Tag Archives: Harry Truman

this day in the yesteryear: The Truman Doctrine (1947)

The Truman Doctrine (1947)

In the early stages of the Cold War, US President Harry Truman sought to protect Turkey and Greece from falling under Soviet influence when the UK announced that it could no longer provide them with aid. The Truman Doctrine, which called for the US to “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures,” shifted US foreign policy to a strategy of Soviet containment. How much money did Congress appropriate in response to Truman’s message? More… Discuss

The fault in our czars | The Verge

Ebola Czar

via The fault in our czars | The Verge.

At first blush an Ebola Czar, or any czar really, invokes an image of a cruel and omnipotent character parading around in heavy velvet robes, and carrying a jeweled scepter. Not an obvious choice for someone to manage a national healthcare crisis. But take a look under that robe and you’ll find that “‘czar” — at least in the context of American politics — is a relatively meaningless term, largely crafted by the media as convenient shorthand for long, cumbersome titles. It’s a blustery euphemism meant to inspire confidence when in fact, these czars are little more than run-of-the-mill government appointees, often faced with the same challenges as less imperious workers. Just like other employees, czars are eventually replaced, retire, or their positions are scrapped.

Today’s Ebola czar joins a long and storied rank of czars who have reigned over political kingdoms large, small, and on occasion, bizarre. So we thought we’d pull together a sample platter of our favorite presidentially-appointed government czars. It will, I’m certain, leave you czar struck.

Manpower Czar – Appointed in 1942 by Franklin Roosevelt
Rubber Czar – Appointed in 1942 by Franklin Roosevelt
Shipping Czar – Appointed in 1942 by Franklin Roosevelt
Cleanup Czar – Appointed in 1952 by Harry Truman
Missile Czar – Appointed in 1957 by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Savings & Loan Czar – Appointed in 1990 by George H. W. Bush
Border Czar – Appointed in 1995 by Bill Clinton
E-commerce Czar – Appointed by Al Gore in 1998
Bioethics Czar – Appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush
Reading Czar – Appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush
Cyber Security Czar – Appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush
Science Czar – Appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush
Bird Flu Czar – Appointed in 2004 by George W. Bush
Democracy Czar – Appointed in 2005 by George W. Bush
Birth Control Czar – Appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush
War Czar – Appointed in 2007 by George W. Bush
Weatherization Czar – Appointed in 2008 by George W. Bush
Copyright Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Urban Affairs Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Ethics czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Great Lakes Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Guantanamo Base Closure Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Iran Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Safe School Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Weapons of Mass Destruction Czar – Appointed in 2009 by Barack Obama
Asian Carp Czar – Appointed in 2010 by Barack Obama


Harry Truman Becomes 33rd President of the US (1945)

Truman was the 33rd president of the US. He is remembered for authorizing the use of atomic bombs against Japan and for his opposition to Communism. A Democrat who largely accepted the New Deal tradition, he presided over victory in World War II and the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. His administration also oversaw the beginning of the Cold War and the desegregation of the US armed forces. What famous headline ran in the Chicago Tribune the day after Truman won his second term? More… Discuss

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Medicare and Medicaid Are Established (1965)

The Social Security Act of 1935 established national social insurance, welfare, and other assistance programs in the US, but it did not address healthcare. Years later, President Harry Truman drew attention to this issue when he unsuccessfully lobbied for the establishment of a national healthcare program. By the 1960s, the political climate was more open to reform, and the Social Security Act amendments creating Medicare and Medicaid were passed. What is the difference between the two programs? More… Discuss

This Day in History: Potsdam Conference Concludes (1945)

Potsdam Conference Concludes (1945)

The Potsdam Conference was an Allied conference held in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam after Germany’s surrender in World War II. Representing the US, USSR, and UK, respectively, Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill met there to discuss European peace settlements and reparations, the administration of Germany, the demarcation of Poland, the occupation of Austria, the USSR’s role in eastern Europe, and the war against Japan. Who replaced Churchill during the conference? More… Discuss