Noble Harry S Truman 

Centennial Class Medallion

HarryTrumanShrineCentennial1.jpg (49427 bytes)     HarryTrumanShrineCentennial2.jpg (54732 bytes)

This bronze medallion commemorates the Harry S. Truman Centennial Class in 1984. It pictures Past Grand Master, 33rd U.S. President and Noble Harry S Truman on the front wearing his Fez from Ararat Temple. It measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Harry S Truman  

33rd President of the United States and Grand Master of Masons in Missouri

During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman's to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President.  He told reporters, "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."  Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, in 1884. He grew up in Independence, and for 12 years prospered as a Missouri farmer.  He went to France during World War I as a captain in the Field Artillery.  Returning, he married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace, and opened a haberdashery in Kansas City.  Active in the Democratic Party, Truman was elected a judge of the Jackson County Court (an administrative position) in 1922.  He became a Senator in 1934. During World War II he headed the Senate war investigating committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as 15 billion dollars.  As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history. Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage. An urgent plea to Japan to surrender was rejected. Truman, after consultations with his advisers, ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work. Two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japanese surrender quickly followed.  In June 1945 Truman witnessed the signing of the charter of the United Nations, hopefully established to preserve peace.  Thus far, he had followed his predecessor's policies, but he soon developed his own. He presented to Congress a 21-point program, proposing the expansion of Social Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Act, and public housing and slum clearance. The program, Truman wrote, "symbolizes for me my assumption of the office of President in my own right."  It became known as the Fair Deal. Dangers and crises marked the foreign scene as Truman campaigned successfully in 1948.  In foreign affairs he was already providing his most effective leadership.  In 1947 as the Soviet Union pressured Turkey and, through guerrillas, threatened to take over Greece, he asked Congress to aid the two countries, enunciating the program that bears his name--the Truman Doctrine.  The Marshall Plan, named for his Secretary of State, stimulated spectacular economic recovery in war-torn western Europe. When the Russians blockaded the western sectors of Berlin in 1948, Truman created a massive airlift to supply Berliners until the Russians backed down.  Meanwhile, he was negotiating a military alliance to protect Western nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established in 1949.  In June 1950, when the Communist government of North Korea attacked South Korea, Truman conferred promptly with his military advisers. There was, he wrote, "complete, almost unspoken acceptance on the part of everyone that whatever had to be done to meet this aggression had to be done. There was no suggestion from anyone that either the United Nations or the United States could back away from it." A long, discouraging struggle ensued as U.N. forces held a line above the old boundary of South Korea. Truman kept the war a limited one, rather than risk a major conflict with China and perhaps Russia.  Deciding not to run again, he retired to Independence; at age 88, he died December 26, 1972, after a stubborn fight for life.

Masonic History from Denslow's 10,000 Famous Freemasons

Harry S. Truman Thirty-third President of the United States (32nd to serve, although officially designated as the 33rd). b. May 8, 1884 at Lamar, Mo. Educated in the public schools of Independence, Mo. and a student at the Kansas City School of Law. He was with the Kansas City Star in 1901; a timekeeper for a railroad contractor in 1902; with National Bank of Commerce and Union National Bank, Kansas City, 1903-05; and operated the family farm from 1906-17. In WWI he served from first lieutenant to major with Battery F, and later Battery D, of the 129th Field Artillery, 35th Division, participating in the Vosges operations, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives of the A.E.F. He was discharged as a major in May, 1919. Since 1927 he has been a colonel of Field Artillery in the reserves. Following the war he was a judge of the Jackson Co. Court (1922-24), and presiding judge, 1926-34. He was elected U.S. senator from Missouri in 1934, and reelected in 1940. In the senate he distinguished himself as chairman of a special committee to investigate the national defense program. On Nov. 7, 1944 he was elected vice president of the United States on the ticket with Franklin D. Roosevelt, q.v., taking office on Jan. 20, 1945. On the death of Roosevelt, he succeeded him to the presidency on April 12, 1945. He was elected president in 1948, and served the term of 1949-53. Thus, he served two terms in that office, less approximately three months. He is the author of Years of Decisions, Vol. I in 1955, and the companion volume, Years of Trial and Hope, Vol. II, 1956. Truman petitioned Belton Lodge No. 450, Grandview, Mo. on Dec. 21, 1908 when 24 years old. He was elected on Feb. 9, 1909, and received his first degree that evening. He was passed March 9, and raised March 18, 1909. The following year he accepted the station of junior warden, but in 1911, several members of Belton Lodge separated to establish a new lodge—Grandview Lodge No. 618, and Truman was honored by being made the first master. Later, he served as secretary of the lodge, and in 1917, when leaving for WWI, he was again master of the lodge. After the war he was appointed district deputy grand lecturer, and district deputy grand master of the 59th Masonic district. He remained in these stations from 1925 until his appointment in the grand lodge line in 1930. In that year he became grand pursuivant through the appointment of Grand Master William R. Gentry of St. Louis. In Sept., 1940 when the grand lodge met, Truman was running for U.S. senator and the political situation was heated. Notwithstanding, he was elected grand master, and a few weeks later, U.S. senator. During his year as grand master, Congress was in session most of the time, yet he found time to make individual visits to 19 Mo. lodges; six district associations; both conferences of district deputies; presented several 50-year buttons; visited the grand lodges of Texas and District of Columbia; attended an anniversary gathering of Philadelphia Lodge, and in Jefferson City attended a Masonic dinner at which Gov. Forrest C. Donnell, grand senior warden, was present and 128 lodges were represented by 394 Master Masons, including 80 members of the Missouri legislature. Representing Mo. at the Washington conference of Grand Masters in Feb., 1941, he presented Missouri's check for $1,900 to the Washington Memorial at Alexandria. It was also during his year that the Missouri Lodge of Research was established and both the dispensation and charter were signed by him. Long interested in the research lodge, he served as its master in 1950, while president of the United States. In this capacity he secured the offices of the Library of Congress, and furnished the research lodge with copies of the vast amount of reference cards on Freemasonry that are on file in that institution.

            He again aided the Missouri Lodge of Research by writing the foreword for Volume I of 10,000 Famous Freemasons, published in 1957. While president, he was never too busy to go out of his way to render a Masonic service. During this period he raised more than 30 candidates with the strict injunction that no publicity was to come from his participation. His capitular degrees were received in Orient Chapter No. 102 of Kansas City on Nov. 11 and 15, 1919; thecryptic degrees in Shekinah Council No. 24, Kansas City on Dec. 18, 1919; the orders of knighthood in Palestine Commandery No. 17 of Independence on June 7 and 15, 1923. His Scottish Rite degrees were received in Kansas City, Jan. 24, March 27, 30 and 31, 1917. On Oct. 19, 1945, he received the 33° (SJ) at Washington,_ D.C. while president. Became a member of Ararat Shrine Temple, Kansas City, April 2, 1917. He was orator of that body in 1932, marshal in 1933, and second ceremonial master in 1934. Became member of Royal Order of Jesters, Kansas City Court No. 54 on Dec. 18, 1931. He is also a member of Mary Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Kansas City. He is the grand representative of the Grand Lodge of Scotland near the Grand Lodge of Missouri. Mrs. Truman, the former Bess Wallace, is the daughter of David W. Wallace, who was grand commander of the Grand Commandery, K.T. of Missouri in 1892. His sister, Mary Jane Truman, is past grand matron of the Order of Eastern Star of Missouri.

 

 

         

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