Harry S Truman was short and resembled an owl with his thick round glasses. He spoke in the Midwesterner's flat, nasal tone. But he was definitely real, and established a reputation for speaking the truth. Born in Lamar, MO, on May 8, 1884, Truman was the oldest of three children of John Anderson and Martha Ellen (Young) Truman. His birthplace was just south of the area where his grandparents had moved from Kentucky four decades earlier. The letter "S" in his name was not an abbreviation. It because of the family's lack of the ability to decide which of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young, names to use. In 1890 the Truman's moved to Independence, MO. where Harry's thick glasses kept him from enjoying many of the things a little boy was supposed to do. His mother encouraged him to turn to piano and books. At the piano, he developed a talent that would help him relieve stress in later years. Truman did not attend college because his family could not afford it and his bad eyesight kept him from entering the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. Many years of work for a railroad and two banks added more to Truman's experiences. Then, at the age of 22, he goes back to the work that he was raised in. He spent the next 11 years as a farmer, helping his father manage. Working on a good farm in the "golden age" of American agriculture, he experienced a personality change, becoming less quiet, more social, and much more confident in his relations with other people than before. World War I provided new opportunities. Appointed by the National Guard, Captain Truman served in France in command of Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery, 35th Division, American Expeditionary Force, fighting in major battles late in the war. He discovered that he had talents as a leader, and after the war, he joined veterans organizations and the Army Reserve, rising to the rank of colonel. After coming home in 1919, Truman married Elizabeth (Bess) Wallace, his childhood...
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