#87 – Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum
500 W US Hwy 24, Independence, MO 64050
Good for: Getting a refresher on U.S. history.
Tip: Explore the Independence Square and the Harry Truman home nearby for more history on former President.
The Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum highlights Truman’s life and presidency extensively. It covers his youth, time in the military, rise to Presidency and political decisions. Truman seemed to be one of the people – always talking to constituents, returning letters and even saving letters of criticism.
About Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman became the 33rd U.S. President, after Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office in 1945.
Before his political career, Truman farmed his family land for 12 years, fought in WWI and operated a haberdashery in Kanas City. He became a judge of the Jackson Country Court in 1922, then Senator in 1934. In WWII, he led the Senate war investigating committee. Truman experienced the years of WWII as Vice President to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt died in office, leaving Truman to deal with the end of the war.
Truman made the call to drop the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, effectively ending WWII and killing 262,000 people.
As President, Truman witnessed the development of the United Nations, expanded Social Security, negotiated NATO and more.
He died in his hometown of Independence, MO in 1972 at 88 years old.
About Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum
The museum and library are located in Independence, Missouri near Truman’s home and his family farm. The Truman Family Farm is located in Grandview, Missouri and allows grounds-only tours. The Truman family home is located just blocks from the library and museum.
The museum is extensive with tons of artifacts from his entire life – love letters he wrote his wife, his first car, campaign buttons, the safety plug from the atomic bomb he ordered to be dropped on Japan and so much more. The Trumans are even buried in the beautiful courtyard at the back of the museum.
One of my favorite parts of the museum, was the ENORMOUS mural by Thomas Hart Benton called the Independence and the Opening of the West. It was the last mural Benton did, and Truman painted some of the sky himself.
The Harry S. Truman Library is one of 14 Presidential Libraries and the first Presidential Library to be created under the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act. Other presidential libraries include:
- Herbert Hoover – West Branch, IA
- Franklin D. Roosevelt – Hyde Park, NY
- Dwight D. Eisenhower – Abilene, KS
- John F. Kennedy – Boston, MA
- Lyndon B. Johnson – Austin, TX
- Richard Nixon – Yorba Linda, CA
- Gerald Ford – Grand Rapids, MI
- Jimmy Carter – Atlanta, GA
- Ronald Raegan – Simi Valley, CA
- George Bush – College Station, TX
- Bill Clinton – Little Rock, AK
- George W. Bush – Dallas, TX
- Barack Obama – Hoffman Estates, IL
The city of Independence is very proud of Harry Truman. Throughout the city you will find the drugstore and courthouse Truman worked in, as well as signs marking his famous walking path. If you’re still curious about the former president after the museum, do some more exploring throughout the city. xx, Libbie.