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The Truman Committee


Photo of Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, later U.S. President

On March 1, 1951, the Senate created the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. Commonly known as the Truman Committee, its members investigated allegations of waste, corruption, and fraud in the national defense program during the World War II era. The committee's careful oversight saved American taxpayers billions of dollars, but perhaps its most lasting legacy was the career of its chairman, Senator Harry S. Truman of Missouri. In 1944, Washington reporters named Truman as "one of the ten most valuable officials in Washington." Later that year, his party nominated him for vice president. He became president on April 12, 1945, following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.