"Heroes or Corpses": Captain Truman in World War I
Presented by the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
On Display at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Included with Museum Admission
“There we were watching New York’s skyline diminish, and wondering if we’d be heroes or corpses,” Harry S. Truman later recalled as he departed New York for the battlefields of France in the spring of 1918. Truman returned a hero, and his service helped set him on the path to the presidency.
“‘Heroes or Corpses’: Captain Truman in World War I” tells the captivating story of Truman’s service in the Great War through never-before-exhibited photographs, personal letters and more than 40 artifacts from Truman’s personal World War I collection. View the loving cup that members of Battery D purchased for Captain Truman with money they pooled together following the war. See Truman’s tack box that was painted over with the new title “Captain Harry S. Truman” when he was promoted from lieutenant to captain. Read some of the more than 100 letters that Captain Truman sent to his fiancée Bess while stationed overseas.
World War I helped transform Harry Truman into the man who would one day become one of the most respected presidents in our nation’s history, and this year only, visitors can view this fascinating story in depth at the Truman Library.
Upon entry in the National Guard, Truman was put in command of Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery, 35th Division, an unruly bunch that grew to respect him as he proved his leadership skills. Throughout their service together, Captain Truman managed not to lose a single man, even though Battery D braved the largest action in American military history at that point — the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Commemorate the centennial of America’s involvement and Truman’s service in World War I, and view this story of leadership and triumph on display this year only at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
This exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous support received from members and friends of the Truman Library Institute.
The Truman Library would also like to thank the family of Corporal Eugene Donnelly, Marny and John Sherman, for generously underwriting the preservation of Harry Truman’s WWI collection.
Private tours of this and all exhibits at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum are a benefit of The Buck Stops Here Society, the Truman Library Institute’s premier membership program. To learn more, please contact Kim Rausch at kim.rausch@TrumanLibraryInstitute.org or 816.400.1214.
Members enjoy free Museum admission, not only at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum but all Presidential Libraries of the National Archives.
Moving Mountains: The Panama Canal, Presidential Power, and the Dawn of the American Century
Presented by the Truman Library Institute
On Display at the Truman Forum Auditorium
Plaza Branch, Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, MO
To mark the centennial anniversary of the Panama Canal’s completion, the Truman Library Institute has created and launched an original exhibition highlighting the presidential past of the isthmian passageway. Moving Mountains: The Panama Canal, Presidential Power and the Dawn of the American Century draws on the rich history preserved in our nation’s presidential archives – including the Truman Library – to share a story which is much broader than the creation of the Panama Canal. It is the story of America itself and the underlying spirit of achievement that has made this nation great.
The exhibition is on display at the Truman Forum, located within the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library.