When Harry S. Truman suddenly became president in 1945, he inherited not just a world war and tumultuous global situation, but he also soon discovered that the White House he and his family moved into was on the brink of collapse. Floors swayed, joints popped and rats scurried across the floor through holes in the walls.
Something had to be done, and Truman was just the president to do it. Over 27 months, Truman oversaw a total renovation of America’s most famous residence.
The Truman Library Institute is hosting a free public event featuring a discussion between Truman’s eldest grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, and Truman Library Director Dr. Kurt Graham. The pair will engage in a lively discussion about the White House renovation. Daniel will share insider stories he heard directly from his grandfather about what it was like living in the White House, as well as stories from other presidential family members like the Eisenhowers, the Kennedys and more.
The unique and intimate conversation takes place at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence on Wednesday, July 12. The program begins at 6:30 p.m., and a complimentary wine reception precedes it beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free but RSVPs are requested.
Daniel is an author and retired newspaper writer and editor. He is a beloved speaker at the Truman Library who is known for sharing his personal and engaging stories he heard from his grandfather about what it was like serving as president.
This event is part of a series of public programs highlighting the temporary exhibit on display at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum titled “Saving the White House: Truman’s Extreme Makeover.” The exhibit, on display through 2017, tells the story of the massive White House renovation that took place during Truman’s presidency.
Future events in this series include “Jackson’s White House” on August 23, featuring Howard Kittel, CEO of Andrew Jacksons’ Hermitage, and “Photographing the President” on September 14, featuring Pete Souza, presidential photographer for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.