For Immediate Release: June 21, 1999
Contacts: Edeen Martin
816-268-8218
Truman Library and Museum

Michelle Manuel
816-842-1500
Barkley & Evergreen Public Relations

"THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN" COMES TO THE TRUMAN LIBRARY

George C. Marshall Exhibition Makes Stop in Independence

(Independence, MO) - Winston Churchill called him "the last great American." For Harry Truman, he was a "tower of strength and common sense." The program named for him gave Western European nations new hope and more than 13 billion dollars to rebuild homes, medical facilities and transportation systems after the devastation of World War II. He is the only professional soldier in the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. No wonder Colin Powell named George C. Marshall, "one of the greatest Americans who ever lived."

From July 1 to December 1, 1999, visitors to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum will be able to explore the life of President Truman's Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, and the man for whom the Marshall Plan was named in the exhibition, "George C. Marshall: Soldier of Peace." This traveling exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery and the George C. Marshall Foundation.

Sneak Preview

The public will have a chance to get a sneak preview of this exhibition at a free public program on June 30 featuring guest speaker Dr. Larry Bland from the George C. Marshall Foundation. The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Truman Library auditorium. Dr. Bland will speak on the topic of "Truman and Marshall." Following the presentation, Dr. Dennis Merrill, professor of history at University of Missouri - Kansas City, will comment on the Marshall Plan today. A reception will follow the program.

Larry I. Bland is editor of The Papers of George Gatlett Marshall, a multi-volume documentary edition of General Marshall's papers. He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. diplomatic history from the University of Wisconsin, and is the associate editor of The Journal of Military History.

George C. Marshall: Soldier of Peace

The exhibition opened at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC in 1997 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. Among the more than 50 objects selected for this concise review of Marshall's (1880-1959) life and achievements are paintings and photographs of Marshall, and portraits of the world leaders with whom he negotiated the course of World War II and its aftermath. Those portrayed include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.

In 1943, Marshall was nearly named supreme allied commander of Europe, but President Roosevelt said that he could not sleep at ease with Marshall out of the country. In 1946, President Truman asked him to become secretary of state. One year later, with Europe in crisis, Marshall introduced what was to become known as the Marshall Plan in a short address following commencement exercises at Harvard University.

"I worked on that as if I was running for the Senate or the presidency. That's what I am proud of," Marshall said later.

The exhibition "George C. Marshall: Soldier of Peace" is made possible by Bayer Corporation Pharmaceutical Division and the Truman Library Institute.

For more information about George C. Marshall or the Harry S. Truman Library, please visit the Library's web site at www.trumanlibrary.org.

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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