Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This torah was presented to Truman by the first President of Israel...

 

The Whistlestop Campaign...

 

 

 

 

 

The Eternal Flame of Freedom was presented in 1991 by the American...

The graves of the Truman family members...

 

Moving back into the building, photos line the hallway...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pair of 'trench art' vases, mad from captured German 7.7 cm shell...

 

 

 

 

 

Too funny!

A wonderfully done museum!


As I mentioned in the last post, we visited the Truman Library & Museum, here in Independence after touring the Truman Home. It's a couple of miles away, built on a hill overlooking the Kansas City skyline on land donated by the City of Independence. The Truman Library was dedicated on July 6, 1957, in a ceremony which included the Masonic Rites of Dedication; those attending the ceremony included former President Herbert Hoover, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

A $23 million dollar renovation of the entire facility was completed in 2001 on a design by architects Gould Evans. The changes included the extensive use of glass to the relatively windowless structure and significantly altered the space between Truman's grave and the museum.

From the time the Library opened, President Truman maintained a working office there, often working five or six days a week. In the office, he wrote articles, letters, and his book Mr. Citizen. He met with Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with other notable Americans like Jack Benny, Ginger Rogers, Robert F. Kennedy, Thomas Hart Benton, and Dean Acheson. Long a favorite of museum visitors, the office was viewed through a window from the library's courtyard. A $1.6 million dollar preservation and restoration of Truman's working office was completed in 2009 and features an enclosed limestone pavilion for better access and viewing. The office appears today just as it did when Harry Truman died on December 26, 1972.

President Truman's funeral services were held in the Library's auditorium and he was buried in the courtyard. His wife, Bess Truman, was buried alongside him in 1982. Their daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel, was a longtime member of the Truman Library Institute's board of directors. After her death in January 2008, Margaret's cremated remains and those of her late husband, Clifton Daniel (who had died in 2000), were also interred in the Library's courtyard.

The museum offers an introductory film on the life of President Truman, and two floors of exhibits relating his life and presidency through photographs, artifacts, film clips, documents, and memorabilia. It was the first presidential library to contain a full scale replica of the Oval Office, a feature that has been copied by the Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton libraries. The library also contains The White House Decision Center, an educational program in which school students take on the roles of President Truman and his advisor's facing real-life historical decisions in a recreation of the West Wing of the White House. The mural Independence and the Opening of The West by Thomas Hart Benton adorns the walls of the lobby entrance. The mural, completed in 1961, was painted on site by Benton over a three-year span.

We had a wonderful afternoon exploring this museum. We were there 3 hours and it wasn't nearly long enough, so next time we visit a Presidential Library we'll know to allot more time. I took a ton of pics and I really narrowed down the number I'm posting today as I promised you I would do that. I hope it's not too many for you, I try not to bore you to death but yet give you enough to feel that you got the real 'flavor' of our day. I'm not going to title most of them as many are self explanatory. Hope you enjoy...



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