Billy Joel Teaches History
I think it’s important to be absolutely transparent about this process. So right away I need to tell you I’m listening to ‘I Go to Extremes’ while writing this. It was Harry Truman’s favorite song. No it wasn’t. Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1872) was the 33rd President of the United States of America so he pre-dated Billy Joel by a lot. Nonetheless Billy Joel felt strongly enough about Harry Truman to open ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ with him. In fashion shows the opening and closing looks are often the most noted, thus big name models frequently wear them. I’m just saying... if this were Zac Posen’s Spring/Summer 2013 show, Harry Truman would be Naomi Campbell.
I will just let that image sit with you for a moment. Along with this one:
|Lauren Bacall and Harry Truman. I don't know where this photo came from or who owns it but it is amazing.|
In 1944 Truman was chosen to be Franklin Roosevelt’s running mate and in January 20, 1945 he was sworn in as Vice President.
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away. Offering his consolation to the widowed Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Mrs. Roosevelt responded, "Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now." (From 'Eleanor & Harry: The Correspondence of Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S Truman')The official White House biography of Harry Truman notes that "as President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history". In August 1945 Truman authorized the use of atomic weapons against Japan after the Japanese turned down the Potsdam Declaration. On August 6, 1945 the atomic bomb Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima and on August 9, 1945 the atomic bomb Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese agreed to surrender on August 14 and Eleanor Roosevelt noted that Truman had "made the only decision he could".
Truman strongly supported creation of the United Nations and instituted the 'Marshall Plan' which was designed to assist with the rebuilding of post-war Europe. He also signed the National Security Act of 1947 which, among other things, created the CIA and the National Security Council.
|You can't trust everything you read.|
In 1948 Truman had ordered a controversial addition to the White House: a balcony known as the 'Truman Balcony'. It soon proved the only stable part of a deteriorating House and when the White House was subsequently closed for extensive interior renovations, the Truman family moved across the street to Blair House. It was at Blair House where, on November 1, 1950, Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassinate Truman.
In 1953 Truman retired and returned home to Independence, Missouri. Today, in Independence, you can hire a Billy Joel tribute act to perform at your special event - even one held, perhaps, at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
There are some, quite frankly, awesome quotes attributed to Truman.
“My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”
“If you can't convince them, confuse them.”
“Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow and only one thing endures - character.”