Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Harry Truman and the Year 2000 (1950)

The year 1950, (as we are wont to do with "round" numbered years), provided plenty of predictions of what the second half of the 20th century held.

An angry editorial critical of President Harry Truman, (a Missouri native), and his vision for the year 2000 appeared in the January 6, 1950 Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, MO). An excerpt appears below. You can read the entire article here.
Mr. Stalin and the Moscow planners never offered the comrades anything nearly as good as what Mr. Truman promises. The pie he puts in the sky would really be worth waiting for, if it could be had by the year 2000.

In international affairs, there will be world peace. The atom will be under international control. The United Nations will be a going concern and will have forces to preserve international law and order. World commerce will be regullated under the new International Trade Organization. Other nations will share America's prosperity through an expanded Point Four Program of technical assistance to under-developed countries. Communism will be suppressed, not by force of arms, but by an appeal to the minds and hearts of men.

See also:
Subject: Politics
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Future (1967)
Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)
Negro President by Year 2000 (1965)


Anonymous said...

That would be "as we are *wont* to do."

Anonymous said...

If one looks at our current world "peace" from the perspective of 1950, when the world was just five short years from WWII, it would probably look peaceful. Even compared to Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan are relatively calm.

To wit: I think his predictions are much closer to the mark than many made at the time, particularly those related to science and technology.

Matt Novak said...

thanks anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Yes, ironically this piece meant as a rant against Truman winds up being more accurate than many more considered articles by "experts"!

jayessell said...

A Quarter Trillion national debt?

Oh! If only!

Joey1058 said...

They missed on Communism.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Communism hasn't been completely suppressed. However, the Great Western Fear, the specter of the USSR, was eight years dead by 2000. The entire Eastern Bloc was replaced by mostly democratic countries. I'd say Truman was more right than wrong considering it all happened without soldiers firing a shot.

The article author mentions that "if the Presidents predictions turn out to be 83.1416 per cent accurate, what a great wide, wonderful world that your children's children will live in." Rather hilarious, since that sounds pretty much spot on.

El Mostro said...

Poor Truman. Did he really belive his words?