Before and after returning to Independence in 1953, one of Harry Truman's favorite activities was his early morning walk. These walks helped him to remember his life in Independence and to connect to his town. Truman explained:
I've been taking my walks around the city and passing places that bring back wonderful recollections.... I pass by Noland School where I first went to school in 1892. Just south of this building stood the old Columbian School, which was brand-new when I was ready for the third and fourth grade. The Ott School over on Liberty and College where I was in the fifth grade under Aunt Nanny Wallace--Bess's aunt. I pass the site of the old Independence High School [now Palmer Junior High on this site] at Maple and Pleasant. Ours [Bess and Harry's] was the first class to be graduated there, in 1901, fifty-two years ago. And so it goes. What a pleasure to be back here at home--once more a free and independent citizen of the gateway city of the old Great West.¹
Drawing 1 Key:
Questions for Drawing 1
1. Locate some of the important sites of Harry Truman's life: Trinity Episcopal Church, the Truman Home, First Presbyterian Church, Independence High School, Jackson County Courthouse, and Harry S Truman Library. Arrange a list of the sites as they might appear in a chronology or timeline of Harry Truman's life.
2. Estimate the distance Harry Truman would have walked to and from his office at the Truman Library. Do you think Truman's daily walks helped to contribute to his physical and mental fitness during his retirement? Why?
3. Trace the outline of the Harry S Truman National Historic Landmark District. Why was it established? What are some of the places it recognizes?
¹ Robert H. Ferrell, ed. The Autobiography of Harry S Truman (Boulder, Co.: Colorado Associated University Press, 1980), 109-111.
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