Harry S Truman was a farmer, soldier in World War I, judge, U.S. Senator, and Vice President before assuming the duties of Commander-in-Chief after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945. He is perhaps best known as the man who made the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 33rd President was known for being a straight shooter; this quote speaks to us today: “You can’t divide the country up into sections… and you can’t encourage people’s prejudices. You have to appeal to people’s best instincts, not their worst ones.” Truman won a close reelection vote in 1948.
Truman Home tour, film, Truman Farm Home
The National Park Service (NPS) visitor center in downtown Independence offers a film and a few artifacts, as well as first-come, first-served tickets for ranger-guided tours of the Truman Home. It was there Harry and Bess (his wife) lived from 1919 until his death in 1972. It served as the summer White House from 1945 to 1953 and was given to the NPS upon Bess’ death in 1982 (the calendar still hanging in the kitchen is original).
About a 30-minute drive from Independence, take a self-guided cell phone tour around the ten acres surrounding the 1894 Truman Farm Home, which once stood on a 600-acre farm that is now the Kansas City-suburb of Grandview, Missouri.
There is no photography allowed inside the Truman Home, so your best shot will be from out front behind the fence installed by the Secret Service in the 1940s to keep the public off the lawn.
Open year round, but we caught peak fall colors in late October.
The home tour costs $7 per person (no reservations) or is free with an America The Beautiful pass.
All roads paved, but street parking is limited near the Truman Home. It is easy to miss the poorly signed turn for the Truman Farm Home in Grandview.
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