Travelin' Tuesday: Road Trip Review of the Truman Presidential Museum

Been cleaning out the boxes of accumulated papers from years of road trips and decided to highlight some of the best stops here.

(Used with permission from the Truman Library)

Address: 500 W. US Hwy. 24, Independence MO 64050; Phone: 816-268-8200 or 1-800-833-1225; Fax: 816-268-8295.
The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries
administered by the National Archives and Records Administration

In 1966 my 8th grade class from Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, decided to take our class trip to the Truman Presidential Museum.  48 years later I revisited the library and was excited to learn how large the archives and library have grown!

For those interested in Harry Truman's family history, many resources have been put online.  Need a surname list for Truman's genealogy?  You'll find the list of 260 surnames here from William Allison to Doug Zimmerman.

The library's website also contains an essay on Truman's family history: "Mr. Truman's family roots may not have been presidential or royal, but his Anglo-Saxon ancestry was typical of the Missouri family farmers of his time: a class of energetic, sturdy farmers and agrarians whom Thomas Jefferson described as the backbone of America."

I thought the presidential library would only have things related to that specific president, but, the library encompasses everything about the lifetime of the president as well.  One of the big exhibits they are currently working on is a collection of World War I maps.

The brochure I received at the library gives an overview of what to expect at any of the presidential libraries:
  • "Laura Ingalls Wilder's original manuscripts of Little House on the Prairie and other works documenting life in the Midwest, Hoover Library"
  • "The personal paers, manuscripts, and objects of Ernest Hemingway, Kennedy Library".
  • "The original sketches and manuscript of 'The Lorax' by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Johnson Library."
"Today, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum houses more than:
  • 15,000,000 pages of manuscript materials, of which approximately 6,500,000 are White House files
  • 100,000 still pictures
  • 500+ hours of disc and tape recordings
  • 400 motion pictures
  • Approximately 500 oral histories
  • 75 hours of videotape recordings
  • 30,000 books
  • 10,000 periodicals
  • 1,400 microfilm copies of printed materials
Together, these historic materials document the remarkable life and legacy of President Truman, and some of the most dramatic chapters from our American story."

If you're in Independence, Missouri anyway, be sure and stop by Harry Truman's home as well as the Midwest Genealogy Library.