Which U.S. President’s Middle Initial Wasn’t Actually Short For Anything?
Answer: Harry S Truman
George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Rutherford B. Hayes–there are many U.S. presidents with prominent middle initials. In the case of Harry S. Truman, however, there’s a bit of an anomaly. Although we could hardly fault you for guessing that the S. stands for something like Samuel, Sebastian, or Sherman, it actually stands for “S” and nothing more.
In a 1962 interview, a reporter asked Truman why his name sometimes appeared in print without a period after his middle initial. He explained that it wasn’t a middle initial at all, but that his middle name was in fact simply “S.” Why the peculiarly terse middle name? His parents couldn’t decide which of his grandfathers to name him after: Anderson Shipp Truman or Solomon Young. As a compromise, they made his middle name “S” as a nod to elements of both his grandfathers’ names.
Although technically his name should be written “Harry S Truman” just like one would write “John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” stylistically it looks odd and it’s a nightmare for copy editing if the copy editor is not aware of the interesting history of Truman’s name. As such, it is common practice for both Truman’s name and any name wherein the middle name is a single letter to include a period after it.
The First Hot Air Balloon Passengers Were?
Which Of These Parts Of A Chicken Help It Regulate Its Body Temperature?
Despite What Jurassic Park Would Have Us Believe, Which Dinosaurs Were Quite Tiny?
Which Of These Films Led To Increased Popularity And Sales Of Wayfarer Sunglasses?
Researchers Have Discovered What Vitamin On Meteorite Samples?
Scientists Have Developed An Electrical Wand To Help Fight What?
The Longest Running Restaurant Guide Was Originally Established To Promote?