CIO

This is an annotated copy of an address given by Dr. King at an AFL-CIO convention. Dr. King thoroughly discusses the working conditions of Negroes, and states the Negro unemployment rate is similar to "malignant cancer." He concludes that the two most dynamic forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro Freedom Movement.

Notecard Written by MLK Regarding Roosevelt Day Address on "Peace"

Here in this notecard, Dr. King provides a quote from the Roosevelt Day address concerning peace, on January 25, 1952.

The Nation: The President has the Power - Equality Now

Dr. King expresses his political and social sentiments concerning the Civil Rights Movement. He feels that the federal government, more specifically the President, has not taken the necessary measures to promote change in a timely manner. Dr. King suggests three main ways the President can make a greater impact. First, he advises that the President be more aggressive in the legislative arena. Secondly, he recommends that the President use "moral persuasion" as a tool to eliminate racial discrimination. Lastly, Dr.