Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

July 14, 2006

Susan Medler, communications director
PH 816.268.8245 FAX 816.269.8299

Truman Presidential Museum & Library to Host Library of Congress
Exhibition "Churchill and the Great Republic" Aug. 19 - Oct. 15

INDEPENDENCE, MO-For the first time in 50 years, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill are together again. On August 19, 2006, the Truman Presidential Museum & Library will open the Library of Congress exhibition Churchill and the Great Republic. The exhibition, which runs from August 19 through October 15, 2006, examines the life and career of Winston Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) and emphasizes his lifelong links with the United States-the nation he called "the great republic."

Churchill and Truman liked each other. Harry Truman-who had little good to say about many of his contemporaries-called Winston Churchill "the greatest public figure of our time." For his part, the British Prime Minister summed up his admiration for the American President by saying, "He's a man of immense determination. He takes no notice of delicate ground. He just plants his foot down firmly on it." Later, Churchill would credit Truman with saving Western civilization.

Because of the intertwined destinies of these two venerated statesmen-both in ending World War II and fighting Soviet communism-the Truman Library offers a rich and dramatic setting for Churchill and the Great Republic.

Organized by the Library of Congress in cooperation with the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, U.K., this exhibition showcases the remarkable holdings of both institutions. A number of items on display are newly uncovered and receiving their first public viewings. Included in the exhibition are letters, documents, photographs, prints, books, maps, newspaper clippings, and three-dimensional artifacts. Video and audio stations are also featured. The Truman Library is one of only four venues hosting the exhibition.

"We are delighted to showcase this remarkable exhibition," said Clay Bauske, museum curator of the Truman Library. "It reminds us that, although their backgrounds could not have been more different, Winston Churchill and Harry Truman shared a bond forged by their determination to prevail in a global war and to build a stable post-war world."

Exhibition Highlights
Comprised of six major sections, the exhibition covers Churchill's life and achievements from his birth on November 30, 1874, in Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, to his death on January 24, 1965, in London. Throughout, the installation features Churchill's words and ideas, written and spoken. Audio stations featuring speeches by Churchill, along with an introductory film, bring to life this extraordinary individual. Among the letters, political posters and cartoons, photographs, and other objects on display are:

  • A letter from 7-year-old Winston to his mother, one of the earliest known writings of Winston Churchill.
  • Reward Poster for Churchill's capture. On the night of December 12, 1899, the 25-year-old war correspondent escaped from Boer captivity by climbing over the wall of the States Model School in Pretoria, South Africa, where he was held prisoner.
  • Personal and affectionate correspondence between Winston and Clementine. They closed their letters with simple drawings depicting their pet names for one another-he was her "pug" and she his "cat."
  • Audio-recordings of Churchill's "Finest Hour" address, his "Iron Curtain" speech, and more.
  • Telegram written in reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • Photographs of and correspondence between Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill, who enjoyed a close personal rapport and often exchanged handwritten letters, addressing one another as "Harry" and "Winston."
  • Order of service for the funeral of Winston Churchill. Queen Elizabeth, in a rare tribute to a commoner, accorded him a state funeral. Among Churchill's favorite hymns sung at the service was Julia Ward Howe's magnificent song from the American Civil War, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

To preview the exhibition online, visit www.loc.gov/exhibits/churchill.

Admission, Hours & General Information
Churchill and the Great Republic may be viewed in the Museum with the price of regular admission, which is free for children 5 and under, $3 for youths 6-18, $7 for adults, and $5 for senior adults 62 and older. To schedule group tours of this and the permanent exhibits of the Truman Presidential Museum & Library, please call 816.268.8245. For all other information, call 1-800-833-1225 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Through September, Thursday hours are extended to 9 p.m. The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is located at 24 Highway and Delaware in historic Independence, twenty minutes from downtown Kansas City, Missouri. There is ample free parking, with numerous nearby attractions, boutiques and restaurants.

The temporary installation of Churchill and the Great Republic is made possible by the generous support of the Hall Family Foundation and Bank Midwest. The Kansas City Star, Comcast, and WDAF FM are media sponsors. The Library of Congress exhibition was made possible by the generous support of John W. Kluge. Additional support was provided by the Annenberg Foundation. The Library of Congress is the world's largest library with more than 132 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library of Congress serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both onsite in its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award winning web site at www.loc.gov.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of eleven presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Since its dedication in 1957, the Truman Presidential Museum & Library has inspired millions of visitors. Step into a replica of Truman's Oval Office, test your Presidential mettle with interactive exhibits, and discover the powerful stories of an era that continues to shape our world today.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is supported, in part, by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the not-for-profit partner of the Truman Library. The Institute seeks to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history and culture, the process of governance, and the importance of public service, as exemplified by Harry S. Truman. To learn more about the Truman Presidential Museum & Library and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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