For Immediate Release: April 16, 1999
Contacts: Edeen Martin
Truman Library and Museum

Michelle Manuel
Barkley, Evergreen & Partners Public Relations


Jane Alexander to receive 1999 Public Service Award

(INDEPENDENCE, Mo.) -- On May 7th and 8th, 1999, the Truman Library and Museum, the Truman Library Institute and the City of Independence will celebrate the 115th birthday (May 8, 1884) of the area's most famous citizen, Harry S. Truman. Truman birthday observances will honor Truman's memory and celebrate his many accomplishments.

Activities include:

Friday, May 7
7 p.m. - Presentation of annual Harry S. Truman Public Service Award to Ms. Jane Alexander, celebrated actress and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. The award ceremony is free and open to the public. It will be held on the front portico of the Truman Library, U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware, in Independence.

Each year, the City of Independence honors Harry Truman by presenting this award to an individual who best typifies the qualities of dedication, ability, honesty and integrity that distinguished Harry Truman. Recent past recipients include President Gerald Ford and Senator Bill Bradley.

8:15 p.m. - A free public reception will follow in the Library's east wing. For more information about the Public Service Award, contact the Independence Mayor's office at (816) 325-7027.

Saturday, May 8
9 a.m. - Annual Presidential wreath-laying at Truman's gravesite in the courtyard of the Truman Library and Museum.
9:30 a.m. - Representatives from 40 American Legion Posts in eight states will lay wreaths at the Truman gravesite during special ceremonies in the Library's courtyard.

Admission to the Library for the wreath-layings is free. Beginning at 11 a.m., a special one-time admission price of $1 will be charged for the remainder of the day. For information on the wreath-layings, contact the Truman Library at 816-268-8200 , ext. 236.

More about Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander was nominated by President Clinton as the sixth Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in the summer of 1993. She successfully served a four-year term which ended in October 1997. Committed to President Clinton's challenge to "renew America," Ms. Alexander spoke frequently on how the arts can contribute to better schools, vibrant local economies and stronger communities. Her efforts helped strengthen more than 30 partnerships with other Federal agencies including the Department of Justice serving at-risk youth through the arts and the Department of Education for improved arts education research and development.

Alexander attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Edinburgh. She was born on October 28, 1939 in Boston. She is married to director Ed Sherin and has a son, Jace Alexander, a stage and film director.

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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