1. Harry S. Truman
  2. Museum Information
  3. An Ordinary Man, His Extraordinary Journey
  4. Oval Office and Three Branches of Government

Oval Office and Three Branches of Government

As a lifelong student of history and civics, Truman believed it was essential for Americans to understand how their government works. He was especially committed to educating young people about their rights and responsibilities, a mission he pursued with his Presidential library.  

The first three Articles of the Constitution established the three equal branches of government.  Because each branch has ways to restrain the others, it is sometimes called a system of “checks and balances.”

He worked to streamline
the Executive branch to better meet the challenges of the modern world. To do this he had to know how the presidency fit into the framework of government as set out in the Constitution.  Where his predecessor Franklin Roosevelt reveled in ad hoc personal decision-making, Truman preferred a more organized process, listening to advice and delegating when possible in a more open system of decision-making.

Key artifact
Buck Stops Here Sign