Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman Library Events Schedule

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Events, Programs, and Exhibits for Friday, August 17, 2018 - Sunday, February 17, 2019
All events are free with Museum admission, unless otherwise noted.
Harry S. Truman: Soldier from Independence
National World War I Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108
August 23, 2018
6:30 pm-8:00 pm

"I have always wondered how things would have turned out in my life if the war had not come along when it did," Harry S. Truman wrote later in life. Truman entered World War I as a struggling farmer, but he left with the leadership skills and a personal network of friends that launched him into a lifetime of public service that culminated with him becoming one of the greatest presidents of the United States.

Join us for a free public program featuring Dennis Giangreco, author of The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman, as he examines how the pivotal decisions of the young soldier's life influenced his later political career.

This special program is presented in conjunction with "Heroes or Corpses": Captain Truman in World War I, the Truman Library's special exhibition on Harry Truman's military service and how it helped set him on the path toward the presidency.
This program is co-presented by the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, the Truman Library Institute and the National WWI Museum and Memorial. A book signing will follow the program, which takes place in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The program is free to attend, but RSVPs are requested.


History Happy Hour with Archivist David Clark

Truman and the Rich and Famous

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
September 14, 2018
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Babe Ruth, Bob Hope and Groucho Marx aren't the first names that come to mind when you think about Harry Truman's circle. And it might be hard to imagine him rubbing elbows with Jack Benny and Mickey Mantle. But during his administration and after he left the White House, Truman was associated with a cadre of famous entertainers, politicians, and athletes who are household names today. Archivist David Clark will draw on the Library's audiovisual and manuscript holdings to showcase President Truman's relationships with the rich and famous of the 40s, 50s, and beyond.

This event is offered in partnership with Happy Hour -- an upscale wine, beer, spirits, cigars and gifts store in Independence. Owner Carolyn Marsh and Beverage Specialist Sean will pour tastings of: Mad Hatter Beer, Fess Parker Riesling, and Jack Daniels Bourbon. Truman Library Institute members are free, price of museum admission for non-members. Limited space available. Email truman.events@nara.gov to RSVP.


Missouri Council for History Education
Best Practices in History Education Conference

Truman Library
September 20, 2018-September 21, 2018
8:00 am-4:00 pm

The Missouri Council for History Education is a statewide organization of history educators working to promote and improve history education and instruction in Missouri K-12 classrooms.

Their annual conference will be hosted by the Truman Library and Museum on September 20-21, 2018.

Registration and conference information can be found online at https://www.mohistoryeducation.org/annual-conference/

Conference information

Frank Lavin: Home Front to the Battlefront
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
October 4, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Author Frank Lavin discusses the US Army in Europe during WWII, told through his father's experience. Carl Lavin was a high school senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Ohio native enlisted when he turned eighteen, a decision that would take him with the US Army from training across the United States and Britain to combat with the 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge through V-E Day. Home Front to Battlefront is the tale of a foot soldier who finds himself thrust into a world where he and his unit grapple with the horrors of combat, the idiocies of bureaucracy, and the oddities of life back home--all in the same day. The book is based on Carl's personal letters, his recollections, and those of the people he served beside, official military history, private papers, and more. Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier's experience to the broader literature on World War II. Lavin's adventures, in turn disarming and sobering, will appeal to general readers, veterans, educators, and students of the war. As a history, the book offers insight into the wartime career of a combat rifleman, from enlistment to training through overseas deployment. As a biography, it reflects the emotions and the role of the individual in a total war effort that is all too often thought of as a machine war in which human soldiers were merely interchangeable cogs. Email truman.events@nara.gov to RSVP.

National History Day workshop
Truman Library
October 13, 2018
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Ready to kick off the 2019 National History Day season? Join Truman Library's education director - and Kansas City area regional coordinator - Mark Adams for this FREE workshop.

You'll have a chance to unpack the 2019 Triumph and Tragedy in History theme, explore great project resources, and have a chance to ask your questions!

Riley Sutherland, silver medalist at NHD 2018, will be presenting her award winning performance during the workshop.

We look forward to welcoming teachers and students to this informative and interactive session. Please register by emailing mark.adams@nara.gov.


Book Talk: Hendrik Meijer, "Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle
of the American Century"

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
October 24, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Hendrik Meijer will visit the Library to discuss his latest book, "Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century." The book examines the life and career of Senator Vandenberg as he evolved from a young politician drawn toward isolationism to become an important proponent of internationalism during President Truman's administration, building consensus for the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, and NATO. Email truman.events@nara.gov to RSVP.


Permanent Museum Exhibits:

Ongoing Programming:

Talkin’ Truman: Gain insight into the life & times of Harry Truman with Truman Library archivists and curators. Each program features documents, photographs, and artifacts from the museum's rich collections organized around specific themes or stories.
Talkin’ Truman programs are offered on the first Friday of the month, May through September, at 11 a.m. and are included in Museum admission.

White Glove Wednesdays: Learn about some of the rare artifacts housed at the presidential library, as well as how they came to be part of the Truman Library collection. White Glove Wednesdays are offered 11 - 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday, May through September.
Feature Film:

Harry S. Truman: 1884-1972 Narrated by David McCullough

Daily Show Times: Hourly from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This 45-minute film by Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim examines Truman's life, from his humble birth in Lamar, Missouri, to the courtship of his wife, Bess Wallace, his service in World War I, his entry into local politics under "Boss" Tom Pendergast, his election to the U.S. Senate, and his rise to the Presidency.

Museum Store:

Pay no admission to browse the Museum Store for unique keepsakes and gifts.