Objects from the Truman Home
Harry and Bess Truman frequently played cards for relaxation and to socialize with friends and family. He played poker; she played bridge and canasta. While Truman was on the presidential yacht, the USS Williamsburg, or at the Little White House in Key West, Florida, he spent a few hours a day playing cards with cabinet members and guests. He called poker his “favorite form of paper work.” Bess was the founder of her local bridge club. It was common to find her and the other members of the club playing on the back porch of her home at 219 N. Delaware in Independence. The First Lady invited the bridge club to come to Washington D.C. in 1946. This photo shows three cellophane wrapped packages each containing two decks of playing cards. Manufactured by Congress Playing Cards around 1955, the back of each card is imprinted with President Truman’s signature. The museum collection at Harry S Truman National Historic Site contains approximately 200 decks of assorted playing cards. HSTR 29066.