Subversive Historian – 04/08/09

Truman: Man of Steel

Back in the day on April 8th, 1952, President Harry S. Truman ordered his Secretary of Commerce to seize control of all U.S. steel mills. Having taken place during the Korean War, Truman feared an impending nationwide strike by steel mill workers would paralyze an industry important to his war machine. The day after his order, the unpopular President informed a combative Congress of his move to seize the eighty-eight steel mills throughout the country without their input. The owners of the steel mills challenged Truman’s actions in a case that was argued before the Supreme Court. Months after, Justices returned a decision that stated that Truman had indeed traversed the boundaries of the constitution. The President immediately ordered the government to relinquish control over the steel mills and the workers went out on strike that very same day.

In his actions, Truman claimed to have acted as a wartime president in overstepping his presidential authorities. Now where have I heard that before?

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