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The Planets Had Fallen
During his first two months as vice president, Harry Truman seldom saw Franklin Roosevelt and received little information on critical wartime developments. He knew nothing ...

The Planets Had Fallen

During his first two months as vice president, Harry Truman seldom saw Franklin Roosevelt and received little information on critical wartime developments. He knew nothing about the atomic bomb or problems with Russia, problems that suddenly became his to solve when Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. Shortly after taking the oath of office, he told reporters, “Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don’t know if you fellas ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me what happened yesterday, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”



President Truman. (Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman also prayed for himself. He was a life-long Baptist, believing that his church gave “the common man the shortest and most direct approach to God.” He had a favorite prayer that he had used since high school, as a bank clerk, farmer, public official, and, now, as president of the United States:

Oh Almighty and Everlasting God, Creator of Heaven, Earth and the Universe:

Help me to be, to think, to act what is right, because it is right; make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me. Give me the ability to be charitable, forgiving and patient with my fellow men help me to understand their motives and their shortcomings even as Thou understandest mine!

Harry Truman was known as an honest and plainspoken man. His religion was an important part of his life although he didn’t put much value in the form of it or in intermediaries. As he put it, “I’ve never thought that the Almighty could be impressed by anything but the heart and soul of the individual.”

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.

—Acts 17:24


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