Talk:Harry S. Truman

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Harry S. Truman page.


  • I think one man is just as good as another so long as he's not a nigger or a Chinaman. Uncle Will says that the Lord made a White man from dust, a nigger from mud, then He threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, Yellow men in Asia and White men in Europe and America.
    • Supposedly written in a letter to his future wife Bess (1911).

Middle initial[edit]

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?[edit]

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[edit]

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)

War profiteering = treason[edit]

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"[edit]

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

"Treason" comment[edit]

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[edit]

"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)


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)

  • 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.
  • 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. -- This was in the book Plain Speaking:
  • Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.

"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction"[edit]

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)

A politician can't get rich...[edit]

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)
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
Don't believe everything you read on the interestnet. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:18, 15 October 2016 (UTC)