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“The Whole Family Was Impressed!”

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Exhibits and archives relating to Truman's life and administration.
Kansas City
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The Whole Family Was Impressed!”
Reviewed June 15, 2011

We visited the Truman Library & Museum after another plan fell through, and were so happy we did! This facility is so full of fascinating parts of our nation's 20th century history! It is well organized and very well maintained. There were hands-on learning exhibits that kept my 9-year-old interested--and they were all in good working order. (It is so frustrating when you go to a great attraction for kids and then things are broken! Not so, here!) The displays also captivated the interest of my teen and the adults in our group.

The museum spans the life of President Truman, which included World War I exhibits through the time following World War II and the Cold War. There were some neat displays showing the culture of the 40's and 50's. We saw a mix of media---mini movies play at various places, lots of sound bites were incorporated into the museum using interactive buttons and old fashioned telephones which the kids loved. Big posters of actual front pages of major newspapers show developments through WWII. There is lots to see--vintage cars, war artifacts, lots of slices of history!

Some of the exhibits on WWII moved me to tears. It was also very moving to see the burial sites of President Truman and his wife Bess, and see the eternal flame that burns in the courtyard there.

Visited June 2011
Thank Traveling4Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,089 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Louis, MO
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Could Have Spent a Full Day There”
Reviewed June 14, 2011

This museum is jam packed with historic information presented in a variety of ways. You don't have to be a Truman fan to find interesting information.

They have exhibits related to world history (Wolrd War II, of course) and post-war American society, paintings of early Missouri citizens, and other historical artifacts.

I had previously visited the Lincoln museum in Springfield, IL...I would say this museum is much more meaty.

If you are really into history, plan 3 or more hours as you may wish to read many more of the original documents and explanations than I had time for.

A family can split up and people with different interests can find different subjects to focus on.

I just had 2 hours there, so I watched the 15 minute video on Truman's early life -- a good introduction to the museum as I would say I have an average knowledge of World War II itself. There was also a 45 minute video that I did not see.

I would recommend the short video to all for a quick overview of Truman the man.

There are lots of videos throughout the museum. If you would like to delve deep into the information, you may wish to arrive early in the day and keep the rest of the day open to allow you to see it all. I wish I had had another hour to take more time to read more displays. Others in your party may wish to leave you there to indulge your interest in history.

Plenty of free parking in lots. Museum was not at all crowded on a Monday.

I had a "2 for 1" coupon from visitkc.com

Visited June 2011
Thank hikerpatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, South Dakota
Level 6 Contributor
367 reviews
200 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 322 helpful votes
“Far more interesting than we imagined”
Reviewed June 7, 2011

Having never been to a presidential library we didn't know what to expect. What we found was a fascinating trip through a very complex historical period--the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War. Regardless of what you know of the period, the exhibits are excellently designed to lead you through what faced this virtually unknown Missouri senator when he suddenly became president. It's incredible to see something like a hand-written note signed by Truman that essentially authorized dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. We started with the 45-minute video which is excellent and gives you a far better perspective than the short (~10 min) version. We also took a free tour given by one of the docents. To our surprise we spent more than 4 hours there; we even took a lunch break in town and came back!

Visited June 2011
Thank docj9000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forney, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“A nice legacy to a great President”
Reviewed May 25, 2011

The Truman Library is a great way to learn about a President who confronted dilemmas faced by no other US President, before or since. Truman left office with a low popularity rating, but I think visitors here will leave with a new appreciation of this great man. Be sure to visit here if in KC.

Thank CDF71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania, Usa
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“A Truman Treasure”
Reviewed May 16, 2011

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum presented a historical perspective on the life of the former president and the many challenges he faced. It not only emphasized his many achievements, but also openly discussed some of his controversial decisions. For example, the still-ongoing discussion concerning the use of nuclear force in Japan was presented showing not only Pres. Truman's rationale, but also the views of other proponents and opponents. The museum did an excellent job of summarizing the many significant issues faced by this president, including some that are de-emphasized in other sources. The museum also presented interesting information about his life and relationship with his family while growing up and with his wife and daughter later in life.

Visited April 2011
Thank AlwaysForever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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