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Truman Day in the United States

Truman Day is a state holiday in Missouri, the United States, on or around May 8 each year. It honors Harry S Truman, a United States president who was born in Missouri.

Is Truman Day a Public Holiday?

Truman Day is a public holiday in Missouri, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Harry S. Truman
Harry S Truman was the president of the United States during the 1940s and 1950s.
Harry S Truman was the president of the United States during the 1940s and 1950s.
©iStockphoto.com/manley620

What Do People Do?

Events are held to remember the legacy of Harry S. Truman. Many are organized by or to benefit the Democratic Party that Truman represented. They include: educational sessions for high school students; opportunities to meet Democrat politicians in a social setting; and fundraising dinners to support the Democratic Party at local, state and national levels. At the Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, Truman's birthday is celebrated every year. A wreath is laid in memory of him, films about him or his life are shown and birthday cake is served. In addition, the Harry S Truman Public Service Award is presented by the City of Independence to a person, who is dedicated and industrious and demonstrates the same levels of honesty, integrity and ability as Truman did.

Public Life

State offices are closed in Missouri on Truman Day. Schools, stores, post offices and other businesses and organizations are open and public transit services run to their regular schedules.

Background

Harry S Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri. His father was John Anderson Truman and his mother Martha Ellen Young Truman and he was the second of four children. As a child, he also lived in Harrisonville, Belton, Grandview and Independence, all in the state of Missouri. He graduated from high school, but his poor eyesight prevented him from studying at college. Truman worked as a timekeeper on the Santa Fe railway and in many clerical functions. He served for the Missouri National Guard from 1909 until 1911. He re-enlisted at the start of World War I and was sent to France, where he became an officer and then a battery commander.

After the end of World War I, he returned to the United States and married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman, known as affectionately as Bess, on June 28, 1919. They had one child, Margaret, who was born on February 17, 1924. Truman embarked on a political career, becoming a judge of the County Court of the eastern district of Jackson County, Missouri, in 1922. He also took on a number of other official roles. In 1934, he was elected as a member of the US Senate for the Democratic Party and he was re-elected in 1940. He became better known and more respected when his preparedness committee, known as the Truman Committee, exposed the mismanagement of military resources.

In 1944 the Democratic Party selected Truman as the candidate for vice-president to Franklin D Roosevelt, who ran for election for his fourth term as President of the United States. Roosevelt won the election on November 7, 1944, and Truman was inaugurated as vice-president on January 20, 1945. However, on April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died as a result of a massive stroke and Truman became president.

Truman was president for two terms until January 20, 1953. He led the United States through the end of World War II and during the great shifts in international politics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These included: the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); the conflict between mainland China and Taiwan; the Korean War; the First Indochina War; and the rise of the Soviet Union as a nuclear power. After his presidency, he returned to live in Independence, Missouri, where he founded the Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

Truman Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010FriMay 7Truman Day observedState holidayMissouri
2010SatMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2011SunMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2011MonMay 9Truman Day observedState holidayMissouri
2012TueMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2013WedMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2014ThuMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2015FriMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2016SunMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2016MonMay 9Truman Day observedState holidayMissouri
2017MonMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2018TueMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2019WedMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri
2020FriMay 8Truman DayState holidayMissouri

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