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Harry S. Truman Quotes

Speech to a joint session of the US Congress (12 March 1947), outlining what became known as The Truman Doctrine.
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Interview with Edward R. Murrow on CBS Television (27 May 1955)
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Personal diary 6:00 P. M. Monday (21 July 1947)
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As quoted in The New York World Telegram & Sun (12 April 1958)
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On Richard Nixon, as quoted Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, p. 179
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Speech to a joint session of the US Congress (12 March 1947), outlining what became known as The Truman Doctrine. All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
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Some of my best friends never agree with me politically.
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Letter to Mary Jane Truman (14 November 1947)
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In bitter despair, some people have come to believe that wars are inevitable. With tragic fatalism, they insist that wars have always been, of necessity, and of necessity wars always will be. To such defeatism, men and women of good will must not and can not yield. The outlook for humanity is not so hopeless.
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Comment to reporters on having become president the day before, after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, (13 April 1945) as quoted in Conflict and Crisis : The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948 by Robert J. Donovan, p. 17; also quoted in "Thoughts Of A President, 1945" at Eyewitness to History, and TIME magazine (12 April1968) No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected.
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I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster, which would come to this Nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first. That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production. We won the race of discovery against the Germans.
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As quoted in TIME magazine (10 February 1958)
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Third Radner Lecture, Columbia University, New York City (29 April 1959), as published in Truman Speaks : Lectures And Discussions Held At Columbia University On April 27, 28, And 29, 1959 (1960), p. 111
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In this shrinking world, it is futile to seek safety behind geographical barriers. Real security will be found only in law and in justice. Here in America, we have labored long and hard to achieve a social order worthy of our great heritage. In our time, tremendous progress has been made toward a really democratic way of life. Let me assure the forward-looking people of America that there will be no relaxation in our efforts to improve the lot of the common people. If wars in the future are to be prevented the nations must be united in their determination to keep the peace under law.
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As quoted in Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, p. 26
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Letter to critic Paul Hume, as quoted in TIME magazine (18 December 1950) I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
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Comment on his World War I experience after an assassination attempt on (1 November 1950) as quoted in Bess W. Truman (1986) by Margaret Truman
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Response to being described by his friend Eddie Jacobsen as "the man who helped create the state of Israel." (November 1953); as quoted in "With Eyes Toward Zion" (1977) by Moshe Davis
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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.
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Lecture at Columbia University (28 April 1959)
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To Richard Nixon and his wife Pat in 1969. Quoted in The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, p. 44.
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Letter to Walter F. George (October 1946); as quoted in Great Jewish Quotations (1996) by Alfred J. Kolatch, p. 463
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Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
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