Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman Library Events Schedule

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Events, Programs, and Exhibits for Friday, September 21, 2018 - Thursday, March 21, 2019
All events are free with Museum admission, unless otherwise noted.
Missouri Council for History Education
Best Practices in History Education Conference

Truman Library
September 20, 2018-September 21, 2018
8:00 am-4:00 pm

The Missouri Council for History Education is a statewide organization of history educators working to promote and improve history education and instruction in Missouri K-12 classrooms.

Their annual conference will be hosted by the Truman Library and Museum on September 20-21, 2018.

Registration and conference information can be found online at https://www.mohistoryeducation.org/annual-conference/

Conference information

United Nations Peacekeepers Round Table
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Lobby and Auditorium
September 22, 2018
1:00 pm-3:00 pm

In today's most dangerous trouble spots, United Nations peacekeepers are working to separate warring parties and protect people from the scourge of armed conflict. It's an inherently dangerous mission, costing the lives of more than 3,600 uniformed and civilian personnel since operations launched in 1948. The program was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.

The United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City presents a panel of international military officers currently studying at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College to discuss their missions, recall their challenges and share their achievements.

Presidential Trivia Happy Hour
Truman Library
September 24, 2018
4:00 pm-6:00 pm

Five years ago the Washington Library opened as the research and outreach arm of George Washington's Mount Vernon. To celebrate their 5th year anniversary, they are coming to the heartland to host happy hour at the Truman Library.

On September 24, from 4 to 6 p.m., join us for trivia, prizes, drinks, heavy appetizers, and presidential precedents.

The new Washington Library Director, Dr. Kevin Butterfield, will lead the celebratory toast at 5:00 p.m. (CST) via video conference.



2018 Truman Book Award featuring Kevin Peraino
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Lobby and Auditorium
September 27, 2018
6:30 pm-8:00 pm

As 1949 unfolded and Mao Zedong's communist forces spread further across China, Harry S. Truman found himself facing a new diplomatic challenge. Truman and his aides scrambled to respond, and their actions ended up yielding an American foreign policy that helped set the trajectory for relations with China for decades to come.

Winner of the 2018 Harry S. Truman Book Award, "A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949" by veteran foreign correspondent Kevin Peraino, examines the tumultuous year 1949 in a gripping narrative of the Truman administration's response to the triumph of Mao?s forces.

Prior to his book talk, Peraino will be presented with the Truman Library Institute's Harry S. Truman Book Award. Past recipients of this prestigious biennial award include Dean Acheson, Alonzo Hamby and Wilson D. Miscamble.

This program is free and will be preceded by a 6 p.m. wine reception and followed by a book signing.


Frank Lavin: Home Front to the Battlefront
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
October 4, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

A high school senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Ohio native Carl Lavin enlisted in the U.S. Army when he turned 18, a decision that would take him to combat with the 84th Infantry Division through V-E Day. In his latest book, author Frank Lavin tells his father Carl's story of going to war as a teenager - as so many World War II veterans did - and thrust into a world where he would grapple with the horrors of combat.

"Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II" is based on Carl's personal letters, the recollections of both Carl and those he served with, military history, private papers and more. The enthralling story combines the rich details of one soldier?s experience with the broad history of World War II as a whole.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Frank Lavin currently works in business in China. An avid historian and writer, he has written or contributed to eight books and has a monthly column at Forbes.com.

This free public program will be preceded by a reception. A book signing will follow, with "Home Front to Battlefront" available in the Museum Store. The program is free but RSVPs are requested


Andy Carroll - "Million Letters Campaign" and My Fellow Soldiers book
Harry S. Truman Library
October 6, 2018
2:00 pm-3:00 pm

Nothing tells the story of the sacrifices, challenges and experiences of troops at war better than their own words, through letters written to friends and family back home. To keep these stories alive and share them with future generations, Andrew Carroll, director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University, is on a nationwide tour to seek out and preserve letters from every war in U.S. history.

Carroll's program will focus on his most recent book, the critically-acclaimed My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War, which includes letters from Missouri native John "Black Jack" Pershing but also young Harry Truman, who served as an artillery captain during World War I. The program takes place 100 years to the day that Captain Truman wrote one specific letter home to his fiancee Bess discussing his service in France, and Carroll will discuss this letter in particular.

This public program is free, but RSVPs are requested


Screening of "American Experience: The Great War" Part Two
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Theater
October 11, 2018
6:30 pm-8:00 pm

"The Great War" tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as "doughboys." The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American "code talkers" and others whose participation in the war to "make the world safe for democracy" has been largely forgotten. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever.

Co-hosted by the National Park Service, this is the second installment of a three-part series. Part 3 will be shown during the Veterans? Day schedule of events on November 11.

National History Day workshop
Truman Library
October 13, 2018
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Ready to kick off the 2019 National History Day season? Join Truman Library's education director - and Kansas City area regional coordinator - Mark Adams for this FREE workshop.

You'll have a chance to unpack the 2019 Triumph and Tragedy in History theme, explore great project resources, and have a chance to ask your questions!

Riley Sutherland, silver medalist at NHD 2018, will be presenting her award winning performance during the workshop.

We look forward to welcoming teachers and students to this informative and interactive session. Please register by emailing mark.adams@nara.gov.


White House Decision Center Experience

Simulation: Ending the War with Japan

Truman Library, White House Decision Center
October 20, 2018
10:00 am-1:00 pm

Can you handle the truth? Are you ready to lead? Find out during a rare open-to-the-public session in the White House Decision Center as you step into the role of the President and his advisers. Usually reserved for corporate leadership retreats and educational groups, the White House Decision Center has been described as a "ropes course for your mind."

The session will begin with a custom tour through the museum to help transport participants to America in 1945. Then you will go behind the scenes of the library to the replicated West Wing on the lower level. There you will examine formerly classified documents, broker compromise and build consensus to navigate through a simulation of one of President Truman's landmark decisions.

Sign up for the ultimate test of your presidential decision making skills. Complimentary beverages and snacks provided. Email truman.events@nara.gov
to RSVP.

Book Talk: Hendrik Meijer, "Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle
of the American Century"

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
October 24, 2018
6:30 pm-7:30 pm

He was a key force who led the Republican party from a foreign policy of isolationism to one of internationalism in support of the Cold War, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and NATO - yet many are not aware of this senator's legacy. Senator Arthur Vandenberg evolved from a young politician drawn toward isolationism to become an important proponent of internationalism and many of the foreign policies that defined Truman's administration.

To commemorate United Nations Day, join the Truman Library for a free public program featuring Hendrik Meijer, author of "Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century" in conversation with Truman Library and Museum Director Dr. Kurt Graham. Meijer is CEO and chairman of the Meijer grocery store chain. He also wrote a biography of his grandfather, "Thrifty Years: The Life of Hendrik Meijer" and produced the documentary "America's Senator: The Unexpected Odyssey of Arthur Vandenberg."

In his latest book, Meijer tells the captivating story of how Senator Vandenberg rose out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to become the model of a consensus builder. Join us for a free public program discussing Vanderberg's legacy and how it continues to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today. The program will be preceded by a reception and followed by a book signing, with copies of "Arthur Vandenberg" available in the museum store. This program is free to attend but RSVPs are requested

Book Talk: Jay Sexton, "A Nation Forged by Crisis"
Truman Library and Museum
November 8, 2018
6:30 pm-8:00 pm

From the American Revolution to the Civil War to the Great Depression and two world wars, crisis after crisis has shaped and defined our nation. Looking back on these conflicts and studying this history is the only way to understand our past and prepare for our unpredictable future, argues author Jay Sexton in his latest book A
Nation Forged by Crisis: A New American History.

Sexton is the Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri and emeritus fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. Early in his
career, Sexton served as an intern at the Truman Library, and some two decades later he is circling back as a featured public programs speaker. Sexton is also the author of Debtor Diplomacy: Finance and American Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era, 1837-1873 and The Monroe Doctrine: Empire and Nation in Nineteenth-Century America.

Sexton's program will analyze our nation's story through global conflicts and crises, with a special emphasis on the tumultuous period during Harry S. Truman's presidency. Sexton will also provide a non-partisan analysis of how changes in power relations and the international economy have affected the United States in recent years and how it will impact our nation's trajectory going forward.

This program is presented in partnership with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, the Truman Library Institute and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. It will be preceded by a free wine reception and followed by a book-signing, with copies of "A Nation Forged by Crisis" available in the Museum Store. This public program is free, but RSVPs are requested


Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
November 11, 2018
9:00 am-1:00 pm

Save the date for this spectacular salute to America's veterans at the 7th Annual Ike Skelton Veterans Day Salute at the Truman Library. Join us for a full day of activities, including a ceremonial wreath-laying, a public program featuring the descendants of Battery D soldiers who served with Truman in World War I, musical performances, kids' activities and more. The Truman Library is open free of charge in honor of this important day and in gratitude to our nation?s veterans.

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.