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Harry S. Truman Library


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The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum recounts the life of America's 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. One of only 13 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the museum's two permanent exhibits chronicle the Missourian's private life and political career — with exhibits depicting his most difficult decisions like using the atomic bomb, the Cold War and recognizing Israel. President Truman and his wife, Bess, are buried in the Museum's courtyard.

Did you know about 'Truman, the painter'? In the top right corner of Thomas Hart Benton's mural 'Independence and the Opening of the West', artist Thomas Hart Benton let President Truman help paint the sky blue.

Highlights of the Harry S. Truman Library

  • Independence and the Opening of the West — This impressive 495-square-foot mural framing the Museum's entry was painted by another native Missourian-artist Thomas Hart Benton. His mural depicts three decades of Independence's history (1817-1847) and took approximately two and a half years to complete.
  • The Presidential Years" — This 10,500-square-foot core exhibition outlines the major events and issues of Truman's presidency.
  • "Life & Times" — Added to the permanent exhibit in 2004, this section of chronicles Truman's boyhood, family life and his role as "Mr. Citizen."
  • Decision Theatres — These two interactive theaters put the audience into the President's shoes to make important Oval Office decisions. Visitors vote how they would respond to Truman-term issues such as 1948 election pressures and Cold War spies.
  • Legacy Gallery — This glass-enclosed area houses an eternal flame and a life-size bronze statue of Truman.
  • Harry Truman's Office — Interactive exhibits let visitors explore the office Harry Truman used at the Library during his post-presidential years. Learn more about his daily activities, his visitors, his personal book collection, and the memorabilia he kept on his desk and displayed on his office walls.
  • The museum also features the gravesites of Harry and Bess Truman and their daughter Margaret and her husband, Clifton Truman Daniel, an Oval Office replica, an Academy Award-winning introductory film by Charles Guggenheim, and a gift shop.

80,000 visitors come annually to the Harry S. Truman Library.

Your Visit

Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun., 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursdays from May-Sept.

Verify opening hours and check out admission on the website: Harry S. Truman Library

Nearby is The Truman Home, 219 Delaware, showcases the simple life Truman and his beloved Bess enjoyed in Independence before and after his presidency. The National Park Service offers tours every 15 minutes. Also in Independence, the Truman Depot (111 W. Pacific) served as the final stop for Truman's 1948 Whistlestop Campaign. Now a working Amtrak station, more than 8,500 admirers greeted Truman and Bess there when the pair returned to town following his second term. The city's Truman Walking Trail highlights more than 40 historic sites around the Square and surrounding neighborhoods.

History of the Harry S. Truman Library

Truman's two-term tenure is considered by many historians as one of the most eventful and most studied periods in American history. Ascending to the presidency following Franklin D. Roosevelt's death in April 1945, Truman grappled with several controversial decisions-including the release of the atomic bomb, the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the implementation of several anti-Communist policies. His administration was also responsible for the establishment of the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Prior to joining Roosevelt's campaign ticket in 1944, Truman served as a Jackson County judge and U.S. Senator. He chose not to seek another term in 1952 and retired to Independence, where he resided until his death on Dec. 26, 1972.

Dedicated in July 1957, the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum was the second to receive national designation but the first to be created under the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act. The museum is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.


500 W. Highway 24, Independence, Mo. Location Description: Ca. 20 minutes from downtown Kansas City.

Harry S. Truman Library


GPS Coordinates

1 -- Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
Decimal Lat: 39.1029319763184 / Lon: -94.4213104248047



Document Information
Source: Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association; magazinUSA.com
Last modified: 20120625
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