Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.
The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.
And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.
Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.
This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.