Harry Truman, of course, was and is the Man from Independence. The city is an integral part of his identity, and it’s no small thing that and he and Bess returned to live out the rest of their days here after he left the White House in 1953 – in direct contrast to many other ex-presidents.

Truman was born in tiny Lamar, Mo., in 1884 and moved here in the summer of 1890, when he had just turned 6. The modest house in which he was born is maintained today as a state park. It’s worth a visit, just to get a sense of the world in which Truman’s parents lived and worked and tried to get ahead in the world. It also gives you a sense of the changes in American life Truman saw in his 88 years.

Now Congress has passed legislation to have the National Park Service take over. The home where the 33rd president was born might be added to the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site – currently including the Truman Home in Independence and the Truman Farm Home in Grandview – or the Park Service might run the birth home separately.

Congressman Ike Skelton, a Democrat from Lexington, Mo., and whose district includes Lamar, has shepherded this legislation along. The bill  gives the Park Service three years to study the issue, but Skelton would like to see action more quickly.

It’s vital that Truman’s story – humble beginnings, hard work, optimism, a mixture of pluck and luck, and ultimately a hugely successful presidency – be told and retold. The birth home, although off the beaten path, is one more place where people can see and touch that history. Thumbs up to Skelton for advancing the issue this far.