Sunday, June 17, 2007

Independence and Kansas City

Today we did our three-mile run on the streets where President Harry S. Truman used to walk in Independence, Missouri. This is a delightful small town, clean, easy to walk and run in. After our run, we toured the Truman home, operated by the National Park Service. Then we visited the Truman Library and Museum.

The home is much as it was when President Truman died in 1972. His wife, Bess, lived there 10 more years, but she made very few changes. She willed the house and
its contents to the people of the United States. The President’s hat and coat still hang by the door where he always kept them. The home shows the humble dwelling where our 33rd President regarded as home during his 18 years in the US Senate and as vice president and then president. It really looks like the 1950s, which is when they returned to Independence for good.

The Library is outstanding. The introductory film gave some background on Truman up to the day he was sworn in as president after FDR’s death. The exhibits highlight the many major issues President Truman had to deal with within the first year in office, as well as the massive changes that occurred over his eight years in office. It wasn’t a peaceful time and not easy for our citizens of our president—from the end of World War II to the Berlin Crisis to the Cold War and the Korean War, just to name a few.

Yesterday we went into downtown Kansas City, where we ate some barbeque and toured the World War I Monument and Museum. The monument is truly impressive and the museum gives good insights into why the war came about and the life of the soldiers who fought it, as well as the effects on civilians at home, both in Europe and the U.S.

Kansas Cit
y is called the city of fountains, and we saw several near the World War I memorial. One was delighting the children on a hot and sunny day. The other stands between the Memorial and Union Station.

It has been very hot here. We are so glad we were able to repair our air conditioner. When we were at Branson, we found it main air conditioner wasn’t working right. Set at 80, it would keep working until it froze up, even as the interior temperature got down to the low 70s. We realized that earlier in the season, the furnace had continued running till the temp was over 80. That probably meant it was the thermostat that was bad. We found an RV parts store and bought a new thermostat. Neither of us knows much about those things, but we installed it and it is working fine. That is very important when we want to leave for the day with our two cats in the RV.

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