Harry S. Truman Visitor Center

To celebrate Presidents’ Day, Buddy Bison and I visited the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site in Independence, Missouri. Buddy and I have lots of tips on making the most out of your trip there!

But first, a quick history lesson: Harry S. Truman was the Vice President under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. When Roosevelt died in 1945, Truman became president for the next three years. Truman then ran for president in 1945 and won. He retired from political office in 1953 and moved back to Independence.

Here are a few of the fun things to do at the National Historic Site:

  1. Walk in the footsteps of our 33rd president! Known for his strolls around the neighborhood, visitors are welcome to walk the same sidewalks as he did. Truman used a walking stick to count his steps. Sticks are for sale at the Visitor Center, which is located at 223 North Main Street.
  2. Take of tour of Truman’s Home! Stop by the Visitor Center to sign up for the free tour! Then head over to the Truman Home located at 219 N. Delaware St. A staff member will meet you at the gate when it’s time for the tour to begin.
  3. See if you can spot Truman’s hat! When touring the Truman house, look for Truman’s hat. It is still hanging on the hook just as he left it. His wife, Bess Wallace Truman,  put in her will that the hat should never be moved. So Buddy Bison says that you can look, but don’t touch.
  4. Make an origami paper crane!  The Visitor Center has dozens of colorful paper cranes on display. This is based on the book “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr.  The book is a true story about a woman named Sadako Sasacki. She got sick from the effects of the Hiroshima Bomb. Sadako followed an old legend that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, her wish of being healed will come true.
  5. Speaking of the Visitor Center, there is a life-size cutout of Truman there. Be sure to take your photo with it! Buddy looks forward to seeing your photos with Truman on Instagram!

Buddy and I hope you get a chance to visit! But, if you can’t visit the park, but want to feel connected to Truman just pick up a book. According to the National Park Web site, he read over 1,100 books. You can find a list of books that were in his house here: https://www.nps.gov/hstr/learn/historyculture/truman-home-study-book-list.htm.