| About the Documents: Presidents like to get away for a while and take a little vacation.
However, they rarely escape the constant grind of government, and
often accomplish some work while away from Washington. President Truman often escaped to Key West, Florida
for a few weeks during each year of his administration, except 1945.
While in Florida, the President stayed on the Key West Naval Air Station
in a home that was once the residence of the base commandant. Because
of President Truman's frequent visits, the location came to be called
the Little White House. The First Lady and Margaret often accompanied
the President, as well as various secretaries and advisors, Cabinet
members, military personnel, Secret Service agents, and a full retinue
of members of the press.
Trips to Key West were not all rest and relaxation. While President
Truman and his guests enjoyed swimming, volleyball, fishing, and
sunning on the beach, work was an ever-present demand. President
Truman responded to mail, conducted press conferences, met with
advisors, and attended various ceremonial functions.
In addition to visiting Key West, President Truman also took trips
that were more work than vacation. Examples include a visit to Wake
Island to confer with General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean
Conflict, his trip to Potsdam after the end of the war in Europe
to attend a meeting of the World War II allies, and his visit to
Rio de Janeiro for an Official State visit.
Lieutenant Commander William Rigdon, an Assistant Naval Aide to
the President, compiled the logs during these trips, combining a
narrative of the daily events with photographs of Truman and his
fellow vacationers. A complete set of these trip logs is located
in the Rose Conway Papers.
In order to view a particular trip log, please click one of the
covers, or its title, below.