ABSTRACT

Harry S. Truman became enthralled by William Jennings Bryan and always regarded him as a hero. Bryan's fight for the common man proved to be a model for Harry throughout his political career. In 1905, Harry joined a local National Guard unit and served for two three-year terms. Truman appointed an African American judge to the Customs Court, the highest appointment ever of a black citizen by a United States (US) president. The transformation of Harry Truman from taken-for-granted political commoner to major national figure began in 1941 and crystallized in 1944. Harry Truman was sworn in as vice president of the US on January 20, 1945. The early work of the 'Truman Committee' profoundly affected the welfare of African Americans. Truman shared a kind of casual racism with Missourians, but there were clear limits. In addition to issuing the executive order desegregating the armed forces, Harry Truman pressed for civil rights legislation throughout 1948.