Harry S. Truman
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Independence, Missouri August 13, 2009 36th Visited

One of my favorite grave sites that I have
visited is Harry Truman's in his hometown
of Independence, Missouri. The president
is buried with his wife in a beautifully
landscaped courtyard at the center of
his presidential library and museum.

As a stickler for historical accuracy, I
particularly like this quote inscribed on a
wall near Truman's grave, which reads "The
truth is all I want for history."

Truman's gravestone bears a list of his
greatest achievements, including the birth
of his daughter, Margaret. She and her
husband are also interred in the courtyard,
as short distance from the president and
first lady.

A life-size statue of the president stands
inside the building, looking as if it is gazing
past the eternal flame and toward the real
Truman's grave. This was my favorite feature
at the library, which is enhanced at night.

Fast Facts *

- First Lady: Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman
- Spouse: Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman (m. 1919-1972)

- Political Party: Democratic Party

- Term: 1945-1953
- Vice President: Alben William Barkley (1949-1953)

- Born: May 8, 1884

- Died: December 26, 1972

- Age:

- Cause of Death: Cardiovascular Failure

 Cemetery: Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, Independence,     Missouri
- GPS Coordinates: 39°06'12.7"N 94°25'17.0"W

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* President Truman's full name was Harry S. Truman. His maternal grandfather's name was Solomon, and his paternal grandfather's middle name was Shipp. The future president's parents did not want to chose between the two, and decided to compromise. They gave their son a middle initial in place of a middle name.

* Truman never received the approval of his mother in-law. His wife, Bess, came from a prominent family, while Harry earned a living as a farmer. Over the years, Truman rose from his humble surroundings, becoming a county judge, a U.S. senator, and eventually president of the United States. However, his wife's mother highly disapproved of politicians. He just couldn't win.

* Even though he was the vice president, it was decided that Truman should be kept out of the loop about the development of the atomic bombs and the Manhattan Project. Upon ascending to the presidency on April 12th, 1945, Truman was very quickly briefed about the atomic situation, and was left with the decision of what to do. Within 90 days, he had gone from an alienated U.S. senator to a president with the fate of the planet resting in his hands.

* While visiting a federal prison in 1945, Truman's good friend Fred Canfil saw that the warden had a sign bearing the words "The buck stops here!" on his desk. The phrase means "I am responsible for my own actions." Canfil asked the warden if a duplicate could be made for the honest, responsible president. The warden agreed, and a similar sign was presented to President Truman a short time after. Thus, the term became Truman's catchphrase.

* By the 1940's the White House's structure had very much deteriorated, and it was decided that something needed to be done. Subsequently, the Trumans vacated the mansion and took up residence at the Blair House, an old limestone building purchased by the government in 1942. Meanwhile, extensive repairs were being conducted at the Executive Mansion. The Truman family lived two uneventful years at the home, only to be interrupted by an assassination attempt in 1950. Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, desiring to bring attention to the troubles going on in their home land, attempted to storm the Blair House and kill the president. Oscar Collazo placed his revolver to the back of a policeman and pulled the trigger, only for it to misfire. The officer whirled around, just in time to be shot in the knee by Collazo, who managed to fire the weapon. Hearing the shots, two other guards came to the aid of the wounded policeman and shot the would-be assailant twice, putting him out of action. At the same time, his partner in crime fired four times at Private Leslie Coffelt, with three of the bullets striking their target. Additionally, he shot another officer three times before rushing out to aid Collazo. Torresola shot the officer wounded by Collazo in the other knee, making it impossible for him to stand, bringing him to the ground. Torresola was now out of ammunition, and needed to reload. As he was doing so, he was gunned down by none other than policeman Leslie Coffelt, who he had wounded earlier. Though he was able to gather enough strength to kill Torresola, Coffelt died of his wounds four hours later. Torresola certainly had an opportunity to kill the president though. Awakened from his nap, Truman got out of bed and opened his window, only to see the gunman reloading his weapon beneath him. 

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