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Today in history: May 8
On May 8, 1884 Harry Truman was born
Truman laughing on board the Williamsburg in 1950, bound for Florida on vacation.
Truman laughing on board the Williamsburg in 1950, bound for Florida on vacation. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

May 8

On this day. 1884: Harry Truman was born. He was the 33rd president, serving between 1945-53. Truman became President when Franklin D. Roosevelt died. He retired with low approval ratings, but today is regarded as one of the greatest presidents. He ordered the atomic bombing of Japan, oversaw the Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, Korean War, and the creation of NATO.

Each morning, Truman went on a brisk walk around Washington — unthinkable today — and played poker with White House reporters. He once threatened to punch a Washington Post reporter in the nose for writing a bad review about his daughter's singing. He was the last president without a college degree.

On this day. 1945: Quite a 61st birthday for President Truman. In a national radio broadcast, he announced the surrender of Nazi Germany — victory in Europe (V-E) Day.

On this day. 1972: President Nixon said the U.S. would mine North Vietnamese ports to stem the flow of weapons to that communist nation.

Quote of the day

"Intense feeling too often obscures the truth." -Harry Truman


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