May 8, 1884, turned out to be a very important day in Lamar, Mo. Harry S. Truman was born this day in a small frame house in a quiet residential neighborhood. Today, visitors can see furnishings that replicate what a typical house in this area of Missouri would have looked like during this era when Truman lived in the house.
Day trippers will find the home in Lamar, between the towns of Nevada and Carthage, less than two hours from the Camden County Courthouse. From Lamar the family moved to Harrisonville, to Waldo, to his grandparents farm in Grandview, and when he was about six years old, to Independence.
Harry Truman’s first job was as a bookkeeper. He then maintained his family’s 600 acre farm for several years. He said that riding the plow gave him “time to think.” He later owned a haberdashery in downtown Kansas City. He became a county judge, a presiding judge, a senator, a vice president, and the 33rd President of the U.S. He and Bess were married in 1919. Their daughter, Margaret, was born five years later in the upstairs bedroom of the Truman home in Independence.
The 1957 Harry S. Truman Library was built through private donations. The Library has a collection of more than “14 million pages of manuscript material, 94,000 photographs, 63 miles of motion picture film, 700 hours of audio recordings, and more than 25,000 museum objects.” Harry and Bess are buried in the Library’s Courtyard outside the library.
When Truman was in invited to attend the First Baptist Church of Camdenton’s 40th anniversary he sent them a letter extending his congratulations. In part he said “…we come to the inescapable conclusion that the world never had greater need of the quiet strength which alone is found in spiritual things.”
National and State Historic Sites to visit include: Harry S. Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar, Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in Independence, Harry S Truman National Historic Site in Independence/Grandview, Truman Statue at former Jackson County Courthouse in Independence, Truman Gravesite — Independence, and Truman Little White House in Key West, Fla.