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Harry S. Truman:  33rd President (1945 – 1953)

2015 Presidential $1 Coin: Harry S. Truman
Obverse
2015 Harry S. Truman
Presidential $1 Uncirculated Coin

Presidential $1 Uncirculated Coin Reverse
Reverse
Presidential $1 Uncirculated Coin




Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884.  After serving in the Missouri National Guard and the U.S. Army, he was elected county court judge before serving two terms in the U.S. Senate.

Truman was elected vice president in November 1944.  In less than three months of his term, he was thrust into the presidency following the sudden death of his predecessor in April 1945.  He told reporters, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” 

Indeed, Truman faced critical foreign and domestic challenges during his two-term presidency, including guiding the nation through the final stages of the war against Japan and avoiding a recession during the transition from war to peace; preventing the spread of communism; and addressing civil rights issues. Highlights of his presidency include the: 

  • Truman Doctrine, affirming the United States' willingness to provide military aid to countries resisting communism.
  • Marshall Plan, a strategy for reviving the economies of the European nations
  • Negotiation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military alliance to protect Western nations.
  • Fair Deal, a program outlining his agenda for domestic economic growth and social reform.
  • Use of executive orders to end racial segregation in the armed forces and civil service.
  • Appointment of eighteen women to high ranking posts, including Georgia Neese Clark, the first U.S. Treasurer.

Coinage legislation enacted during presidency:

  • Private Law 438, 79th Congress, 60 Stat. 1134-1135), approved March 22, 1946: Authorized a Congressional Gold Medal to General of the Army George Catlett Marshall and Fleet Admiral Ernest Joseph King.
  • Private Law 831, 79th Congress, 60 Stat. 1297-1298, approved August 7, 1946: Congressional Gold Medal to General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing.
  • Private Law 884, 79th Congress, 60 Stat. 1319, approved August 8, 1946: Congressional Gold Medal to Brigadier General William Mitchell.
  • Act of August 12, 1949: Authorized a Congressional Gold Medal to Vice President Alben W. Barkley.
  • Act of August 7, 1946: Authorized the coinage of 50-cent pieces to commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington.
  • Act of August 7, 1946: Authorized the coinage of 50-cent pieces to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the admission of Iowa into the Union as a State.
  • Act of June 5, 1947: Amended section 3539 of the Revised Statutes, relating to taking trial pieces of coins. The change authorized selecting 10, instead of two, coins for the Annual Assay.
  • Act of June 14, 1947: Amended sections 3533 and 3536 of the Revised Statutes with respect to deviations in standard of ingots and weight of silver coins. Deviations from the weights of each of America's four silver coins were to be six grains for the dollar, four grains for the half-dollar, three grains for the quarter, and one and one-half grains for the dime.
  • Act of May 10, 1950: Amended section 3526 of the Revised Statutes relating to coinage of subsidiary silver coins. The gain arising from the coinage of silver from bullion was to be credited to a newly established silver-profit fund, among whose several uses was to cover the cost of distributing silver coins. (One of the last laws on circulating silver coins.)
  • Act of September 21, 1951: Authorized the coinage of 50-cent pieces to commemorate the lives and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, two great Americans. Amended the Act of August 7, 1946.

United States Mint Directors Appointed:

  • Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming (fourth term), May 1933 – April 1953
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