The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
At A Glance
Hours: Monday through Saturday 9am until 5pm
Price: $5 up to $12
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and final resting place of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. It is located in Independence, Missouri and was the first presidential library to be created under the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. The library is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Built on a hill overlooking the Kansas City skyline, the Truman Library was dedicated on July 6, 1957. The ceremony included attendance by former President Herbert Hoover, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The lead architect for the project was Edward F. Neild of Shreveport, Louisiana. Truman had initially wanted the building to resemble his maternal grandfather’s house in Grandview, Missouri but was later not pleased with the final design.
The museum has been victimized by significant burglaries twice. In 1962, burglars stole a collection of 450 rare coins that had been donated by Truman’s Treasury Secretary, and in 1978, burglars stole three swords and two daggers encrusted with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, valued at $1 million. None of the stolen items have been recovered.
In 2001, architects Gould Evans designed a $23 million renovation of the entire facility, which included the extensive use of glass in the relatively windowless structure and a significant change to the space between Truman’s grave and the museum. On December 11, 2006, Kofi Annan gave his final speech as Secretary-General of the United Nations at the library, where he encouraged the United States to return to the multilateralist policies of Truman.
What to Expect at The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
Visitors to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum can expect to learn about the life and legacy of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. The museum exhibits include a variety of artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight Truman’s presidency, including his decision to drop the atomic bomb, the formation of the United Nations, and the creation of the Marshall Plan. Visitors can also learn about Truman’s personal life and his family, including his wife Bess and daughter Margaret.
The library also features a replica of the Oval Office during Truman’s presidency, and visitors can see the desk where Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). There is also a theater that plays a film about Truman’s life and an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to “meet” Truman through a holographic projection. Additionally, visitors can also pay their respects to President Truman and his family as their final resting place is located on the library grounds.
What are the operating hours of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum?
The library and museum are open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The facility is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Is there an admission fee to visit the library and museum?
Yes, there is an admission fee for visitors. However, there are discounts for senior citizens, students, and active military personnel. Additionally, the library and museum offer free admission to all visitors on President Truman’s birthday, May 8th.
Are there any special guided tours available at the library and museum?
Yes, the library and museum offer a variety of guided tours, including a “Presidential Tour,” which focuses on Truman’s presidency, and a “Family Tour,” which is tailored to visitors with children. Additionally, they also offer “Behind the Scenes” tours, which give visitors a look at rarely seen artifacts and documents from the Truman era. The tours are available for an additional fee and are subject to availability.