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Independence, Missouri (JFK+50) Former President Harry S Truman* died forty-three years ago today, December 26, 1972, here in Independence. He was 88 years old.  Mr. Truman, who retired from the presidency in January 1953, referred to himself as “Mr. Citizen.” 

Mr. Truman was sworn in as President of the United States on the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 12, 1945.  By August 1945, President Truman approved the use of atomic weapons on Japan.

During World War II, FDR had authorized the creation of the Office of Strategic Services, O.S.S. to handle intelligence operations for the United States.  Truman dissolved the O.S.S. on September 20, 1945 by executive order.

For a few months, intelligence activities were shared by the Departments of State and War, but on July 26, 1947, President Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947 which created both the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The original charge of the CIA was to provide a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis.  One month after the death of President John F. Kennedy, however, former President Truman had come to the conclusion that the “operational duties” of the CIA should “be terminated.”

Writing in the Washington Post, Mr. Truman expressed concern that the agency had “been diverted from its original assignment” becoming instead “a policy-making arm of the Government.”

JFK FACTS argues that “the circumstances” of JFK’s death
“propelled Truman’s radical proposal.”  In original notes written by President Truman available at the Truman Library, he expressed the view that the CIA worked as intended “only when (he) had control.”

During his visit with President Kennedy in January 1961, Mr. Truman said…

“Within the first few months I discovered that being president is like riding a tiger.  A man has to keep riding or be swallowed.”

*Harry S Truman (1884-1972) was born in Lamar. Missouri.  He served in WWI and was partner in a men’s clothing store in Kansas City after the war.

HST was elected to the US Senate in 1934 and was selected as FDR’s running mate in 1944.  He became president upon FDR’s death on April 12, 1945. HST won an upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey in 1948. 


“After JFK was killed former president Truman called for the abolition of CIA covert operations,” JFK Facts, December 22, 2015, www.jfkfacts.org/

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