Home » Reference » Humanities » History » The old man who died in the Mt St Helens eruption was once sunk by a U-boat, smuggled booze, threw his ex-wife into a lake during arguments, got park rangers drunk, impersonated game wardens, assaulted taxmen, hated hippies, chased off a Supreme Court Justice and died with his cats on a volcano

The old man who died in the Mt St Helens eruption was once sunk by a U-boat, smuggled booze, threw his ex-wife into a lake during arguments, got park rangers drunk, impersonated game wardens, assaulted taxmen, hated hippies, chased off a Supreme Court Justice and died with his cats on a volcano

Harry R. Truman

Harry R. Truman (October 1896 – May 18, 1980) was an American businessman, bootlegger, and prospector. He lived near Mount St. Helens, an active volcano in Washington state, and was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake near the foot of the mountain. Truman came to fame as a folk hero in the months leading up to the volcano’s 1980 eruption after refusing to leave his home despite evacuation orders. He is presumed to have been killed by a pyroclastic flow that overtook his lodge and buried the site under 150 ft (46 m) of volcanic debris.

After Truman’s presumed death, his family and friends reflected on his love for the mountain. In 1981, Art Carney portrayed Truman in the docudrama film St. Helens. He was comm… Continue Reading (9 minute read)

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