Tags: Presidential History | harry truman | peacetime | address | quotes | speech

Harry Truman Peacetime Address Highlights: 9 Quotes From Speech

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:18 PM

After President Franklin Roosevelt’s passing in 1945 and with just a few weeks of holding the vice presidential office under his belt, Harry S. Truman officially became the United States’ 33rd president during April of that year.

The end of World War II was in sight but the Cold War was looming in the not-so-distant future. Therefore, there were not many peacetime speeches given by Truman.

However, his State of the Union Address on January 14, 1946 showed signs of hope and encouragement, according to History.com.

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Here are nine highlights from the address:

1. “All those hopes (Franklin Roosevelt’s), and more, were fulfilled in the year 1945. It was the greatest year of achievement in human history. It saw the end of the Nazi-Fascist terror in Europe, and also the end of the malignant power of Japan. And it saw the substantial beginning of world organization for peace. These momentous events became realities because of the steadfast purpose of the United Nations and of the forces that fought for freedom under their flags. The plain fact is that civilization was saved in 1945 by the United Nations.”

2. “The beginning of the year 1946 finds the United States strong and deservedly confident. We have a record of enormous achievements as a democratic society in solving problems and meeting opportunities as they developed. We find ourselves possessed of immeasurable advantages-vast and varied natural resources; great plants, institutions, and other facilities; unsurpassed technological and managerial skills; an alert, resourceful, and able citizenry.”

3. “To achieve success will require both boldness in setting our sights and caution in steering our way on an uncharted course. But we have no luxury of choice. We must move ahead. No return to the past is possible.”

4. “The United Nations Organization now being established represents a minimum essential beginning. It must be developed rapidly and steadily. Its work must be amplified to fill in the whole pattern that has been outlined. Economic collaboration, for example, already charted, now must be carried on as carefully and as comprehensively as the political and security measures.”

5. “On the domestic scene, as well as on the international scene, we must lay a new and better foundation for cooperation. We face a great peacetime venture; the challenging venture of a free enterprise economy making full and effective use of its rich resources and technical advances. This is a venture in which business, agriculture, and labor have vastly greater opportunities than heretofore. But they all also have vastly greater responsibilities. We will not measure up to those responsibilities by the simple return to ‘normalcy’ that was tried after the last war.”

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6. “Labor also has its own new peacetime responsibilities. Under our collective bargaining system, which must become progressively more secure, labor attains increasing political as well as economic power, and this, as with all power, means increased responsibility.”

7. “I believe it possible that effective means can be developed through the United Nations Organization to prohibit, outlaw, and prevent the use of atomic energy for destructive purposes.”

8. “Our national safety and the security of the world will require substantial armed forces, particularly in overseas service. At the same time it is imperative that we relieve those who have already done their duty, and that we relieve them as fast as we can. To do that, the Army and the Navy are conducting recruiting drives with considerable success.”

9. “It should be impossible for any man to contemplate without a sense of personal humility the tremendous events of the 12 months since the last annual Message, the great tasks that confront us, the new and huge problems of the coming months and years. Yet these very things justify the deepest confidence in the future of this Nation of free men and women. The plain people of this country found the courage and the strength, the self-discipline, and the mutual respect to fight and to win, with the help of our allies, under God. I doubt if the tasks of the future are more difficult. But if they are, then I say that our strength and our knowledge and our understanding will be equal to those tasks.”

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After President Franklin Roosevelt's passing in 1945 and with just a few weeks of holding the vice presidential office under his belt, Harry S. Truman officially became the United States' 33rd president during April of that year.
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2015-18-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:18 PM
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