Description: In the last two decades of his life, Harry S. Truman formally established the office of the ex-presidency in the public eye. The goals he wanted to accomplish and the legislation passed to help Truman achieve these aims led the way for Truman and other former presidents to play a significant role in American public life. Men who had occupied the nation's highest office had a great deal to offer their country, and Truman saw to it that he and other former presidents had the financial and the institutional support to continue serving their nation in productive ways. Although out of the White House, Harry S. Truman wanted to continue to play an active role in the affairs of the nation and the Democratic party. In pursuing this goal, he found that he was limited by a lack of financial support and was forced to turn to the federal government for assistance. While Truman was active for more than a decade after he left Washington, his two most important legacies were helping push for federal legislation to provide financial support for ex-presidents and to organize and maintain presidential libraries. Truman believed that these endeavors were a small price for the nation to pay to support thee former occupants of the nation's highest office. Furthermore, Truman believed that presidential libraries were essential in preserving and disseminating the history of the nation's highest office. Truman's other activities including heavy involvement in partisan affairs. While he tried unsuccessfully to determine the party's presidential candidates, his involvement in the Democratic party and attendance at partisan events displayed his level of commitment to the party and his determination to play a role in its activities.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Woestman, Kelly A. (Kelly Alicia)