For Immediate Release: March 12, 1998
Contacts: Larry Hackman
Truman Library and Museum

Julie Goldsborough
or Dean Davison
Barkley & Evergreen Public Relations


- First Israeli Ambassador to U.N. -

(Independence, Mo.) - World-renowned statesman, author and orator Abba Eban played a vital role in world affairs during one of the most tumultuous times in history. Following World War II, Eban helped prepare the Jewish case for the creation of Israel for presentation to the United Nations. Once the new state was formed in 1948, Eban became Israel's first Ambassador to the United Nations. Shortly after, he became Israel's second Ambassador to the United States, and in fact held both Ambassadorships at the same time.

Eban will share memories of his life and incredible career during a public presentation on Sunday, April 19, 1998 at 7 p.m. at the RLDS Temple in Independence, 1001 W. Walnut. The event is co-sponsored by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. The presentation is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For free tickets, call 816-268-8200 , ext. 254.

Eban's appearance coincides with the opening of the new exhibition "1948: Year of Turmoil and Triumph" at the Truman Library. The exhibit examines the year 1948 when President Truman faced a series of monumental events and decisions. The exhibit focuses on four key areas: the recognition of Israel; the Berlin Airlift; the desegregation of the armed forces; and Truman's famous "Whistle stop" campaign for re-election.

Eban's visit also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel. The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City and the Truman Library have planned a variety of events to honor the anniversary.

Abba Eban was born in Capetown, South Africa and educated in England. He became permanent representative to the United Nations in 1949, Vice President of the U.N. General Assembly in 1953, and served as Israel's Ambassador to the United States from 1950 to 1959 when he was elected to the Knesset. He later became Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.

Eban has been described by literary editors and historians as "the greatest living master of the English tongue." Dr. Henry Kissinger has written, "every time that Eban speaks, I am reminded that English is, for me, an acquired language."

Eban has written more than a dozen books and numerous articles over the last 50 years. Heritage, Civilization, and The Jews sold 200,000 hard cover volumes and was on the New York Times best seller's list for eighteen successive weeks. In 1992, Personal Witness was released.

For more information on Eban's presentation or the 1948 exhibition at the Truman Library, call 816-268-8200 . For information on the Jewish Federation's Israel 50 events, call the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City at 913-327-8100. Or visit the Truman Library's Web site at /.

The Truman Library and Museum is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Mo. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a. m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 18, and free for children 5 years and under.

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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