Harry Truman’s Hometown: Out and About in Independence

Harry Truman’s Hometown: Out and About in Independence

Harry Truman’s Hometown: Out and About in Independence

Independence, Missouri, was Harry Truman’s hometown, and, throughout his life, he enjoyed walking its streets. Enjoy these photos of Truman out and about in Independence. Then, learn how you can retrace our hometown president’s steps today.

Harry S. Truman opens the gate at his home to begin his morning walk
Photo by Harry Barth. Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman was an early riser, and his walks typically began at about 7 a.m. Here he is opening the gate to his home to begin his morning walk.

Truman walking with reporters in Independence
Harry Truman chatting with reporters on the Independence Square.

Truman would usually walk a mile or two each morning. He was known for taking different routes around his neighborhood, past the homes, schools and churches he grew up near. Here he is on the Independence Square, walking with reporters from the Independence Examiner.

Harry S. Truman at Independence Railway Station
Harry Truman speaking to a photographer outside the Independence train depot.

The morning walk was a way for Truman to maintain his physical and mental health. He used the time to sort out the day’s business in his mind, but he never turned down a request for a quick chat or an autograph. Above, surrounded by unidentified individuals, Truman chats with photographer Sammie Feeback outside the Truman Depot.

Photo by Sammie Feeback. Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

Truman kept up a quick pace on his walks, as a result of his experience in the Army. It’s reported that he walked about 120 paces per minute. Here he is walking in stride with a younger, taller photographer outside his home in 1954.

Truman walking in winter
Photo by Vernon Galloway. Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

The time of year didn’t matter much. Above, Truman walks through the snow on the streets of Independence with various unidentified individuals.

Truman walking to go vote
Photo by Sammie Feeback. Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

As he got older, Truman continued his walks, though he shortened his route. As late as 1969, a schoolboy at William Chrisman Junior High School in remembers President Truman walking by every morning a little before 8 o’clock. The photo above was taken in 1956 as Truman walked to vote in the polls.

Learn more

Retrace Truman's Steps

Throughout his life, Independence’s own President Harry S. Truman would keep a fashionable pace everywhere he went. To honor his love of walking and history, we’ve put together the Truman Historic Walking Trail. Comprised of 43 stops, this comprehensive walking tour features important places (and even two trees) in the life of America’s 33rd president.

Click here to access the brochure.

Sources for this article

Much of this post was informed by the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the Harry S Truman National Historic Site. Click the links to plan your visit soon.