Spring Prologue Highlights National Archives Move into Kansas City
Press Release · Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Press Release
April 29, 2009

Spring Prologue Magazine Highlights National Archives Move into Kansas City

New issue also features Harry S. Truman’s 125th Birthday

Washington, DC…In May, the National Archives at Kansas City will open a new location in downtown Kansas City, MO, near historic Union Station. The new quarters and a special exhibit are described in the Spring 2009 issue of Prologue magazine, the official publication of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The new facility will be dedicated Memorial Day weekend, May 22–23, 2009. Highlights will include an official dedication with remarks by Acting Archivist of the United States Adrienne Thomas, an open house and history/genealogy fair, and a speech by Clifton Truman Daniel, former President Harry S. Truman’s oldest grandson. Performances by the 312th Army band will precede and follow his remarks. Tours of the new facility and exhibits, It’s Big! and The Kansas-Nebraska Act, will be available, along with family activities. See more information about the dedication and open house.

Harry S. Truman, whose standing among the public and historians has steadily risen since he left office several generations ago, is remembered on the 125th anniversary of his birth in this new issue of Prologue. Three articles written especially for the issue – including one by grandson Clifton Truman Daniel – explore Truman’s devotion to history and his views of historians; his relationship with artist Thomas Hart Benton, who created the famous mural in the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri; and his role as a grandfather to daughter Margaret’s four boys.

Samuel Rushay, supervisory archivist at the Truman Library, recounts in “Harry Truman’s History Lessons” the former President’s lifelong abiding interest in history and the lessons he drew from it.

“Truman’s view of historians went beyond indifference; it bordered on contempt,” writes Rushay. “In 1950, he lectured a newspaperman . . . that ‘real history consists of the life and actions of great men. . . . Historians editorializing is in the same class as the modern irresponsible columnist.’”

Raymond Geselbracht, a longtime Prologue contributor from the Truman Library staff, recalls the initial frosty relationship between Truman and Benton. The bond between the two eventually warmed, Geselbracht writes, and “each time [Benton visited,] the two men sat together in Truman’s office and shared some friendly conversation and a glass of bourbon.”

Clifton Truman Daniel recalls Truman’s post-presidential years as grandfather: “I was six years old before I discovered that my grandfather had been President of the United States. That’s because my parents kept it from me. Up to that time, Grandpa Truman was just someone who came around from time to time and was either to be accorded a great deal of respect or avoided entirely.”

Special activities at the Truman Library are planned for May 8 and 9. See details about the special activities.

Copies of this issue of Prologue are for sale in the gift shops at the Truman Library at 500 West U.S. Highway 24 in Independence and at the National Archives at Kansas City
at 400 West Pershing Rd. in Kansas City, MO. See subscription information.

National Archives at Kansas City

One of 13 Regional Archives, the National Archives at Kansas City will hold Federal records from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, along with select material from Minnesota and the Dakotas. Among its holdings are original records of the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Attorneys, Bureau of Prisons, Steamboat Inspection Service, Bureau of Indians Affairs, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, National Parks Service, and microfilm publications of many of the nation’s most significant records.

Treasures of the National Archives at Kansas City include records relating to the milestone Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, Wild West showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody, President Ulysses S. Grant, and Walt Disney which are among the 50,000 cubic feet of records in its holdings.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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