MARCH 5, 1953: JOSEPH STALIN DIES
On this day in 1953, Joseph Stalin died from complications of a stroke, although some believe that he was poisoned by members of his own party.
Almost ten years earlier, in 1945, President Truman and Stalin met during post-WWII talks.
Truman’s first impression of Joseph Stalin was favorable.
“Truman had that very American idea,” says historian David McCullough, “that if he could just meet the fellow, shake his hand, look him in the eye, size him up, then they could work together, work things out, and everything would be okay.”
Stalin, on the other hand, told an aide that Truman was “worthless.”
For more on Stalin, visit WWII: Behind Closed Doors’ timeline.