Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

CONTACT: Holly Milledge, 816-268-8245
EVENT: Screen Gems Collection
LOCATION: Truman Presidential Museum & Library, U.S. 24 Highway and Delaware

Truman Presidential Museum & Library Opens New Films and Sound Recordings
Featuring Harry S. Truman Speaking Off the Script.

On Friday, May 6, the Truman Presidential Museum & Library will open one and one half hours of film and eleven hours of sound recordings from the Screen Gems Collection. This collection of outtakes was created during the production in 1961-1963 of the television documentary, Decision-The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman. Truman is often featured speaking off the script or without a script during his time on camera and before the microphone.

Among the film segments being opened, one shows Truman saying of the Ku Klux Klan, "We don't need to have government by sheet. I don't like it. They're no good"; in another he says his mother disciplined him when he was a boy with the assistance of a slipper; in another he recalls that when at the Potsdam Conference Stalin toasted the firing squad that would execute 50,000 Nazi war criminals, Winston Churchill said, "Britain would never be a party to a mass murder program," and walked out of the meeting; and in another he tells the young people who come to the Truman Library "The next generation's going to be in your hands, and it's going to be up to you."

The sound recordings being opened include several interviews conducted by Merle Miller, author of the best selling Plain Speaking. Miller interviews former President Truman several times, and also Truman's sister Mary Jane Truman, his cousin Ralph Truman, and his associates Eddie Meisburger, Rufus Burrus, and W. Averell Harriman.

"These priceless segments of film and sound recording recapture Harry Truman for us in a very immediate and often intimate way," Truman Library director Mike Devine said. "I'm very pleased the Library was able to save these fragile records and make them available to the next generation of Truman biographers, and to all the American people who want to learn more about this remarkable man."

The Screen Gems Collection is available for research in the Truman Library's audiovisual research room. For further information, please contact Pauline Testerman (816-268-8228; pauline.testerman@nara.gov).

The Unscripted Harry S. Truman
At the Truman Museum, May 7, 2005, 2 p.m

A program of film outtakes from the Screen Gems Collection will play all day, May 7, in the Truman Museum's auditorium. At 2 p.m., Deputy Director, Scott Roley and Brian Burnes, Kansas City Star and author of Harry S. Truman: His Life & Times, will provide commentary on the outtakes. A book signing will follow. Admission is $1.00 all day long in honor of President Truman's as part of the City of Independence Truman Days celebration.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of eleven Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816)268-8200 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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