PAST EVENT RECORDINGS
The Truman Library Institute is now hosting virtual lectures, books talks, and moderated conversations. Enjoy watching past events, and register for upcoming online programs.
July 15, 2021
An enduring myth of the 20th century is that the United States rapidly became a superpower after WWII, when the British Empire – the greatest in history – was too wounded to maintain its clout. In a discussion of his award-winning book, Grand Improvisation: America Confronts the British Superpower, 1945-1957, Derek Leebaert debunks this myth and shares a character-driven narrative that examines the evolving relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom through the lens of pivotal policy and events from the Truman Doctrine to the Vietnam War.
March 29, 2021
Watch a riveting exclusive preview of the PBS American Experience premiere of The Blinding of Isaac Woodard. Author and journalist Michele Norris moderates the panel discussion, which includes filmmaker Jamila Ephron and historian Kari Frederickson. In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The shocking incident made national headlines and, when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the blatant injustice would change the course of American history. Based on Richard Gergel’s book Unexampled Courage, the film details how the crime led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman, who desegregated federal offices and the military two years later.
March 10, 2021
75 years ago, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri that is now considered one of the opening volleys in the Cold War. “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent,” Churchill warned. Now, watch the anniversary event with special guests David Von Drehle, R. Crosby Kemper III and Candice Millard. Best-selling authors and Churchill experts, they go beyond the historic transcript to deliver rich portraits of Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and a friendship that changed the world.
February 23, 2021
75 years ago, an American diplomat living in Moscow sent an 8000-word telegram to President Truman’s State Department with a clear warning about Soviet expansion and influence. Today, “The Long Telegram” is regarded as a key foundational U.S. document, alongside the Declaration of Independence. What role did this 19-page cable have in shaping Cold War policy, and how does it continue to inform foreign relations and diplomacy today? Find out as Truman Library Director Kurt Graham visits with Evan Thomas, co-author of The Wise Men.
February 13, 2021
Author Catherine Grace Katz shares the untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers – Averell Harriman, Winston Churchill and FDR – to the Yalta Conference in the waning days of World War II. Honoring the 136th birthday of First Lady Bess Wallace Truman, this special event was presented on Saturday, February 13 by the Independence Pioneers Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution, in partnership with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
January 14, 2021
The 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, and the 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, grew up 150 miles apart in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. In 1947, President Truman urged his fellow Midwesterner to seek the Democratic presidential nomination with Truman as his vice-presidential running mate. Instead, Ike won the 1952 presidential election as a Republican and the bitter election campaign soured the once friendly and close working relationship between the two men, whose careers and decisions shaped world events.
In a special virtual event, Tim Rives, deputy director at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum, and Sam Rushay, supervisory archivist at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, will discuss these two remarkable presidents from America’s heartland, including their united principles and divided politics.
December 17, 2020
President Harry S. Truman was in office for eight Christmases but he only spent two of them in the White House. In 1945, Truman had planned to stay in Washington, D.C. but became so homesick he braved flying in a blizzard to be with his family on Christmas Day. Gather around the virtual hearth to hear stories of being home for the holidays with the Trumans from Doug Richardson, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, including what happened when Truman appeared on the Wallace front porch on December 25, 1945.
November 23, 2020
The night before its release, New York Times bestselling author Joe Scarborough discussed his newest book, Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization, with moderator, former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. In Saving Freedom, Scarborough explores a turning point when patriotic Americans of both political parties worked together to defeat tyranny. Led by the untested President Truman, these efforts were a radical shift from 150 years of isolationism that proved to be the pivotal moment that guaranteed Western Europe’s freedom, the American Century’s rise, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
Joe Scarborough is a Washington Post columnist, co-host of MSNBC’s popular morning program, Morning Joe, and a former United States congressman. He has been named to the “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people.
This paid event included a signed copy of Saving Freedom. To watch the event and receive a copy of the book, please contact Cinzia Shelton at Cinzia.Shelton@TrumanLibraryInstitute.org.
November 14, 2020
Just days after what was a truly unprecedented presidential election, renowned historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham appeared as the featured guest at the Bennett Forum on the Presidency. Along with David Von Drehle of The Washington Post, Meacham helped decipher the pivotal 2020 election results, analyzed the current moment from a historical perspective, and looked back at other critical times in American politics and life, including Truman’s 1948 election. A virtual Q&A followed the conversation.
The Bennett Forum was offered exclusively to Truman Library Institute members. If you are a member and would like to watch the recording, please contact Cinzia Shelton at Cinzia.Shelton@TrumanLibraryInstitute.org.
October 22, 2020
From the nation’s inception to the pivotal Truman years to today, the United States’ foreign policy has been shaped by key strategies and traditions. Based on his latest book, America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Former President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick discussed the history of America’s diplomacy tactics with The Washington Post’s David Von Drehle.
Zoellick was President of the World Bank Group from 2007 to 2012, U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005, and Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006. He is currently a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a member of the Truman Library Institute’s 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee.
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.
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. Tower of Skulls 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.
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.
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.
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.
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</strong>, 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.
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 Cinzia.Shelton@TrumanLibraryInstitute.org.
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.
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.
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.