1. Just 19 days remain to see “Benton and Truman: Legends of the Missouri Border” at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence. Among many other works, Thomas Hart Benton famously painted the mural, “Independence and the Opening of the West,” that dominates the lobby of the Truman Library. Although the painter and the 33rd president were contemporaries and were from the same part of the world Ð western Missouri – they didn’t really get to know each other until Benton painted the library mural, which took from 1958 to 1960. “Legends on the Missouri Border” explores that relationship. It runs through Oct. 14. The library estimates that around 50,000 people will have seen it when its seven-month run ends.
2. See a historic site for free. The Truman Library is participating in the 9th Annual Smithsonian Magazine National Museum Day, which is this Saturday. Go to www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/ and get tickets for free admission for two people. Other local and area sites listed as participating are the Bingham-Waggoner Mansion, the Vaile Mansion, the 1859 Jail and Museum, and the National Frontier Trails Museum, all in Independence, as well as the Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site in Kansas City.
3. The Truman Library’s permanent exhibits are “Truman: The Presidential Years” and “Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times.” Harry and Bess Truman are buried at the library, and there’s an eternal flame. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (65 and older), $3 for children 6 to 15, free for children 5 and younger. No admission charged to enter the museum store.
4. The next temporary exhibit is “The American President: Photographs from the Archives of the Associated Press.” It runs from Nov. 24 to Feb. 2. The Associated Press has covered American presidents for more than 150 years, and its photographers covering the presidency have won four Pulitzer Prizes over the years. This exhibit has 70 AP photos.
5. Next March the library will have “Spies, Lies, and Paranoia: Americans in Fear.” It’s from March 15 to Oct. 26, 2014. Truman was president during the early, defining years of the Cold War, and efforts in the late 1940s and early ‘50s to root out spies or communist sympathizers in government, Hollywood and elsewhere sometimes got out of hand. The exhibit takes a look at dangers Ð real and imagined Ð that the country faced.
– Jeff Fox