Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations
The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.
[ Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]
Dear Harry, Love Bess: Bess Truman's Letters to Harry Truman, 1919-1943
October 16, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
One evening in 1955, Harry Truman came home to find Bess burning her letters to him. “What are you doing? Think of history,” he said. “Oh, I have,” she replied and tossed in another stack.
Bess Truman thought her business was hers and nobody else’s, so she destroyed her half of the more than 2,600 letters she and Harry exchanged during their courtship and marriage. While making an inventory of the Truman home in the 1980s, archivists discovered 184 letters Bess had missed. Her grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, will share them, along with portions of Harry’s responses, family photographs and stories. These letters provide new insight into the life and personalities of Bess and Harry Truman during the formative years of his political life. Despite Bess’s shy and self-effacing manner, her lively correspondence offers a glimpse of a caring and witty woman who shared her concerns about family, politics and day-to-day activities with her husband.
There will be a public reception from 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. in the atrium of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center preceding the program.