National Geographic : 1961 Jul
Former Presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Tru man dedicate the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on July 6, 1957. The crescent-shaped build ing (below) shelters hundreds of thousands of per sonal documents detailing Mr. Truman's role at such critical moments as the end of World War II and the start of the Korean War. "My papers," said Mr. Tru man, "will be the property of the people." and Oklahoma into Texas. Summer blasts from the southwest were still blowing, re calling the old wisecrack that there was noth ing between here and the Equator but a barbed-wire fence with the gate open. The lay of the land, the feel of the air, a promise of riches-something here has al ways pulled men toward the West and South west. Here men left the comfortable rivers and woods and struck boldly across limit less lands where little or no water flows. Traveling almost as the crow flies, we arrived in Independence, once the major eastern terminus of the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, now almost swallowed in greater Kan sas City. But don't call it a suburb. The man from Independence, Harry Truman, main tains with some historical justification that Kansas City is a suburb of Independence. We craned past the former President's house, heard his name often, read of his do ings in the paper, and noted a road named for him. "If men from Mars landed here," Judith commented, "and said, 'Take me to your leader,' no one would wonder where to send them." I found Kansas City as up to date in cul tural activities as in stock slaughtering and wheat weighing. Perhaps the city's most un usual educational institution is the Linda Hall Library, legacy of a grain fortune. It KODACHROMESBY RALPHGRAY (UPPER) AND DEANCONGER, NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSTAFF L N.G.S.