Harry S Truman Quotes

Home / President / Harry S Truman Quotes
Harry S. Truman
33rd President of the United States
In office
April 12, 1945 â€“ January 20, 1953
Vice President None (1945–49)[a]
Alben W. Barkley (1949–53)
Preceded by Franklin D. Roosevelt
Succeeded by Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1945 â€“ April 12, 1945
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Henry A. Wallace
Succeeded by Alben W. Barkley
United States Senator
from Missouri
In office
January 3, 1935 â€“ January 17, 1945
Preceded by Roscoe C. Patterson
Succeeded by Frank P. Briggs
Presiding Judge of Jackson County, Missouri
In office
January 1, 1927 â€“ January 3, 1935
Preceded by Elihu W. Hayes
Succeeded by Eugene I. Purcell
Judge of Jackson County, Missouri’s Eastern District
In office
January 1, 1923 â€“ January 1, 1925
Preceded by James E. Gilday
Succeeded by Henry Rummel
Personal details
Born (1884-05-08)May 8, 1884
Lamar, Missouri, U.S.
Died December 26, 1972(1972-12-26) (aged 88)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Resting place Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Independence, Missouri
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bess Wallace (m. 1919)
Children Margaret Truman
Education Independence High School
Kansas City Law School (withdrew)
Profession

Haberdasher
Farmer

Religion Baptist[1]
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army

Missouri National Guard
United States Army Reserve

Years of service

1905–11 (Missouri National Guard)
1917–19 (United States Army)
1920–53 (Reserve)

Rank

Major (Army)
Colonel (Reserve)

Commands

Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division
1st Battalion, 379th Field Artillery Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division
379th Field Artillery Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division

Battles/wars World War I

Western Front

Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination.
Harry S Truman
Washington is a very easy city for you to forget where you came from and why you got there in the first place.
Harry S Truman
You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.
Harry S Truman
The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.
Harry S Truman
Well, I wouldn't say that I was in the great class, but I had a great time while I was trying to be great.
Harry S Truman
Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything.
Harry S Truman
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
Harry S Truman
Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.
Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in.
Harry S Truman
A President cannot always be popular.
The buck stops here!
A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.
I have no desire to crow over anybody or to see anybody eating crow, figuratively or otherwise. We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he pleases.
Harry S Truman
If I'd known how much packing I'd have to do, I'd have run again.
Harry S Truman
If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Actions are the seed of fate deeds grow into destiny.
You and I are stuck with the necessity of taking the worst of two evils or none at all. So-I'm taking the immature Democrat as the best of the two. Nixon is impossible.
Harry S Truman
Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
Harry S Truman
Actions are the seed of fate deeds grow into destiny.
Any man who has had the job I've had and didn't have a sense of humor wouldn't still be here.
Harry S Truman
I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S Truman
Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn't for you. It's for the Presidency.
Harry S Truman
Most of the problems a President has to face have their roots in the past.
The White House is the finest prison in the world.
The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S Truman
You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don't believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can't possibly foresee now.
Harry S Truman
A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years.
Harry S Truman
Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend.
A President needs political understanding to run the government, but he may be elected without it.
Harry S Truman
There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.
Upon books the collective education of the race depends; they are the sole instruments of registering, perpetuating and transmitting thought.
Harry S Truman
When even one American – who has done nothing wrong – is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth – then all Americans are in peril.
Harry S Truman
If I hadn't been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house.
Harry S Truman
I would rather have peace in the world than be President.
Nixon is one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides.
Harry S Truman
Study men, not historians.
You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members.
Harry S Truman
All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
Harry S Truman
The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.
Harry S Truman
You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgements about what is going on.
Harry S Truman
It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.
Harry S Truman
In my opinion eight years as president is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity.
Harry S Truman
It's plain hokum. If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em. It's an old political trick. But this time it won't work.
Harry S Truman
A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment.
Harry S Truman
Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice.
Harry S Truman
When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.
Being too good is apt to be uninteresting.
I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.
Harry S Truman
The human animal cannot be trusted for anything good except en masse. The combined thought and action of the whole people of any race, creed or nationality, will always point in the right direction.
Harry S Truman
It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
Harry S Truman
This administration is going to be cussed and discussed for years to come.
The atom bomb was no 'great decision.' It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.
Harry S Truman
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S Truman
Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
Harry S Truman
I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
Harry S Truman
In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.
Harry S Truman
The reward of suffering is experience.
A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.
Harry S Truman
All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it.
Harry S Truman
I remember when I first came to Washington. For the first six months you wonder how the hell you ever got here. For the next six months you wonder how the hell the rest of them ever got here.
Harry S Truman
I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
Harry S Truman
I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it – not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.
Harry S Truman
My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States.
Harry S Truman
I've said many a time that I think the Un-American Activities Committee in the House of Representatives was the most un-American thing in America!
Harry S Truman
America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
Harry S Truman
We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear as potential causes of war until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries.
Harry S Truman
It sure is hell to be president.
The President is always abused. If he isn't, he isn't doing anything.
Harry S Truman