Marshall becomes Secretary of State Gen. George C. Marshall (left) re-enacts oath-taking ceremony in which he became Secretary of State in the office of President Truman in Washington, D.C., Jan 21.
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) served as the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53). He served as Vice President before he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945 upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on his family's 600-acre farm. In the last months of World War I, he served in combat in France as an artillery officer. After the war, he joined the Democratic Party and was elected to public office as a county official in 1922, and as a U.S. Senator in 1934. He became well known as chairman of the Truman Committee, formed in March 1941, which exposed waste, fraud, and corruption in Federal Government wartime contracts. During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry Truman rarely saw President Franklin Roosevelt and received little or no briefing on foreign policy and the development of the atomic bomb. He became a president during the final months of World War II, making the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truman was elected a president on his own in 1948. During Truman's presidency, the United States engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism. Truman helped found the United Nations in 1945, issued the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to contain Communism, and got the $13 billion Marshall Plan enacted to rebuild Western Europe. The Soviet Union, a wartime ally, became an enemy in the Cold War. Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift of 1948, creation of NATO in 1949, a Korean War beginning in 1950. His administration guided the American economy through the post-war economic recession with a success. "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."