It was the start of our journey along the Oregon Trail, over 2000 miles following the way of the wheeled wagons when the first pioneers headed out West in the 19th Century. Independence, Missouri, near Kansas City is the place it all begins.
Independence was the home of the 33rd President of the United States, and he was the first to set up the now customary Presidential library of which there are now 13, going back to Herbert Hoover.
The libraries were set up to preserve as much of the Presidency as possible in records, books and items. So whilst in Independence we swung by to see and learn more.
Of course, being from England, I only had a limited knowledge of President Truman. He was in office from 1945 to 1953, so of course was there during many changes in the world. The end of the second world war, the first use of nuclear weapons, the start of the cold war to name just a few.
The museum delves a whole lot further than that. It takes you way back to his childhood, his family, deep into the whom the man really was and beyond. With many many personal artifacts.
There are so many highlights that of course cannot all be shown here. The Truman Chryslers were a great sight to see, looking as shiny as they were back when new!
Another thing this museum has and is now copied in a few other of the Presidency museums is the replica of his oval office in the White House.
Later in his life he devoted so much of his time here personally working in the library and museum. He was known to pop in and answer the phone himself to enquirers or take some of the visiting schoolchildren on the tours. The office he worked in can also now be viewed as it was.
In the garden area the pathway winds round to the graves of Harry S Truman plus his wife Bess. And a grand display of the flags of every state lined amongst the garden.
Fascinating and interesting… And of course, Independence is much more than this too, lot’s more to show in coming posts. Time to get back on the trail.