For Immediate Release: Friday, March 31, 2000

Edeen Martin 816-268-8218
Truman Library and Museum

Steffany Hedenkamp 816-842-1500
Barkley & Evergreen Public Relations


- "Looking Back on the American Century" and "First Families" exhibit
on display through April 30, 2000 -

(Independence, Mo.) - If you've been promising yourself a trip to see the recent, temporary exhibits at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, the time to schedule a visit is now. The Library is set to begin an extensive renovation this summer to create new permanent exhibits.

Until renovation activities begin, however, museum visitors can still experience two outstanding exhibits. First, some of the greatest events and people of the 20th Century are revealed through original artifacts in the Looking Back on the American Century exhibition. Presenting objects from some of the most incredible moments in the last 100 years, this exhibition has been extended through April 30, 2000.

From Charles Lindbergh's flight suit and Amelia Earhart's pilot's license, to James Dean's motorcycle and a stage suit worn by Elvis, more than three dozen artifacts highlight this one-of-a-kind exhibition. Also on display is a propeller from the Wright Brothers' airplane, the original safety plug from the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, a full-size Model-T Roadster, and the 1932 Academy Award presented to Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse.

Another popular exhibition at the Library, First Families: An Intimate Portrait from the Kennedys to the Clintons, offers a candid look into the lives of First Families through the eyes of photographer Harry Benson. Through April 29, 2000, museum visitors can journey through three decades of the "unseen" White House, as Benson captured the behind-the-scenes moments of eight First Families, witnessing every president and his family for the past 30 years.

"The artifacts in the Looking Back on the American Century are both fascinating as individual items as well as historically substantial as a collection," said Truman Library Director Larry Hackman. "And the First Families photo exhibit is very powerful, showing a side of the Presidency you don't see in the press. Both exhibitions give museum visitors a profound sense of perspective of the last century and provide an insightful glimpse into the fabric of our American culture."

As visitors conclude their tour of the Looking Back on the American Century exhibit, they will see what changes are in store for the Truman Library. In a series of graphic panels, a companion exhibit will describe, in detail, the upcoming renovation. Also on display will be a large designer's model of a proposed new permanent exhibition on the Truman Presidency, which will open to the public beginning May 2001.

While the Library will not close for major construction until September, preliminary renovation will begin in May 2000. The Library's permanent exhibits, including the Oval Office, the Courtyard, the Auditorium for film presentations and the ever-popular exhibition, Dear Bess: Love Letters from the President will remain open through the summer months.
New permanent exhibitions and a learning center on decision making will help transform the Truman Library into its revitalized role as a "Classroom for Democracy."

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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