Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman Library Events Schedule

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Events, Programs, and Exhibits for Sunday, November 18, 2018 - Saturday, May 18, 2019
All events are free with Museum admission, unless otherwise noted.
Truman Legacy Series: An Evening with David Harris
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Lobby and Auditorium
November 28, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

"I had faith in Israel even before it was established. I knew it was based on the love of freedom, which has been the guiding star of the Jewish people since the days of Moses."
- Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman offered recognition to Israel just 11 minutes after the nation declared independence - a decision he later considered to be one of the "proudest moments" of his life. The United States became the first nation in the world to offer recognition, and Truman's belief in Israel set the two countries on a foundation of partnership with a legacy continuing today.

The Truman Library is honored to welcome David Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) for a program focused on Truman's role in the founding of Israel and his continuing legacy today. Harris has led the AJC since 1990 and has been described by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as the "foreign minister of the Jewish people."

Truman Library Institute members are exclusively invited to this event. Please join us for a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 6:30 p.m.

Registration link

Garrett Peck: The Great War in America
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Lobby and Auditorium
December 5, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Offered in partnership with Tom's Town, come celebrate the anniversary of Repeal Day by drinking French 75 cocktails at the Truman Library with author and historian Garrett Peck. He will discuss his latest book, The Great War in America: World War I and Its Aftermath, which examines the American experience during War War I and the unexpected changes that rocked the country in its immediate aftermath - the Red Scare, race riots, women's suffrage and Prohibition, particularly timely on the centennial of the Armistice.

Though overshadowed by the tens of millions of deaths and catastrophic destruction of World War II, the Great War was the most important war of the twentieth century. It was the first continent-wide conflagration in a century, and it drew much of the world into its fire. By the end of it, four empires and their royal houses had fallen, communism was unleashed, the map of the Middle East was redrawn, and the United States emerged as a global power - only to withdraw from the world's stage. President Woodrow Wilson's dream of the League of Nations and a world at peace was shattered on partisan squabbles. President Harry Truman learned the lessons from Wilsonian diplomacy and built the post-WWII institutions that helped the U.S. win the Cold War and embraced America's role as a global superpower, a role we were not ready to play in 1919.

Come early for a cocktail demonstration and sampling of the French 75, a WWI-era cocktail named after the deadly artillery piece. Captain Truman led a battery of these guns in France, and he was the only future president to fight during the Great War. As he wrote his fiancee Bess, his battery of Kansas City men were already making bootlegging plans for Prohibition. The "Thirteen Awful Years," as literary critic H. L. Mencken described it, ended on December 5, 1933 with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, and we will raise a glass to our right to drink on this anniversary of Repeal Day.

Copies of The Great War in America will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free but registration is requested.

Registration link

Mondays with McCullough
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Independence Room
December 10, 2018
12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Join the Mondays with McCullough book club to study the Pulitzer-prize winning biography "Truman" by David McCullough, one chapter at a time. Program is at 12:00 noon on the second Monday of the month in the Independence Room. Bring your own lunch if you wish. The December session will discuss the fourth chapter of the book.
Perhaps you have your own copy you'd like to revisit. If not, copies are available in book and audio form at the Truman Home visitor center and the Truman Library gift shop. Our friends at Mid-Continent Public Library also have copies in most of their branches and on their Overdrive system. Proudly offered in partnership with the National Park Service. RSVP to truman.events@nara.gov.

HST and LBJ: A Presidential Friendship
Unity Temple on the Plaza
December 12, 2018
6:30 pm-8:00 pm

Clifton Truman Daniel was six years old when a classmate told him his grandfather had been president. Meanwhile, Luci Baines Johnson was 16 when her father became president, finishing her teenage years in the White House. Growing up and through adulthood, both Daniel and Johnson lived in the shadow of their presidential families, exploring what it means to be a part of that unique legacy while forging their own paths.

Join us for a discussion between these two presidential descendants and President and CEO of the LBJ Foundation Mark Updegrove in a free public program focused on their lives in a presidential family and with a focus on the friendship that President Truman and President Johnson shared.

Clifton Truman Daniel is the oldest grandson of President Truman and a former newspaper writer, editor and public relations professional. He lectures on his grandfather and plays President Truman in the one-man show, "Give 'Em Hell Harry!," the first time in history a U.S. president is being portrayed onstage by a descendant. In addition to his honorary chairmanship of the Truman Library Institute, Daniel is also board secretary of the Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Luci Baines Johnson is the younger daughter of President Johnson and an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board and manager of LBJ Asset Management Partners as well as Chairman of the Board of BusinesSuites.

This program is free, but RSVPs are requested.


Holiday Afternoon at the Truman Library featuring Matthew Litt
Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Lobby and Whistle Stop Room
December 15, 2018
2:00 pm-3:00 pm

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum will host a special Holiday Open House. Stop by the Museum for warm beverages and holiday treats! Then at 2:00pm, Matthew Litt will discuss his bestselling non-fiction book, Christmas 1945 - The Greatest Celebration in American History.

In December 1945, WWII was finally over and the country was ready to celebrate after four dark holiday seasons. This book tells the true stories of that holiday season. Some will make you smile, some will make you cry - all will restore your American and holiday spirit and your faith in humankind. Matthew will sign copies of his book after the presentation.

1:00 pm Reception

2:00 pm Program

National History Day regional contest
William Chrisman High School
March 2, 2019
9:00 am-4:00 pm

History contest open to students in grades 6-12.

Email mark.adams@nara.gov for more information


Permanent Museum Exhibits:

Ongoing Programming:

Talkin’ Truman: Gain insight into the life & times of Harry Truman with Truman Library archivists and curators. Each program features documents, photographs, and artifacts from the museum's rich collections organized around specific themes or stories.
Talkin’ Truman programs are offered on the first Friday of the month, May through September, at 11 a.m. and are included in Museum admission.

White Glove Wednesdays: Learn about some of the rare artifacts housed at the presidential library, as well as how they came to be part of the Truman Library collection. White Glove Wednesdays are offered 11 - 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday, May through September.
Feature Film:

Harry S. Truman: 1884-1972 Narrated by David McCullough

Daily Show Times: Hourly from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This 45-minute film by Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim examines Truman's life, from his humble birth in Lamar, Missouri, to the courtship of his wife, Bess Wallace, his service in World War I, his entry into local politics under "Boss" Tom Pendergast, his election to the U.S. Senate, and his rise to the Presidency.

Museum Store:

Pay no admission to browse the Museum Store for unique keepsakes and gifts.