One more piece of the story of the Man from Independence.
Harry Truman was pretty much the last American president to go back to something like a normal life when he left office.
He gave speeches, wrote books and stayed active in politics. He savored life back in Independence and built a library here in his hometown with the vision that it would educate younger generations. Our community is richer for it. And it is a measure of the man that for about a decade after the library opened in 1957, he still got up in the morning and went to the office when he could as easily have been on the golf course.
The office, on the north side of the library, was more of a working space than a venue for ceremony. It’s full of books and other trappings of an active, productive life.
It’s good that the Truman Library this month has opened the office to visitors after a $1.3 million renovation. The library does a terrific job of telling the story of the man and his presidency. Just as its reproduction of the Oval Office gives some sense of Truman at work as president, the working office gives visitors a feel for his later, “Mr. Citizen” days.
Truman’s story is one of hard work, loyalty and constant, competent attention to the difficult and complex tasks at hand. His decisions shaped world events for decades. By telling that story, the library not only teaches but inspires.