Digital Program


The Truman Library Institute has launched a series of online webinars to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Truman’s presidency. We invite you to join us for upcoming digital programs and webinars listed here, and please enjoy watching archives from past events at your convenience.

Truman Trivia – September 15, 2020

What did FDR forbid Vice President Truman from doing? What two foreign policies did Truman describe as “two halves of the same walnut”?

Author Harold Ivan Smith posed questions like these in this interactive webinar based on his latest book, Almost Everything Worth Knowing About Harry S. Truman: 33rd President of the United States. Smith quizzed participants using some of the more than 600 questions in his book and shared the fascinating stories behind the answers.

Harold Ivan Smith is an independent Truman scholar who has dedicated a decade to researching the well-known legacy of and lesser known facts about the Man from Missouri. He is also the author of Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography, about Truman’s predecessor’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.


“Unconditional Surrender” Featuring Richard B. Frank – September 1, 2020

From one of the foremost scholars of the Asia-Pacific War, Richard B. Frank’s latest book Tower of Skulls: A History of the Asia-Pacific War, Volume I: July 1937-May 1942 is the first volume of a trilogy on Asia in World War II. Frank provides dramatic details on the battles of the Pacific Theater while analyzing the larger political, economic and social effects of the war.

In this webinar commemorating the 75th anniversary of Japan’s signing of the instrument of surrender, Frank discussed the Pacific Theater in World War II. Frank is an independent scholar specializing in the Asia-Pacific War who has written a number of books, including Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, which was the 2000 recipient of the Harry S. Truman Book Award.


“Countdown 1945” Featuring Chris Wallace – August 6, 2020

Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace‘s latest book, Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World, tells the captivating story of the months leading up to the dropping of the bomb.

In this special webinar, Wallace is in conversation with Truman Library Director Kurt Graham, on the 75th anniversary of this monumental event. This program was presented by the Truman Library Institute, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum and the Eisenhower Foundation.


Out of the Archives: The Atomic Bomb – July 30, 2020

More than any other decision in his presidency, Harry S. Truman is perhaps most known for dropping the atomic bombs that ended World War II. Among the Truman Library’s collection is a number of fascinating artifacts and documents from this eventful moment in history, from the sketch of the first atomic bomb’s explosion in New Mexico to the safety plug pulled from Fat Man.

“Out of the Archives: The Atomic Bomb,” was a webinar presented on July 30, 2020, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Truman’s decision to drop the bomb, and featured Truman Library Education Director Mark Adams.


The Potsdam Conference: 75 Years Later – July 22, 2020

With Europe lying in tatters following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the leaders of the “Big Three” gathered in Potsdam to outline a plan for peace. President Harry S. Truman, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gathered to determine the fate of post-war Europe in this historic conference that laid the foundation for international relations in the coming decades.

This webinar featured Michael Neiberg, whose book Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe won the 2016 Truman Book Award. Neiberg discussed the dramatic power dynamics and negotiations of this historic conference and reflected on its significance 75 years later.


President Truman’s Return Home – June 30, 2020

Harry S. Truman had been president for less than 100 days when he addressed the delegates of the United Nations Conference in San Francisco on June 26, 1945, following the signing of the UN Charter. On his way back to Washington, he stopped over in Kansas City for his first visit home as President, where he would be greeted by the largest crowds in the history of Jackson County. In his brief stay home, he was awarded with an honorary degree by UMKC, he held a press conference in Independence, he got a haircut from a WWI comrade, and he shopped at his old business partner Eddie Jacobson’s new menswear store.

This webinar featured Doug Richardson, Chief of Interpretations and Visitor Services at the Harry S Truman National Historic Site, sharing stories from Truman’s first visit back home to Independence as President of the United States.


Members Night at Home with Kate Andersen Brower – June 18, 2020

Truman Library Institute members were invited to join us online for an exclusive update on the renovation taking place at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, followed by a special presentation from acclaimed author Kate Andersen Brower. Her newest book, Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump, offers a poignant look at the lives of five former presidents, including the surprising friendships they have formed through shared perspective and empathy.

This recording is available only to our generous members. If you are a member and would like to watch the recording, please contact Cinzia Shelton at


Truman & Hoover: WWII Food Relief – May 21, 2020

Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Harry Truman may have been unlikely friends, but a common passion for public service united them and forged a bond between the two Midwesterners. As Truman faced a daunting food crisis in the aftermath of World War II, he turned to Hoover, the former head of the Food Administration and the only past president alive during Truman’s presidency, for his unique expertise. The two presidents worked together to provide food relief to millions of hungry Europeans and ended up forming a lifelong friendship.

This webinar featured a special conversation with Truman Library director Kurt Graham and supervisory archivist Sam Rushay along with Hoover Presidential Library director Thomas Schwartz and supervisory archivist Craig Wright, discussing the relationship between the presidents in providing food relief following World War II.


“The First Five Days” Series – April 13-17, 2020

The Truman Library Institute commemorated the 75th anniversary of Truman’s presidency on April 12 with a special webinar series looking back on Truman’s first few days as President. Hosts Clifton Truman Daniel, President Truman’s eldest grandson, and Truman Library Director Dr. Kurt Graham led webinar discussions in an interactive, five-part series about Truman’s first days as the leader of the free world.

This webinar series originally took place the week of April 13-17, 2020, and the recordings are available below:

The Accidental President – April 13, 2020
Dr. Kurt Graham, Director of the Truman Library, tells the story of Truman’s dramatic ascension to the presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945.


An Urgent Matter – April 14, 2020
The President’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel discusses how Harry Truman became aware of the atomic bomb.


The First Test – April 15, 2020
Dr. Kurt Graham, Director of the Truman Library, discusses Truman’s first few days as president, including his first address to Congress.


Can He Swing the Job? – April 16, 2020
The President’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel discusses Truman’s early days in office.


Your Questions Answered – April 17, 2020
The final webinar in the series features the President’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel and Truman Library Education Director Mark Adams answering questions submitted earlier in the week.