The Times

U.S. Economy and Politics

The Truman Presidency

The Dymaxion House was designed over the course of Harry Truman’s political carrier. His time in the United States government greatly influenced the success and development of Buckminster Fuller’s design by increasing his potential clientele, funding housing production, developing the mass production industry, and more.

President Harry Truman
Harry Truman was president of the United Sates from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953.  During his time in office, he oversaw the end of World War Two, agreed to the dropping of atomic bombs in Japan at the start of the cold war, and aided in the formation of the United Nations. He faced challenges like the suppression of Soviet Union influence, and establishing a new peacetime economy in the U.S., which he mainly addressed through the New Deal proposal. He also battled racial discrimination in the workforce, and worked to aid returning soldiers, farmworkers, and middle class citizens of the nation.
Amongst other policies, he established the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Point IV Plan.

Significant Dates:

1914: The start of WWI (1914-1918). The development of factories with assembly lines and 
           mass production services is automatically increased on account of huge demand for 
           weaponry and wartime products.

1928: Truman’s campaign approves the use $6.5 million’s worth of bond issues for the 
           construction of 224 miles of paved highways and hospital edifices.

1929: Record levels of profit and productivity were apparent in every branch of the economy.
           Black Tuesday marks the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States. The  
           stock market collapses, halting industry production, and bank failures wipe the savings 
          of millions.

1932: Unemployment reaches its highest level of 11 million.

1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States.

1933: Works Progress Administration puts unskilled workers into large public projects.
           The New Deal is passed bringing various economic programs to combat the Great 
           Depression. Based off 3 principles Relief, Recovery, and Reform, it is introduced to 
           stabilize the economy, provide work, and ultimately prevent a revolution.
           The Tennessee Valley Authority is created. It is a federally owned corporation created  
           in May 1933 whose main goal was to provide navigation, flood control, electricity 
           generation and economic development in the Tennessee Valley.
           During WWII, to provide power for the aluminum plants, TVA initiates a massive 
           hydropower construction program with over 12 hydroelectric plants under construction 
           in 1942. To stress efficiency and urgency TVA of the 12 hydroelectric plants the two,        
           Cherokee and Douglas are both completed in a span of a year to support the wartime 
           production of aluminum. The biggest project of the program is the construction of 
           Fontana Dam. Once complete in 1945 the electricity generates from Fontana Dam   
           went towards aluminum manufacturing, and uranium enrichment: a vital source 
           required for the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project becomes TVA’s second 
           power consumer set up in an isolated area along the Clinch River in 1942. It is known 
           as the Clinton Engineering Works, named after the nearest town. It is the program that 
           developed and created the first atomic bomb. TVA’s wartime contributions solidified its 
           national reputation while helping America win its biggest war. TVA’s contribution to 
           supporting the numerous ALCOA plants help mass-produce aluminum which 
           becomes an abundance and main material used in the Dymaxion creations.

           The TVA Act is introduced.

1934: Truman joins the U.S.A. Senate, in triumph over the Republicans.

1935: Truman is U.S.A. Senator of Missouri.

1929: Germany invades Poland and World War II begins.

1940: President Roosevelt regulates transportation industry production in signing the 
           Wheeler-Truman Act.
           This event  influenced Fuller’s idea of the mass produced house, making the industry     
           more approachable and aiding in the realization of his vision.

1941: The United States of America enter World War II in attacking Pearl Harbor.

1941: Truman becomes a chairman on the Senate Special Committee, and investigates the 
           National Defense Program.

1945: Truman becomes Vice-President of the U.S.A. under F.D. Roosevelt.
           Truman is elected President of the U.S.A.
           Truman approves the U.S.A.’s Army Air Force’s dropping the first atomic bomb on 
           Hiroshima, Japan and later the second on Nagasaki, Japan.
           End of World War II.
           The United Nations is formed. 

1945-1946: The Nuremburg Trials take place

1945-1949: Truman approves the spending of $3.7 billion on GI benefits for returning war 
                      veterans. In doing so, he greatly influenced the post-war housing market 
                      Buckminster Fuller targeted in his sale of the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, 
                      contributing to the success of the orders he received.

1946: Truman provides Great Britain with a $3.75 billion loan.
The Cold War initiates between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Farmers Home Administration is established to support the construction and repair of rural housing.
The Veteran’s Emergency Housing Act is initiated to promote house production for
returning soldiers.
The Federal Employees Pay Act elevates the minimum wage of government workers
by 14% and subsequently creates a new middle class in the U.S.A.
All of these developments elevated America’s desire of the mass produced  
housing unit Fuller had just developed and gave more people the money to be 
able to afford its cost.
The establishment of the Farmers Home Administration also elevated the 
popularity of Buckminster Fuller’s Workers’ Shelter.

1947: The Truman Doctrine ensues the U.S.A’s economic and military support of Greece 
           against the Soviet Union. This initiative further established the Nation’s worldwide
           against Soviet expansion.
           The Taft-Hartley Act is passed, restricting union activity in all labor fields.
           Truman gives a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored   
           People, in which he fights against racial inequality and proposes that  "Every man 
           should have the right to a decent home, the right to an education, the right to adequate
           medical care, the right to a worthwhile job, the right to an equal share in the making of 
           public decisions through the ballot, and the right to a fair trial in a fair court."
           The Federal Housing and Rent Act promotes the construction of rentable housing in
           urban areas.

1948: The Water Pollution Law funds research concerning sewage treatment systems and 
            pollution. In the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine prototype developed in this period, 
            Fuller also added a water system to his structure, reflecting the technological 
            advancements of the day.The Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Act is established to   
            prohibit employers form threatening, discharging, intimidating, or pressuring 
            employees. This event decreases the unemployment rate in America and increases 
            the middle class population, now joining the housing market Fuller is catering to in his 

Authored by: Will Fu and Justyna Maleszyk
Edited by: Isabel Ochoa