Harry S. Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding his nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.
After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them. The trip, which included stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and smaller towns, caused a media sensation, especially when the former President was pulled over by a policeman for driving too slowly in a passing lane.
Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”