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Harry S. Truman National Historic Site


Harry S. Truman lived in the house at 219 North Delaware Street from 1919, when he married Bess, until 1945, when he became President. In 1953, the Trumans took up their old life at the house in Independence, Missouri, and lived there the rest of their days.

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
©National Park Service
This comfortable and simple home was just what you'd expect
from plain-speaking Harry Truman.

The large frame home, with its lumpy sofas and linoleum, is what one might expect of a President who was known for his "plain speaking." The Trumans' favorite room for reading, talking, and relaxing was the library, which displays Truman's impressive book collection. Neighbors and visiting dignitaries alike were entertained in the living room, which the Trumans furnished with a combination of family heirlooms and new items.

The family ate dinner each night in the formal dining room, though Harry and Bess had breakfast and lunch at the simple kitchen table. The house also contains family portraits, memorabilia, and Margaret Truman's baby grand piano, which she took with her to the White House.

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
©Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs, LC-USZ62-117122
Truman's presidency changed the nation and the world.

Truman began his political career in Independence as an administrative judge. When he took over the presidency from Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, he had his work cut out for him. Not only was he succeeding perhaps the most popular President since Washington, but the country was in the midst of World War II. His decision to end the war with Japan by using the atomic bomb changed the world forever.

Harry S. Truman National Historic Site Information

Address: 223 North Main Street
Independence, MO 64050-2804
Phone: 816/254-9929
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Mondays between Labor Day and Memorial Day
Admission: $4; children 15 and under, free

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To learn more about national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.

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