Harry Truman – delivering Oppenheimer’s creation

Harry Truman is the forgotten piece of the narrative when it comes to the nuclear bomb. Oppenheimer may have created it (along with others) but Truman was the one to give the order to use it, described by one commentator as “the most history-altering executive decision since Pontius Pilate”. He took on the presidency on April 12 1945 after Franklin D Roosevelt’s death.

  Although he retired unpopular in 1953 and his presidential reputation languished for decades, he was eventually resurrected to the top 10. And he did have a fair number of credits including staying in Europe after 1945, implementing the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe and establishing NATO to contain the expansion of Soviet communism. He decolonised the Philippines, desegregated the military and put the Atomic Energy Commission under civilian not military control. The Korean War was a failure; but appalling as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, some argue the nuclear bombing can be seen as preventing a third world war in later years.

 He was born 8 May 1884 4pm Lamar, Missouri, into a livestock and farming family. Two things are intriguing about his chart. One is he has both Neptune and Pluto in his 8th house like Winston Churchill and Hitler. It wasn’t conjunct but it would give him an innate ability to influence events. His Taurus Sun was conjunct his Neptune in the 8th. The other key factor was his Pluto conjunct not only Mercury but also Chiron. Pluto on Chiron in the 8th certainly conveys the darkness, depth and intensity of the ‘destroyer of worlds’. He appeared not to have had any qualms about the order to bomb but the 8th house is deeply unconscious and projected into the world it would bring an earth-shaking howl of pain and horror.

  His relationship chart with Japan has a composite Mars Pluto square Moon North Node which in a different way echoes the utter ruthlessness of their connection and the bitterness left behind.

  When the Hiroshima bomb was dropped tr Saturn was conjunct his Solar Arc Sun Neptune in his 10th so it must have given him a tremor of concern even if it did not show; with tr Pluto conjunct his SA Saturn adding to the gravitas of the moment.    

3 thoughts on “Harry Truman – delivering Oppenheimer’s creation

  1. I have no doubt Truman made the right call. De Gaulle said he had guts. No other head of state would have chosen to prolong the war for years at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, not counting the wounded or traumatized, as well as a greater number of Japanese than those killed by the bomb. It is no worse than some of the tragic choices Churchill made, only on a greater scale. The war simply had to be ended as soon as possible. What astounds me is the finding by some historians that the Japanese government did not surrender because of the atomic bombs, but because of the fearful effect of Stalin’s belated declaration of war on Japan.

  2. Truman made the terrible mistake of allowing the French back into Indochina after the war setting up the conditions for the Vietnam war. He also allowed the British back into Malaya and the Dutch into Indonesia all decisions that were against Roosevelt’s express anti-colonial aims. His Mars in the 11th square Sun and Neptune in the 8th would have given him a pugnacious demeanour but not a lot of subtlety.

  3. Thanks Marjorie. Great post. Richard Rhodes is a scholar on this topic, and worth the read. He wrote several books on the bomb. It was news to me that Stalin originally planned to go all the way out to the Atlantic and Portugal, but he stopped after the USA dropped the bomb on Japan. There really were Russian spies in the USA as well. Both from the Richard Rhodes books. There is a great documentary called the Fog of War on Robert McNamara. He talks about working for General George LeMay and the firebombing of Japan, and the decision to drop the bomb.

    The young do not remember the cold war, and how awful it was, and how some of us grew up in this atmosphere, never sure if the day would be the last. Truman sounds like he is worth the read, and my mother was a big fan of his. Did not know about all the Taurus and 8 house energy, but will look into it.

    Thank you for these posts. It is time for the collective to honestly look at and understand this. Still an uncertain world.

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