Ken Jennings

Message Boards

Harry S Truman Harry S. Truman

The place to talk. "On topic"? "Off topic"? We make no such petty distinctions here.

Harry S Truman Harry S. Truman

Postby Cannon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:35 pm

This is one of those quirky things that I suppose trivia nuts love.... S. or S and what does it stand for.....

Apparently, there's ample evidence that Truman wrote S. often.....before and after his 1962 quip to a newspaper suggesting there was no . after the S. It's unclear whether he was kidding. He also is on record as having said the S was a compromise between his grandfathers' names (Shipp and Solomon - Shipp being a middle name). His own library uses a . and I think it's technically correct to use one, but nevertheless, it's an interesting debate.

Also, does anyone remember SRA's from elementary school? You read a little story and then answered questions about them? I remember reading one during elementary school about Harry Truman, as a young boy, going to see a phrenologist....the pseudoscientist that felt the bumps on your head and predicted your future, not the kidney doctor. Anyway... apparently, one predicted that he would become President of the United States. I've never seen it verified anywhere.
Cannon
 
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:49 am
Location: Atlanta

Postby rkd » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:26 pm

I found this bit about Ulysses S. Grant ...

"When Ulysses was about twelve years old, the first phrenologist who ever made his appearance in that part of the country came to our neighborhood. He awakened a good deal of interest in the science, and was prevailed upon to remain there some time. One Dr. Buckner, who was rather inclined to be officious on most occasions, in order to test the accuracy of the phrenologist, asked him if he would be blindfolded, and then examine a head. This was at one of his public lectures. The phrenologist replied that he would. So they blindfolded him, and then brought Ulysses forward to have his head examined. He felt it over for some time, saying scarcely anything more than to mutter to himself, "It is no very common head. It is an extraordinary head." At length Dr. Buckner broke in with the inquiry whether the boy would be likely to distinguish himself in mathematics? "Yes," said the phrenologist, "in mathematics or anything else; it would not be strange if we should see him President of the United States."

That seems to be from something called the Ulysses S. Grant Association, and I think this passage was excerpted from a letter by Grant's father ... I closed the page by mistake before copying the link. Anyway, given the time frame, I'm guessing maybe this is the source of the story.

--Raj Dhuwalia, able to vaguely remember SRA's
rkd
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:16 pm
Location: North Hollywood, CA

Postby David Regal » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:43 am

Here's what Wikipedia says:

Truman did not have a middle name, only a middle initial. It was a common practice in southern states, including Missouri, to use initials rather than names. In Truman's autobiography, he stated, "I was named for...Harrison Young. I was given the diminutive Harry and, so that I could have two initials in my given name, the letter S. was added. My Grandfather Truman's name was Anderson Shippe Truman and my Grandfather Young's name was Solomon Young, so I received the S for both of them." (Anderson's name was also spelled Shipp.) He once joked that the S was a name, not an initial, and it should not have a period, but official documents and his presidential library all use a period. Furthermore, the Harry S. Truman Library has numerous examples of the signature written at various times throughout Truman's lifetime where his own use of a period after the S is conspicuous. The Associated Press Stylebook has called for a period after the S since the early 1960s, when Truman indicated he had no preference.[48] The use of a period after his middle initial is not universal, however; the official White House biography does not use a period after his name.

Truman's bare initial caused an unusual slip when he first became President and had to take the oath of office. At a meeting in the Cabinet Room, Chief Justice Harlan Stone began reading the oath by saying "I, Harry Shipp Truman, ..."! (Truman responded using his actual name: "I, Harry S. Truman, ...")[49]
David Regal
 
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:04 pm

Postby bwouns » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:46 pm

I remember seeing a movie once in which one of the characters contends that Truman's middle name was actually Sergei but that he did not use it for fear of being associated with the Russians. I doubt there is any truth to this, but still I can't remember what movie this was from. Anyone know this?
bwouns
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:31 am
Location: Eugene, OR

Postby cadams35 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:29 pm

I've read the above posts, but let me put this:

1) His middle name does not need an initial.

2) I've always thought that his parents couldn't agree, so they just put S as his middle name.
This is not a signature.
cadams35
 
Posts: 1511
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:31 pm
Location: Tuscola, IL

Postby econgator » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:57 pm

cadams35 wrote:2) I've always thought that his parents couldn't agree, so they just put S as his middle name.


According to Wiki, it's his grandfathers who couldn't agree.
econgator
 
Posts: 3631
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:11 pm

Postby cadams35 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:10 pm

econgator wrote:
cadams35 wrote:2) I've always thought that his parents couldn't agree, so they just put S as his middle name.


According to Wiki, it's his grandfathers who couldn't agree.


Just wondering, why would his grandfathers decide his name?
This is not a signature.
cadams35
 
Posts: 1511
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:31 pm
Location: Tuscola, IL

Postby WhitePhantom » Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:29 pm

bwouns wrote:I remember seeing a movie once in which one of the characters contends that Truman's middle name was actually Sergei but that he did not use it for fear of being associated with the Russians. I doubt there is any truth to this, but still I can't remember what movie this was from. Anyone know this?

I saw this movie...and I'm not quite sure, but for some reason I think it's 18 Again.
We have Lenny and Jimmy and me and...Faye.
-Guy Patterson on bass players
WhitePhantom
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:54 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Postby bwouns » Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:42 pm

WhitePhantom wrote:I saw this movie...and I'm not quite sure, but for some reason I think it's 18 Again.


Yes, thats the one. I completely forgot that the movie existed (except for that line), until you reminded me. I was thinking the movie was Back to School, the Rodney Dangerfield film. I even searched for the script online to find out that I was wrong. Now that I think about it, those two movies are similar in a lot of ways.
bwouns
 
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:31 am
Location: Eugene, OR

Re: Harry S Truman Harry S. Truman

Postby Momma Snider » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:32 am

I don't remember seeing this thread nine years ago (but how would I know? That was nine years ago!) but it wouldn't be all that surprising if President Truman used an accidental period after his initial now and then. I knew a man who occasionally put an apostrophe in his last name (Phillip's) and I KNOW that wasn't how it was supposed to be.
Momma Snider
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:17 am


Return to Main Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron