Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
The 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, will forever be remembered for the way he guided the country through perilous times. After World War II, during Truman’s administration (which lasted from 1945 to 1953), several important things were accomplished.
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was Truman’s crowning achievement, as it led to Japan’s unconditional surrender and the eventual conclusion of World War II. Although unpopular, this choice was made in an effort to hasten the end of hostilities and reduce the number of casualties.
Truman also had a significant impact in the formation of the United Nations, an organization with the stated goals of fostering global unity and averting potential wars through peaceful means.
To resist the rise of communism, he also directed the Marshall Plan, a large economic aid package that helped rebuild war-torn Europe and fortify democratic institutions.
The desegregation of the armed forces and the creation of a committee to combat racial discrimination are two examples of Truman’s dedication to civil rights during his administration. He also backed the establishment of NATO as a means of providing for international defense against actual or perceived threats.
Truman’s presidency was significant because it set the stage for the Cold War policies that impacted the decades that followed. His presidency occurred during a time of great global change, and his leadership helped him make decisions that would have lasting effects.