Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild About Harry!

The citizens of Independence, Missouri are wild about Harry......Harry Truman, that is.  Today Bruce and I drove the short distance across town to visit the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.  This was our second visit, the first being in the summer of 1991.  Since we were in the area, we decided we needed to check it out again.
Admission to the library is $8.00 and the entire facility is handicapped accessible.  We began our visit with a stop in the main auditorium for a 45-minute film detailing his life from childhood to his leaving the White House.  After the film we went to the lower level to look at those exhibits first.  They began with his childhood years so that seemed the logical place to begin.

The lower level had exhibits of:

*His childhood living on a family farm, and his early school years 
*Harry's family life at home with wife, Bess, and their daughter, Margaret
*His early years as a farmer, soldier in World War I and businessman
*His political career beginning in county politics and later as a U.S. Senator
*Harry's election as Vice-President serving with Franklin Roosevelt, and his life in the White House
*Returning to Independence as a private citizen once his presidency had ended

The main level above was focused on the Presidential Years.  Harry Truman was Vice-President for only 82 days before being sworn in as president when F.D.R. passed away.  There is an exact replica of his Oval Office here.  It includes his massive desk and a huge globe presented to him my General Eisenhower.

Truman was our 33rd President and served for nearly 8 years.  He faced enormous decisions during his tenure as our Chief Executive.  There were many displays that concerned (among many other subjects) the bombing of Japan to end the war in the Pacific, Post-War economic problems, the Korean conflict, the birth of the Cold War and the issue of recognition of Israel.   

In one area there was a small sampling of letters from the citizens who wanted their president to hear from them.  According to the exhibit, President Truman read a lot of these letters himself.

The area on the Presidential Years ends in 1952 when Eisenhower is inaugurated.  Harry Truman and Bess returned to their beloved Independence, Missouri to live out the rest of their years in their own home.  This home is located at 219 Delaware Street.  We had hoped to tour the home, but it was closed for renovation and will not be open until the end of the month.

Outside of the main library is a large courtyard with a lot of trees and beautiful lawns.  You can follow a path that leads to the gravesites of President Harry Truman and his wife, Bess Truman.

This presidential library was dedicated in July of 1957.  It is a fascinating place to relive major historic moments from our United States history.  We spent over 2 hours here today and it was well worth our time.

Until next time.....so long for now!


Phyllis said...

Good evening. Hey, we are in the same state right now. We are in Nevada for the night. Nevada, MO that is. We are on our way back from SD headed to TX to pick up our rig and take it back to NJ for repairs.

Would have loved to have been able to tour a little of the area. However, not this trip.

You take care.

Happytrails said...

What a beautiful home! One of the most exciting things about full-timing is the enormous amount of knowledge you acquire as you travel. This is a great example.

Thanks for the information Margie and the great pics.

You all travel safely!

Mike & Gerri

Carol K said...

Thanks for the review, Margie. I hope to visit there sometime.

Rick and Paulette said...

Thanks for the great tour and pictures of the President Harry S. Truman Library. It's definitely one of the places I hope to visit someday. I still believe that Harry Truman is one of the greatest Presidents in the history of the U.S.A. He faced monumental decisions, made them and accepted the consequences.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Margie, We never tire of visiting the Truman Museum, he is a folk hero here in MO, I especially like the his and hers Plymouths he had for him & his wife. Imagine being the President of the US and owning two working man Plymouths. Donna's father had the pleasure of meeting him at the St Louis train station and would always say, for being President he was just a regular guy like the rest of us, He would always tell folks if you get in Independence, stop by the house. You guys enjoy your stay and be safe out there. Sam & Donna

Jerry and Suzy said...

Happy Trails is correct - as traveling RVers we gain a lot of information and knowledge. Now we have to learn how to plug the leaks in our memory system and try to retain some of it long enough to write a blog about it! Thanks for the nice tour of HST's library and Independence, MO. He was a great president!