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Harry Truman, after his presidency

[COMMENT:   I did not pay much attention to Harry or any other president (except Roosevelt because he was leading us through the War).  But this is an interesting take on America then and now.   If you think there was no significant difference, think again.  It was not all good, then, and we were already sliding downhill.  But you could walk the streets at night in most places, including NYC, which I often did in seminary (1957-60). 

When we officially gave up our moral and spiritual consensus (1962 with Engle vs. Vitale illegally and treasonously outlawing prayer in schools), we sold ourselves down the drain.  We can vote ourselves into a tyranny out of which we cannot vote ourselves.     E. Fox]
 

Harry Truman, from Missouri , was a different kind of president.  He probably made as many important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 32 residents of the White House before him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Historians have written that the only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri . On top of that, his wife inherited that house from her mother.

When he retired from office on January 20, 1953, his income was a U.S.
Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to
Missouri by themselves. There were no Secret Service agents following them.
When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You
don't want me. You want the office of the president, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people, and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

He never owned his own home, and as president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale.

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices early in life were either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

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Date Posted -  03/17/2009  -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012