April 12, 1945 - Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By: Anthony Hresko – Ms. Sotiropoulos

On April 12, 1945, it was a quiet day in Warm Springs, Georgia when FDR passed away. He was sitting in his living room while Elizabeth Shoumatoff was painting his portrait. Also there, were his two cousins and his mistress, Lucy Mercer. At around 1 pm that day he suddenly collapsed with great pain in his head and went unconscious. A doctor was summoned immediately, and they concluded that he showed signs of cerebral hemorrhage. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was notified of this and told the doctor that she would be on her way to Georgia in the evening. Unfortunately, the doctors pronounced FDR dead at around 3:30 pm. Eleanor Roosevelt was then summoned to the White House, was informed of FDR’s death, and she then told their children of the news.


Harry Truman, the Vice President of FDR, was in quite the shock when he was told of FDRs passing; because not only did the President die, but it was now his duty to lead America. Not only did he have to live up to FDR, but he also had to deal with the so-called ultimate weapon, the atomic bomb. Once in office, Truman learned about the Manhattan Project, something FDR never mentioned to him. The Manhattan Project was America’s program to develop a working atomic bomb during World War II. He then went on to be more involved and intrigued in said program. With the news that Japan wouldn’t surrender, Truman himself ordered atomic bombs to be dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was the first time in world history that an atomic bomb, let alone two, was dropped on civilians. Japan then surrendered shortly after, and World War II ended almost a month later, concluding foreign aggression against the United States that Truman would have to deal with, or so he hoped.


Only a few years later in 1947, the Cold War erupted, and yet again forced Truman to make some critical and vital decisions. The Truman Doctrine was indeed one of these, an agreement and plan to keep out Soviet influence in Greece and Turkey. Truman signed it on May 22, 1947, and both requested and received $400 million to help each nation. The plan was to protect democracy against the Soviet Union. However, with the use of the CIA, a force made by Truman to assist in national security and to gather foreign intelligence, any free choice of socialism or communism, or any left-wing government was shut down by them. This led to Truman receiving a large amount of hate towards him.

The CIA was also involved with many acts of aggression and violence. Over the years, millions have died due to their actions. For example, the CIA was involved with assassinations, staging coups, interfering with foreign politics, and even torture. Again, much more hate was formed from these actions. But it doesn’t stop there, as his decisions with the Korean War ruined his political image.

While things were heating up between North and South Korea, Truman sent troops to fight for South Korea with the permission on Congress. This then led to China joining North Korea, and the formation of a stalemate at the 38thparallel. There were around 30,000 US military deaths during the war, and outrage was sparked due to it. Once again, Truman made another imperfect political decision, resulting in his approval rating to drop to 22% in 1952.