#OTD20 | November 2, 1948

Harry Truman’s Astonishing Re-Election Victory

November 2, 1948: Against overwhelming odds and widespread skepticism, President Harry Truman pulls off an amazing political upset.

Against the backdrop of a tumultuous first term marked by the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Truman's chances for re-election seemed slim to most political pundits.

Despite numerous challenges and a popular rival in Thomas Dewey, Truman's relentless campaigning and ability to connect with the common man make all the difference on Election Day.

Truman's unexpected victory underscores the unpredictability of American politics. The triumph remains an iconic example of resilience, determination, and the sheer unpredictability of election outcomes.

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The 1948 election is chronicled in the Media Rich Learning program, "Post-War Years," from the series AMERICA IN THE 20TH CENTURY.


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Additional Resources

Access more information from Media Rich Learning and curated off-site sources.

National Constitution Center

Read "Looking Back at the Truman Beats Dewey Upset" at the website of the National Constitution Center.


Read "The parallels between 1948’s ‘Dewey defeats Truman’ election and today" at the website of Fortune.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Access documents related to the 1948 election at the website of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.


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