37 Harry Truman Quotes That Will Change Your Life

Last updated on December 30th, 2023 at 07:46 am.

President Harry S Truman served as the 33rd president of the United States; from Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945 until 1953. Prior to his presidency, he served as Roosevelt’s vice president and as a United States Senator representing Missouri. As you might imagine, there are some great Harry Truman quotes about life, family, education and of course, politics!

The only president born in Missouri and Harry S Truman attractions can be found throughout the Show-Me State. Truman called Independence, Missouri home for the majority of his life and is a beloved Missourian.

Harry Truman

There are few people who have impacted our world as much as Harry S. Truman has. His impact on politics is undeniable, but it’s his words of wisdom that have truly stood the test of time. There have even been several movies about Harry Truman as well as many documentaries that include archival footage of him.

If there was one thing that anyone could take away from Harry Truman, it would be to remain hopeful, even when things don’t seem like they’ll ever get better.

harry truman quotes

These uplifting quotes by Harry Truman will give you the strength to keep fighting and never give up hope. There is always light at the end of the tunnel—keep your sights set on the goal and don’t let anything deter you from going after it!

Harry Truman Life Quotes

harry truman quote about children

There are hundreds of Harry S Truman quotes and some of the ones that have lasted the test of time and are very relevant to the world today. The only thing you need to do is relax and read our favorite quotes by Harry Truman!

1. “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it”.

2. “My own sympathy has always been with the little fellow, the man without advantages.”

3. “Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest one you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out.”

4. “Three things can ruin a man: power, money, and women. I never wanted power, I never had any money, and the only woman in my life is up at the house right now.”

5. “Do your duty and history will do you justice.”

6. “The reward of suffering is experience.”

7. “Actions are the seed of fate. Deeds grow into destiny.”

Pessimist quote from truman

8. “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties”.

9. “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.”

10. “My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”

11. “My favorite animal is the mule. He has a lot more sense than a horse. He knows when to stop eating. And he knows when to stop working.”

Quotes From Harry S Truman About Education

harry truman quote about education

12. “Never use two words when one will do best.”

13. “Education is one thing that can’t be taken away from you.”

14. “Not all readers become leaders, but all leaders must be readers.”

15. “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

16. “Without a strong educational system democracy is crippled. Knowledge is not only key to power. It is the citadel of human freedom.”

17. “For our day, and our children’s day, education must become a continuing adventure in human understanding, shared by all.”

18. “Education is our first line of defense. In the conflict of principle and policy which divides the world, America’s hope, our hope, the hope of the world, is in education.”

Truman Quotes About America

19. “Whether discrimination is based on race, or creed, or color, or land of origin, it is utterly contrary to American ideals of democracy.”

20. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

21. “You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break”.

Funny Harry Truman Quotes

22. “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

23. It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours. If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.

24. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Harry Truman Quotes on Politics, Leadership and War

Truman knew a thing or two about war the complexity of politics and what it took to be a world leader. Truman went to France during World War I as a captain in the Field Artillery. Truman announced the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. President Truman was also in office during the Korean War.

Harry Truman Political Quote about Congress

25. “The White House is the finest prison in the world”.

26. “I don’t believe that because peace is difficult that war is inevitable.”

27. “Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

28. “Good name and honor are worth more than all the gold and jewels ever mined.”

29. “My definition of a leader in a free county is a man who can persuade people to do what they don’t want to do and like it.”

30. “I recommended an increase in the minimum wage. What did I get? Nothing. Absolutely nothing”.

31. “The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better”.

32. “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950

33. “When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship”.

34. “Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in”.

35. “The atom bomb was no “great decision.” It was used in the war, and for your information, there were more people killed by fire bombs in Tokyo than dropping of the atomic bombs accounted for. It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness. The dropping of the bombs stopped the war, save millions of lives”.

36. “The atomic bomb is too dangerous to be loose in a lawless world”.

Harry Truman Socialism Quote

In President Harry Truman’s remarks in Syracuse, New York on October 10, 1952, he said this about socialism.

37. “Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.

Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security.

Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people”.

You can listen to President Truman deliver this speech on the Truman Library’s website. The portion that this quote is taken from is about 6:45 into the speech.

Learn more about Harry Truman! Check out the 13 Best President Truman Attractions in Missouri

Harry Truman FAQ

What is Harry Truman’s catchphrase?

He greeted everyone with a good morning before adding, “and
in case I don’t see you… good afternoon, good evening, and good night”

What was Truman’s motto?

The Buck Stops Here.

What Was The Truman Doctrine?

President Harry S Truman established that the United States would provide political, military, and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces.

What Was the Marshall Plan?

President Truman signed the act that became known as the Marshall Plan and it was an effort to prevent the stagnation of world trade by helping postwar Europe economically and prevent communism.

What are your favorite Harry S Truman quotes? Please let us know in the comments!

We also have a road trip guide of 13 Excellent President Truman Attractions in Missouri as well as the 7 Greatest Movies About Harry Truman.

Truman by David McCullough

If you are interested in more about Mr. Truman, we recommend the Pulitzer prize winning book entitled Truman by David Mccullough.

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