Today in 1945, Lamar, Missouri, native Harry S. Truman announced the stunning news that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died unexpectedly, at the age of 63.

Truman was serving as vice president at the time and assumed the presidency upon Roosevelt’s untimely death. He served as the 33rd president of the United States until January 20, 1953. 

As President, he made some of the most critical decisions in history. Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage. A pressing plea to Japan to surrender was rejected.

Truman, after consulting with his advisers, ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities focused on war work. Two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered soon afterward.

Truman would die at the age of 88 in 1972.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

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