We booked the flights long before we finalized our itinerary for the trip. I had suggested that we start in KC because I wanted to eat bbq in the cities that are best known for it. That made KC a strong candidate as a starting city. However, once Carol and I sat down to put together the itinerary, we quickly realized that we were going to have a lot of driving to get to our next stop in Memphis (7 hours).
So, we tried to keep it simple in KC. The idea was to see some things Friday morning, have lunch at a good bbq spot and then hit the road toward Memphis. Looking at the KC travel info, we decided that we wanted to visit Harry Truman's hometown, Independence, MO. That's where he and his family lived and where his Presidential Library is.
This definitely was a worthwhile stop. While there we visited the Truman house, which is now property of the National Park Service. You can pay to take an escorted tour, which will take you through the main floor of the house. It's pretty amazing to think that a former president of the United States, moved home to a small town like Independence and back in to the same house that he'd lived in since he married his wife. Not only that, when he wanted to go in to his office at the presidential library, he'd walk the 1 mile down the road to get there.
The bottom line on Truman's house (really his wife's family's house), is that he and his family lived a very normal life, both before and after his presidency. It was pretty cool to go through the simple kitchen, study, dining room, and living room on the main floor of the house. You're not allowed to go upstairs.
After checking out the house, we walked Truman's path down to the Truman Presidential Library and checked out the Truman Museum. The museum is really well done. Their movie about his life, focuses on some of his biggest moments as president, including dropping the bombs on Japan, oversight of the war in Korea (including the firing of MacArthur), the Truman Doctrine, recognition of Israel, creation of NATO and the UN, etc.
Below is the front of the Museum and a picture of Carol and my parents on the front steps: