TRU Blog

TRU Blog

The Presidency in the Post-Truth Era: Bennett Forum 2017 | November 9, 2017

Are we living in unprecedented times, or has America weathered similar situations in the past? David Von Drehle of The Washington Post kicked off the Howard and Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency this weekend by posing that question to presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Nearly 1,200 attendees were enthralled by the insightful conversation on American democracy and presidency, both past and current. The panelists discussed what makes a president great, what qualities to look for in a leader and the importance of studying history to help better interpret the events of our times.

“What does it mean to learn from history?” Goodwin asked. “It means you’re learning from the people who lived before you.”

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The Presidency in the Post-Truth Era: Bennett Forum 2017

Meet Research Grant Recipient Vivek Neelakantan | October 30, 2017

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era. Read More

Meet Research Grant Recipient Vivek Neelakantan

The Accidental President: Harry Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World | October 18, 2017

On April 12, 1945, Harry S. Truman received an urgent summons from the White House. When he arrived, Eleanor Roosevelt told him, “The President is dead.” Truman asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Mrs. Roosevelt responded, “Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now.”

The next four months included the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, the controversial decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the eventual end of World War II, the famine in Europe and the beginning of the Cold War. Harry Truman—a Midwesterner with no college degree, little money, and the prototypical ordinary man, who was not briefed by his predecessor—was thrust into the presidency in the midst of this tumultuous time. Read More

The Accidental President: Harry Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World

Photographing the President with Pete Souza | September 15, 2017

“Did they tell you President Obama was coming?” Pete Souza asked the crowd at Unity Temple last night, remarking on the fact that nearly 1,000 people had flocked into the auditorium to hear him speak.

Souza, the official White House photographer of Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, enthralled the audience with hilarious stories of White House practical jokes, insider experience sitting in every single Situation Room meeting of the Obama presidency and his poignant retelling of the days following the Sandy Hook massacre. He showed just a few of the nearly 2 million photos that he took during his eight years as Obama’s Chief Photographer, sharing behind-the-scenes stories of the photos of each. The crowd walked away with an insider’s look at both the presidency and Obama himself. Read More

Photographing the President with Pete Souza

‘The Grimmest Spectre’ | September 8, 2017

The World’s Emergency Famine, Herbert Hoover’s Mission, and the Invisible Year, 1946

Welcome guest blogger Dr. Lisa Payne Ossian, who recently received a Research Grant to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors. Dr. Ossian traveled to the Truman Library to research the famine following World War II and wrote the following about her research.

“At President Truman’s request, Herbert Hoover had travelled 50,000 miles through 38 countries.
Few men except the starving themselves knew so much about food–and famine.”  – Time, 8 July 1946 Read More

‘The Grimmest Spectre’

Meet Research Grant Recipient David Noell | September 1, 2017

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era. Read More

Meet Research Grant Recipient David Noell

Meet Research Grant Recipient Dr. Aidan Beatty | August 17, 2017

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era. Read More

Meet Research Grant Recipient Dr. Aidan Beatty

Saving the White House: Truman’s Extreme Makeover | July 31, 2017

When the Trumans moved into the White House in 1945, they soon discovered the old mansion was on the brink of collapse. The floors swayed as they walked on them, joints popped and cracked, and rats even scurried through holes in the walls and across the floors. While Harry, Bess and Margaret Truman all joked in their letters and diary entries about hearing the “ghosts” of presidents past,  these mysterious noises were actually telltale signs that the White House was disintegrating.

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is telling the incredible story of the largest White House renovation in history this year through the temporary exhibition Saving the White House: Truman’s Extreme Makeover, on display through 2017. Read More

Saving the White House: Truman’s Extreme Makeover

4 Questions with Howard Kittell | July 27, 2017

Andrew Jackson approached the presidency differently from his predecessors. He was the first president from “the West,” and he believed passionately that the president should represent all citizens and not just a few. Harry Truman often listed him as one of his favorite presidents, and admired his desire to represent all Americans. In Jackson’s eight years in office, he was responsible for balancing the federal budget for the first and only time in history and helping to expand the nation’s territory, not without controversy along the way.

Next month we’re welcoming Howard Kittell, President & CEO of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum for a free public program discussing Jackson’s White House.

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4 Questions with Howard Kittell