Harry Truman spent 64 of his 88 years in Independence, and the former presidents long association with the community may seem like old news.
By BRIAN BURNES
The Kansas City Star
Jon Taylor, in his book, Harry Trumans Independence: The Center of the World, renders the story fresh and specific.
National Park Service officials during their 10-year effort to expand the National Historic Landmark district bearing Trumans name argued how Independence and its residents influenced Trumans actions and policies. . That dynamic continued after Truman returned from the White House.
On July 8, 1953, the former president had grown restless going through the days mail and decided to walk several blocks to Independence Square.
There he visited with various residents and merchants.
Then he comes back and writes about them, Taylor said.
He writes about the people he saw, identifying them by name and detailing how this person was a lawyer or that person had been of his fathers generation.
I thought that was striking, said Taylor. It was all about how he related to his neighbors but also putting them into a larger context.
During the early years of the Cold War, Taylor said, Truman routinely articulated world politics in terms of neighbors and how nations should treat one another as neighbors would.
Taylor speaks at 2 p.m. Sept. 28 in the newly renovated Jackson County Truman Courthouse on Independence Square. The National Archives at Kansas City and the Jackson County Historical Society are presenting Taylors appearance; for reservations, call 816-268-8010.
Lady at the corral
Mattie Ross, meet Josephine Marcus Earp.
The common-law wife of 19th-century lawman Wyatt Earp had plenty in common with the resolute teenaged narrator of True Grit, said Ann Kirschner, author of Lady at the O.K. Corral.
Both, Kirschner said, are facing hardship, making their way in a mans world, and recruiting men to help them.
Kirschners book describes the young Jewish woman who left a comfortable family for Earps life on the fringes of the 19th century American West. Kirschner speaks in Kansas City Sept. 24 as part of the Kansas City Public Librarys Big Read of True Grit.
In that book, Mattie wanted justice for her fathers killer. Josephine, Kirschner said, wanted protection and a ticket to the future, which was unwritten but always going to be filled with excitement.
Kirschner speaks at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St. To RSVP, call 816-701-3407.