We headed to our 2nd Presidential Library and Museum, Harry S Truman's, when we left St. Louis. The drive across Missouri was especially pretty through the Upper Ozarks because the leaves were turning the rich reds and yellows and purples of fall. Our campsite was neat and Henry was able to chase, though rather slowly, some squirrels.
Harry Truman moved to Independence when he was 6 years old and lived there the rest of his life except when he went to WW1 and while he was President. He moved back after his presidency but didn't have Secret Service protection until several years later. He was the last president without a college degree and was not involved in politics until he was almost 40 years old. He tried farming, oil and land ventures, a men's clothing store among others before he discovered his love for public service. Before Bess Wallace married Harry Truman her mother told her he was a small time farmer, a Baptist and he'd never amount to anything! However, the elder Mrs. Wallace went to the White House with President and Mrs. Truman and we must assume she changed her mind.
He became the 33rd president when FDR died in office in 1945. He authorized the use of atomic bombs on Japan to end WW2 and then began rebuilding Europe and fighting communism. One very unpopular decision he made was firing Gen MacArthur, and he faced serious opposition over our role in the Korean War.
Independence has preserved Truman locations well. His Library and Museum, house and walking-trail highlight the historical sights of the town. Five hours in his Presidential Library and Museum was not really enough time to see the exhibits and read all the historical information there, but we tried and enjoyed and learned. We saw the famous plaque on his desk in the replica of the Oval Office that says "The Buck Stops Here." The Truman house that he and Bess and Margaret lived in still has their original belongings in it right down to dishes on the dining table and Truman's coat and hat hanging in the foyer. Truman was a great walker; his pace was a military 120 steps a minute, and the 3-mile walking-tour spotlighted some wonderful Victorian homes.
On a different subject, we were struck by the Community of Christ World Headquarters. This was designed and built in the 1920's and they are, according to some locals, an offshoot of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The roof will open for Jesus when he comes back.
We spent an afternoon in Kansas City, MO, and enjoyed the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Of the sculptures outside, we loved the cast copy of The Thinker and the huge badminton birdies. An area of shops and restaurants we found called Country Club Plaza is very stylish and pretty and has some of the many fountains you see in ads for Kansas City. One of them was full of soapsuds!
Jackie is off to Houston to court to defend her former driving habits and to check on Mom who fell and to see those grandchildren. Bill and Henry will try to manage without her for a few days.