Talk:Harry S. Truman

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Latest comment: 3 years ago by დამოკიდებულება in topic Oppenheimer quote
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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Harry S. Truman page.

Middle initial


Harry Truman's middle name is actually "S" so you're not supposed to put that period after his initial. Check out the WWII memorial for a real life example.

See Wikipedia's "Truman" article and "Use Of The Period After The 'S' In Harry S. Truman's Name" at the Truman Presidential Library website for an explanation of why "S." is correct usage, and how the controversy started. — Jeff Q (talk) 00:41, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Public domain or fair use?


Those quote are Public Domain or Fair Use? --Aphaia 12:17, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Which quotes are you referring to? The actual quotes listed are certainly covered by any reasonable definition of "fair use", as is pretty much every other short quote by a notable person (as opposed to book excerpts or long cinematic dialog) in Wikiquote. If you mean the website link, I don't think we need to ensure external links are fair use, although I try to remove links to sites that are obviously violating copyrights (like posted copies of books, CDs, videos, etc.). I couldn't verify this article's external link because it was generating an error when I checked. — Jeff Q (talk) 00:46, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Who gets the credit


That quote: "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." is all over the web with varying attribution. I'm not sure when or where HST might have said it, but it is most likely a rephrasing of the older quotation:

"The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit."

Benjamin Jowett, 1817-1893 English Clergyman, Educator & Classicist Quoted in John Gross, The Oxford Book of Aphorisms

Found here:

Dsmccoy 20:00, 12 February 2009 (UTC)Reply

War profiteering = treason


I see everywhere that Senator Harry Truman denounced war profiteering as "treason"

From where is that quote? What is the whole text?

Help, please.

The Source is: Time Magazin, "Dinner Table Treason" April 6, 1942

"Never kick a cow turd on a hot day"


This is a famous quote by Harry S. Truman. He was a man of various wonders.

"Treason" comment


I don't think that Truman ever said that war profiteering was treason. In his work as chairman of the Truman Committee he was reported as having characterized the actions of at least one company (Standard Oil of New Jersey) as "treason", but this was a reference to their business dealings with Axis countries.

—This unsigned comment is by Lonesome moderate (talkcontribs) .

Yes, he absolutely did call it "Treason.",1133618

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

On the new deal


"I do not understand a mind which sees a gracious beneficence in spending money to slay and maim human beings in almost unimaginable numbers and deprecates the expenditure of a smaller sum to patch up the ills of mankind."

I would really, really, really like a citation for this quote. Not because it's dubious, just because it's a great quote. 05:34, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Reply



Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Harry S. Truman. --Antiquary 10:32, 18 April 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • I do not understand a mind which sees a gracious beneficence in spending money to slay and maim human beings in almost unimaginable numbers and deprecates the expenditure of a smaller sum to patch up the ills of mankind.
  • Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
  • Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
  • It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
  • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
  • Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
  • I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.

"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction"


I've seen this quoted a handful of times, always attributed to Harry S. Truman, but nothing reliable indicating he actually said it. Did he originate the phrase? If not, who did?

Chad Schultz (talk) 18:45, 13 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

A politician can't get rich...


The following quote is said to be that of Harry S Truman. "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." To date, other than in memes and blog spots, I find it difficult to attribute the quote, even paraphrased, to Truman. To date I've found no link to a speech, formal or informally, where it appears; nor can I source it through any book or letters he has authored. HOWEVER... throughout the World Wide Web it comes back credited to Harry Truman. Someone please help me if possible, validate a place that PROVES he ever made the statement... in what context it was stated... what brought about him [supposedly]MAKING the statement. I thank you in advance for your assistance :) —This unsigned comment is by DW Jones (talkcontribs) .

I have found no reliable sourcing for this statement, but do not have time to presently seek any similar ones which it might paraphrase. ~ Kalki·· 12:35, 15 October 2016 (UTC)Reply
Finding a total of zero (0) hits for this at Google Books, I and quite confident the quote is fake. The closest genuine quote I can find is this passage from Truman's diary dated 24 April 1954:
  • No young man should go into politics if he wants to get rich or if he expects an adequate reward for his services. An honest public servant can't become rich in politics. He can only attain greatness and satisfaction by service.
    • Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (1997), ed. Robert H. Ferrell, p. 306 (Google Books). Also quoted at "Harry Truman Speaks", on the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum website
"An honest public servant can't become rich in politics." is logically equivalent to "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." - Modus tollens
Quotation is authentic. Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman by Merle Miller, 1973-1974. SBN 425-02664-7 LOC 73-87198. The following comments by Truman appear in interviews with Merle Miller, Berkeley Medallion edition, October 1974, Chapter 10. "The Only Defeat - and Then Victory":
pg. 134: "No man can get rich in politics unless he's a crook."
pg. 136: "About this getting rich in politics. Like I said, you just can't do it unless you're a crook."
Jwoehr (talk) 20:56, 21 March 2020 (UTC)Reply



The following quote is often attributed to HST, and yet I can find no primary source. Any thoughts?

-- "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." 19:59, 10 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

Oppenheimer quote


"Oppenheimer when he went into Truman's Office with Dean Acheson said to the latter, wringing his hands:"I have blood on my hands". Truman later said to Acheson: "Never bring that fucking cretin in here again. He didn't drop the bomb. I did. That kind of weepiness makes me sick." Source: Jean-Jacques Salomon Science et Politique (1970) - * History in Quotations, Page 882

This quote appears in that book and cites something from 1970. I have not seen the original source or what it cites. Harizotoh9 (talk) 05:57, 3 February 2021 (UTC)Reply

This is an interesting quote and should be added to the page and also to the page on Oppenheimer. A quick seach and I found some sources on Google Books. Harizotoh9, please add it to the article. -- ~ #SheSaid 09:04, 3 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
It's an interesting quote, but we'll have to verify it. Just because it appears in several books doesn't mean it's valid. The source is a book by Jean-Jacques Salomon from 1970 which will in turn cite the source. Then we'd have to check the original source. If the book in turn doesn't cite anything, then it could be a made up quote or apocryphal. Harizotoh9 (talk) 17:32, 5 February 2021 (UTC)Reply
Hi Harizotoh9, in this case it may be possible to put the quote in a disputed section, if the quote itself otherwise meets WQ:Q, which I think it does. -- ~ #SheSaid 18:30, 5 February 2021 (UTC)Reply