Quotes from Harry S Truman

Truman's Words

Harry S Truman, Thirty-Third President of the United States
Harry S Truman, Thirty-Third President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-88849 DLC

Harry S Truman served as the 33rd president of the United States during the end of World War II. Following are key quotes from Truman during his time as president.

On War, the Military, and The Bomb

"In the simplest terms, what we are doing in Korea is this: We are trying to prevent a third world war."

"If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military."

"Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima...The force from which the sun draws its powers has been loosed against those who brought the war in the Far East."

"It is part of my responsibility as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to see to it that our country is able to defend itself against any possible aggressor. Accordingly, I have directed the Atomic Energy Commission to continue its work on all forms of atomic weapons, including the so-called hydrogen or ​super-bomb."

"The Soviet Union does not have to attack the United States to secure domination of the world. It can achieve its ends by isolating us and swallowing up all our allies."

On Character, America and The Presidency

"A man cannot have character unless he lives within a fundamental system of morals that creates character."

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

"Within the first few months, I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed."

"It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours."