Celebrate Freedom On The 4th of July In Independence
President Harry S. Truman loved his country
with the same patriotic fervor that he felt for his beloved hometown of
Independence. Come to an old-fashioned Fourth of July this summer and
celebrate Independence Day while honoring our nation's 33rd President.
Begin your morning with a stop to see a special Fourth of July display at the historic Bingham-Waggoner House, 313 W. Pacific. The exhibit is free with regular admission, which is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-16. The home is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Then head up to the historic Independence Square, where you can hitch a ride on a covered wagon historical tour with Pioneer Trails Adventures and the larger than life statue of Harry Truman standing outside the courthouse. Take an ice cream break across the street at Clinton's Ice Cream Parlor, where a teenage Truman held his first paying job.
In the Truman Home Historic Site Ticket and Visitors Center, 223 N. Main, you can watch a free 12-film about the Truman Home, also called the Summer White House. Purchase tickets for a guided tour by National Park Rangers. The home, several blocks away at 219 N. Noth Dakota, has been preserved just as it was when Harry and Bess lived there. You can also pick up free brochures at the home or the Visitors Center for a self-guided walking tour along marked Truman Walking trail.
Drive up Noth Dakota to the Truman Presidential Museum & Library, 500 U. S. 24 Highway, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Make certain to explore the new long-running exhibit, Treasures of the Presidents. This amazing collection of 200 artifacts, on loan from all the nation's presidential libraries, showcases extravagant head of state gifts such as a jewel encrusted dagger, personal possessions such as Bill Clinton's saxophone and whimsical folk art gifts such as a hand carved coconut bust of Harry Truman. On the Fourth of July, admission is free all day, and the Museum is also offering giveaway souvenirs to all visitors.
The evening of July 4 at 8:30 p.m., the Spirit of Independence Concert Band will strike up the band on the grounds of the Mormon Visitors Center, 937 W. Walnut. A massive fireworks display will begin at dusk. The music and fireworks are free and lawn chairs are welcome.
Stay overnight at one of the city's quaint B & Bs or one of a number of national brand motels or hotels so you can enjoy listening to former President Bill Clinton speak on Truman's legacy the following day at 3:30 p.m.. The venue for the July 5 event is the Community of Christ Auditorium, 1001 W. Walnut. Admission is free, but tickets are required. For details, visit www.trumanlibrary.org or call 816-268-8200.
By Leroy Worley
These are just a sampling of the intriguing historic treasures you'll discover in Independence, Missouri. To learn more about upcoming events and attractions call: 800-748-7323. For a complete listing of special events, other sites and attractions, discount coupons, themed itineraries and lodgings information, call 816-325-7111, toll free 800-748-7323 or go to www.visitindependence.com.