Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

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Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
The Harry S Truman Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving papers, books, and other historical materials relating to the 33rd President of the United States Harry S Truman. It is located on a small hill facing U.S. Highway 24 in Independence, Missouri, Truman's hometown. It was the first presidential library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, and is one of twelve presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The lead architect of the project was Edward F. Neild. Truman had picked Neild in the 1930s to design the renovation of the Independence and construction of the Kansas City Jackson County Courthouses after Truman was impressed with Neild's work on the Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Courthouse in Shreveport, Louisiana. Neild was among the architects of the Truman White House reconstruction. Neild died on July 6, 1955, at the Kansas City Club while working on the design. Truman had initially wanted the building to resemble his grandfather Solomon Young's house in Grandview, Missouri. In response to a New York Times review that recalled Frank Lloyd Wright influences in the library's horizontal design, Truman was reported to have said, "It's got too much of that fellow in it to suit me." Built on a hill overlooking the Kansas City skyline on land donated by the City of Independence, the Truman Library was dedicated on July 6, 1957, in a ceremony which included the Masonic Rites of Dedication; those attending the ceremony included former President Herbert Hoover, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. A $23 million dollar renovation of the entire facility was completed in 2001 on a design by architects Gould Evans. The changes included the extensive use of glass to the relatively windowless structure and significantly altering the space between Truman's grave and the museum.

Truman presence
Truman had his office in Room 1107 of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City at 925 Grand from when he left the Presidency in 1953 until library opened in 1957. Truman actively participated in the day-to-day operation of the Library, personally training museum docents and conducting impromptu "press conferences" for visiting school students. He frequently arrived before the staff and would often answer the phone to give directions and answer questions, telling surprised callers that he was the "man himself." From the time the Library opened, President Truman maintained a working office there, often working five or six days a week. In the office, he wrote articles, letters, and his book Mr. Citizen. He met with Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with other notable Americans like Jack Benny, Ginger Rogers, Robert F. Kennedy, Thomas Hart Benton, and Dean Acheson. Long a favorite of museum visitors, the office was viewed through a window from the library's courtyard. A $1.6 million dollar preservation and restoration of Truman's working office was completed in 2009 and features an enclosed limestone pavilion for better access and viewing. The office appears today just as it did when Harry Truman died on December 26, 1972. President Truman's funeral services were held in the Library's auditorium and he was buried in the courtyard. His wife, Bess Truman, was buried alongside him in 1982. Their daughter, Margaret Truman Daniel, was a longtime member of the Truman Library Institute's board of directors. After her death in January 2008, Margaret's cremated remains and those of her late husband, Clifton Daniel (who had died in 2000), were also interred in the Library's courtyard. The president's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, is currently honorary co-chair of the Institute's board of directors.

Museum Components
The museum offers an introductory film on the life of President Truman, and two floors of exhibits relating his life and presidency through photographs, artifacts, film clips, documents, and memorabilia. It was the first presidential library to contain a full scale replica of the Oval Office, a feature that has been copied by the Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton libraries. The library also contains The White House Decision Center, an educational program in which school students take on the roles of President Truman and his advisors facing real-life historical decisions in a recreation of the West Wing of the White House. The mural Independence and the Opening of The West by Thomas Hart Benton adorns the walls of the lobby entrance. The mural, completed in 1961, was painted on site by Benton over a three-year span.

Notable events
On 11 December 2006, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan gave his final speech as Secretary-General at the library, where he encouraged the United States to return to the multilateralist policies of Truman. The Truman Library was also the site of the signing of the Medicare Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. The Library has been visited by many prominent persons, including Presidents Ford, Carter, and Clinton, and Presidential Nominees John Kerry and John McCain.

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