Celebrating Truman Day (May 8), Honoring the Legacy of Harry S. Truman


Learn about the history and significance of Truman Day, a state holiday in Missouri that recognizes the life and accomplishments of Harry S. Truman, one of America’s most consequential Presidents.

Truman Day is a state holiday observed in the U.S. state of Missouri on May 8th of every year. The holiday commemorates the birthday of Harry S. Truman, who was the 33rd President of the United States and was born in Missouri in 1884. Truman Day was officially recognized as a holiday in Missouri in 1985, and it is celebrated throughout the state with various events and activities, including parades, speeches, and museum exhibits that honor Truman’s life and accomplishments. In addition to being remembered as a president, Truman is also recognized for his service in World War I, his leadership in the post-World War II era, and his commitment to civil rights and equality.

History of Truman Day

Truman Day was first celebrated in Missouri in 1945, shortly after Harry S. Truman became President of the United States following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The holiday was originally a local observance in Kansas City, where Truman had served as a county judge and U.S. Senator before becoming Vice President in 1945. The first Truman Day celebration in Kansas City featured a parade, a banquet, and other events in honor of Truman’s presidency.

Over time, Truman Day gained popularity throughout Missouri, with various cities and towns recognizing the holiday in their own ways. In 1985, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill officially designating May 8th as Truman Day, making it a state holiday.

Truman Day is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout Missouri. Many cities hold parades or other public events, and some schools and museums offer special programs or exhibits focused on Truman’s life and presidency. In addition, some people choose to commemorate Truman Day by visiting his presidential library and museum in Independence, Missouri.


Truman remains a beloved figure in Missouri and is widely respected for his leadership and accomplishments as President. His legacy continues to be celebrated and honored on Truman Day and throughout the year.

Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman Timeline

Here is a timeline of the major events in the life of Harry S. Truman:

  • May 8, 1884: Harry S. Truman is born in Lamar, Missouri.
  • 1901-1906: Truman attends the Kansas City School of Law and begins practicing law.
  • 1917: Truman serves in France during World War I as a captain in the Missouri National Guard.
  • 1934: Truman is elected to the U.S. Senate, representing Missouri.
  • 1944: Truman is elected Vice President of the United States, serving under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • April 12, 1945: Roosevelt dies and Truman becomes President of the United States.
  • August 6 and 9, 1945: Truman orders the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.
  • 1947: Truman issues the Truman Doctrine, outlining U.S. policy to contain the spread of communism.
  • 1948: Truman is re-elected as President in a surprising upset victory over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.
  • 1949: Truman signs the North Atlantic Treaty, creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to provide collective defense against the Soviet Union.
  • 1950: Truman sends U.S. troops to fight in the Korean War.
  • 1952: Truman declines to seek re-election and is succeeded by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • December 26, 1972: Harry S. Truman dies in Kansas City, Missouri.

Throughout his life, Truman was known for his integrity, straight-talking style, and commitment to public service. He is remembered as one of the most consequential Presidents in U.S. history, having presided over some of the country’s most important moments, including the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War.

How to Observe Truman Day

Truman Day is observed as a state holiday in Missouri on May 8th of every year. Here are some ways to observe the holiday:

  1. Attend a Truman Day event: Many cities and towns in Missouri hold events and celebrations in honor of Truman’s life and accomplishments. Look for parades, museum exhibits, and other public events in your community.
  2. Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum: Located in Independence, Missouri, the Truman Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing Truman’s legacy. The museum features exhibits on Truman’s presidency, his life before and after his time in office, and his impact on American history.
  3. Read a biography of Truman: There are many books and articles available about Truman’s life and presidency. Consider reading one to learn more about his life and his contributions to American history.
  4. Watch a documentary or film about Truman: There are also many documentaries and films that tell Truman’s story. Look for one that interests you and watch it to gain a deeper understanding of his life and legacy.
  5. Reflect on Truman’s values and legacy: Truman is remembered for his honesty, integrity, and commitment to public service. Take some time to reflect on these values and consider how you can apply them in your own life.

By observing Truman Day, you can honor the memory of one of America’s most consequential Presidents and gain a deeper appreciation for his contributions to our country’s history.

Harry S. Truman-1945-1953

Harry S. Truman-1945-1953

Why Truman Day is Important

Truman Day is important because it recognizes the life and legacy of one of the most consequential Presidents in United States history. Harry S. Truman served as President during a time of great change and uncertainty, including the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. He made difficult decisions that shaped the course of American history, including the use of atomic bombs to end World War II, the establishment of the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, and the decision to send U.S. troops to fight in the Korean War.


Truman is also remembered for his commitment to civil rights and his efforts to promote equality and justice for all Americans. He integrated the armed forces and supported efforts to end segregation and discrimination in the United States.

By observing Truman Day, we honor the life and contributions of this remarkable leader and recognize the importance of his values, including integrity, honesty, and public service. We can also reflect on his accomplishments and consider how we can apply his example to our own lives, to work towards a more just and equitable society.

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