The Truman Little White House

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Harry S. Truman

Little White House

Florida's Only Presidential Museum

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VIP White Glove Tour

Get the presidential treatment with our exclusive VIP White Glove Tour. This unique experience will give you first-class access and amenities, including a rare glimpse behind the scenes and a ride in President Truman’s 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Limousine.

The little White House sign
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Museum Tours

Take a guided tour through the former home turned museum of President Harry S. Truman. Explore where the man of his time lived, worked, played, and held important government meetings in this delightful journey through American history.

Couple getting married at truman little white house
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Weddings & Private Events

We are still taking wedding & private event inquiries! Please call us at 305-671-9199 or fill out our form.

Ask us about getting a virtual tour of our space!

Harry S. Truman
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Memberships & Donations

We are still taking memberships & donations at this time. You can submit a one-time gift or recurring gifts. If you donate $100 or more, you become a member with benefits!

Harry S. Truman

Presidential Timeline

Vice President Harry S. Truman walking with President FDR
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1944 - Nominated To Run For Vice President

In 1944, the Democratic party leaders considered Vice President Henry Wallace too unpredictable to serve another term under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose health had visibly declined during the Second World War. The party then turned their attention to the U.S. Senator, Harry S. Truman from Missouri, who was nominated to be President Roosevelt’s running-mate for an unprecedented fourth term re-election.

Post World War 2 Harry Truman seated at desk signing GI bill
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1944 - The GI Bill

In 1944, Harry S. Truman helped introduce the GI Bill, widely regarded as one of the most effective social policy programs in U.S. history. The GI Bill gave millions of soldiers returning from World War II the opportunity to enroll in college or job-training programs. It also helped grant low-interest loans towards the purchase of new homes.

Our 33rd President being sworn in, following Roosevelt's death
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1945 - Truman Becomes 33rd President

The first inauguration of Harry S. Truman as the 33rd President of the United States was held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 12, 1945, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., following the unexpected death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt earlier that day. Harry S. Truman had only served as Vice President for less than three months prior.

Harry Truman signs papers desk
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1945 - The Atomic Bomb

Truman’s presidency is most often defined by his decision to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II that ultimately saved both Allied and Japanese lives.

Truman receiving medal of honor on Victory in Europe Day
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1945 - VE Day

On May 8, 1945, Harry S. Truman announced to the American public that Germany had surrendered, signaling the beginning of the end of World War II and is known as VE Day. Ironically, it was also the President’s 61st birthday. It would take until August 14 before Japan officially surrendered ending World War II.

Truman in White House rose garden with First Lieutenant post World War 2 during Baby Boom
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1946 - 1964 The Postwar Baby Boom

The postwar “Baby Boom” (1946 to 1964) was the largest generation in history. After years of depression and war, Americans, quite simply, were having more children. In 1940, American families had, on average, 2.6 children. By 1950, that number had jumped to 3.2. The baby boom was only one of the massive changes underway in the structure of the American family during the years immediately following World War II.

President Truman and his secretary at the President's desk in the Oval Office signing the National Security Act
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1947 - National Security Act

On July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, which becomes one of the most important pieces of Cold War legislation. This led to a reorganized structure of the U.S. armed forces following World War II. It created the office of Secretary of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Council (NSC), as well as separate departments for each branch of the armed forces.

President Truman attend Army Day parade for Taft-Hartley Anti Labor Legislation
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1947 - Taft-Hartley Anti-Labor Legislation

The Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft–Hartley Act, is a United States federal law that restricts the activities and power of labor unions. It was enacted by the 80th United States Congress over the veto of President Harry S. Truman, becoming law on June 23, 1947.

President Truman giving the Truman Doctrine speech
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1947 - 'Containment' - A New Foreign Policy

The Truman Doctrine was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947, and further developed on July 4, 1948. This order pledged to contain the communist uprisings in Greece and Turkey by establishing that the United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from Soviet communism.

Truman at national airport in DC post World War 2 for Marshall Plan
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1947/1948 - The Marshall Plan

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Economic Assistance Act, which authorized the creation of a program that would help the nations of Europe recover and rebuild after World War II. Most commonly known as the Marshall Plan, it aimed to stabilize Europe economically and politically so that European nations would not be tempted by the appeal of communist parties.

Harry Truman dewey newspaper
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1948 - Dewey Defeats Truman

In 1948, Truman won reelection. His defeat had been widely expected. His famous “Whistlestop” campaign tour through the country has passed into political folklore, as has the photograph of the beaming Truman holding up the newspaper whose headline proclaimed, “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Marines guarding the Little White House during July 26
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1948 - Executive Order 9980 & 9981

On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued two of his most important Executive Orders, 9980 and 9981, desegregating the federal workforce and desegregating the armed forces. However, it could not be to get votes as there were not that many registered black voters.

Truman touring submarine base at Key West, Florida
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1948 - Key West Accord

In 1948, Joint Chiefs of Staff met at the Truman Little White House and merged the Departments of War and the Navy, creating the Key West Accord. This was a major step toward defining the differences between the military services over their respective roles and missions.

Truman signing North Atlantic Treaty
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1949 - NATO is Established

On July 25, 1949, President Truman and Secretary Acheson signed the Instrument of Accession, making the United States a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a mutual defense pact aimed at containing possible Soviet aggression against Western Europe. The newly created Alliance was composed of 12 different nations, including the US.

President Truman getting counted for the 1950 Census
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1950 - Census, Even the President Gets Counted

In 1950, another census year, the Truman family was vacationing in Key West. While on the island, the census caught up with the President and his family and they were interviewed on the lawn. As the picture shows, the Truman family, especially Mrs. Truman and Margaret enjoyed the line of questioning directed at the President.

President Truman with officers while enacting civil rights executive order
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1951 - Enacted the Civil Rights Executive Order

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman introduced another Executive Order which established the Committee on Government Contract Compliance. Truman created the committee with legislation passed by Roosevelt in 1941. Roosevelt’s legislation made discrimination with the federal government or defense industries based on race, color, creed, or origin illegal.

Truman at desk signing declaration that the Korean War has ended
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1953 - Korean War Ends

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced that he was ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. On July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today.

President Truman retiring holding four leaf clover paper weight at desk
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1953 - Truman Retires

In January 1953, Harry S. Truman left the Presidency and retired to Independence. He delighted in being “Mr. Citizen,” as he called himself in a book of memoirs. For the nearly two decades of his life remaining to him, he spent his days reading, writing, lecturing and taking long brisk walks. He took particular satisfaction in founding and supporting his Library, which made his papers available to scholars, and which opened its doors to everyone who wished to have a glimpse of his remarkable life and career.

Tickets & Packages

Truman Little White House Museum Tour

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$22.95
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truman little white house museum in key west
  • Guided tour of Florida’s only presidential museum
  • Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories of Harry S. Truman’s time here
  • Visit where Eisenhower recuperated from his heart attack in 1956
  • Thomas Edison resided here during World War I

Truman Little White House VIP White Glove Tour

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$600.00
vip tour at the truman little white house
  • Exclusive group tour of up to 6 guests
  • Behind the scenes glimpse of Truman's custom and original bar
  • Exclusive photo opportunity at Truman's desk and custom-built poker table
  • Access to exclusive Presidential exhibits in the White Glove Lounge
  • Complimentary refreshments & keepsake souvenir included
  • Enjoy a VIP ride in one of President Truman’s limousines

Museum Tour, Trolley Tour & Shipwreck Museum Package

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$90.54
SAVE UP TO 5%
truman trolley and shipwreck package
  • Guided tour of Florida’s only presidential museum
  • Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories of Harry S. Truman’s time here
  • Exciting, fully narrated tour of Key West
  • 1 day of free unlimited re-boarding / hop on & off
  • FREE Two Guided Walking Tours included
  • FREE admission to the Sails to Rails Museum included with ticket
  • Discover the world of shipwrecking 150 years ago
  • Hear the story of the Isaac Allerton shipwreck

Museum Tour, Conch Tour Train & Shipwreck Museum Package

From
$80.57
SAVE UP TO 5%
conch tour train truman museum and shipwreck museum package
  • Guided tour of Florida’s only presidential museum
  • Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories of Harry S. Truman’s time here
  • Ranked Top 20 things to do on Trip Advisor
  • Full color map and discount coupons for attractions, restaurants and shopping with every ticket
  • FREE Two Guided Walking Tours included
  • FREE admission to the Sails to Rails Museum included with ticket
  • Discover the world of shipwrecking 150 years ago
  • Hear the story of the Isaac Allerton shipwreck
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Presidential Logs

Historical Documents

The eleven trips of President Harry S. Truman were recorded in official trip logs. Often regarded as mere souvenirs for family and staff, a more careful reading reveal clues as to the working of the president in Key West.

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Truman’s Original 1950 Limousine

The 1950 Cosmopolitan Lincoln Limousine from President Harry Truman’s presidential fleet is now at the Little White House. The Limousine will be a part of the new White Glove Tour offered by the Little White House Museum and the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation. The tour will include a private look at the Harry S. Truman Little White House, a ride in the presidential limousine and a final white glove opportunity at the Foundation Headquarters in Building 21.

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There are several ways you can leave your mark on the Little White House. Funds are always needed and can be designated for operations, exhibits, restoration, educational outreach, capital campaign or endowment. If you’re interested in supporting the Truman Little White House, there are several ways you can make a donation, including online, by phone, or in person. All donations are tax-deductible and help support the maintenance, preservation, and educational programs of the Truman Little White House. Donations to the Truman Little White House go towards a variety of operations, including preserving the historic building, providing educational programs, and improving visitor experiences. Your contribution is critical to the operations of the museum and the preservation of the building.

Members receive notifications first for programs and invitations to events.

Today, the Little White House is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the property and the men who called it home. One of the most beneficial ways to support the mission of the Truman Little White House is to become a member.

As a member, you’ll get unlimited Access to Tour and Events, Invitations to Special Events, Discounts on Museum Store Merchandise, and Discounts on Admission Fees for Friends and Family. Join today and become a part of preserving the history of one of America’s most unique and historic properties!

He was the 33rd President of the United States and served as Commander-in-Chief from 1945 to 1953. Truman was born in Missouri in 1884 and grew up in a family that often faced financial hardship. Despite his lack of formal education, Truman was a voracious reader, and he eventually went on to graduate from the University of Missouri in 1925. Prior to becoming President, Truman was a successful Missouri politician, serving as a county judge, US Senator, and Vice President under Roosevelt. Truman played a critical role in shaping the post-war world, including the establishment of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan for European recovery as well as supported several key initiatives, including the Fair Deal, which sought to promote civil rights, minimum wage laws, and labor protections. Harry S. Truman was an important president who helped shepherd America through a tumultuous period in its history. His legacy is notable for the significant domestic and foreign policy initiatives he implemented, as well as his dedication to service and his no-nonsense approach to politics.

Harry S. Truman served as the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953. His presidency was marked by some of the most challenging times in American history, including the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. 

One of the most significant events of Truman’s presidency was the end of World War II. Truman made the call to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ultimately leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of the war. While controversial, Truman argued that this decision saved American lives and was ultimately necessary to end the war quickly. 

The Marshall Plan is another significant achievement of Truman’s presidency. It was designed to provide economic assistance to Western Europe, helping to rebuild after the devastation of World War II. The plan was a crucial part of America’s recovery and helped to maintain political stability across Europe. The Marshall Plan demonstrated Truman’s commitment to international leadership and set the stage for America’s continued involvement in global events.

The Truman Doctrine established that the United States would assist any country threatened by communist forces or ideology. The Truman Doctrine demonstrated Truman’s firm stance on communism, and his willingness to act when necessary to protect American interests.

Truman was also a vocal advocate for civil rights. He established a Presidential Committee on Civil Rights, which recommended significant reforms to address discrimination and racism in America. Truman also issued executive orders desegregating the military and federal agencies. Truman’s support for civil rights was a significant step forward for American society, and his efforts paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement in the following years.

After leaving office, Truman created the Truman Library and Museum to act as a repository of presidential papers and information about his presidency. The library contains over 15 million pages of documents, and it’s one of the most significant historical archives in the country. The Truman Library is a testament to Truman’s belief in the importance of preserving history and ensuring that future generations can learn from the past.

The Marshall Plan was a comprehensive plan to help rebuild the economies of Europe, which had been devastated by World War II. The plan was proposed by Secretary of State George Marshall in 1947 during President Truman’s presidency. The plan provided economic aid to 16 European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. The first meeting of the Marshall Plan’s European Advisory Commission held in 1947 was in Truman Little White House.

Yes! During his presidency, Harry S Truman spent 175 days in the Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida. This historic site was originally built in 1890 as the naval station’s command headquarters. It was later converted into a winter White House for President Truman and his family.

Truman made 12 visits to the Little White House throughout his presidency. Here is a record of his logs. Today, visitors can walk the same grounds that Truman did and gain insight into the challenges that he faced, both personally and politically.

Between 1946 and 1952, Truman spent a total of 175 days residing and working at the Little White House. Step back into the era of Harry Truman and explore his personal belongings, including the living quarters where he and Bess resided, original furnishings, personal effects, and much more. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to see the rooms where Truman held meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked on the Marshall Plan, and penned the Truman Doctrine.

The president had various duties during his stay, including attending to important state affairs and plowing through the numerous papers that piled up on his desk. It is said that he composed some of his most critical speeches in the living room of this house. During his time in Key West, the president spent time with family, friends, and advisors, but he also utilized the advanced communication system installed at the house to keep in touch with his top advisors in Washington.

Built in 1890, this beautiful structure was initially the command headquarters of the naval station during the Spanish-American War. It wasn’t until 1946 that it was converted into the winter residence of the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

Other well-known politicians and celebrities also made their way to Key West to visit the house. Among them were former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and even Harry Truman’s wife’s Uncle Eddie.

William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, made use of the Little White House when he visited in 1912. He’d arrived to inspect the world-renowned Panama Canal, built during his presidency.

The Little White House was also used when President John F. Kennedy chose it as his Winter White House in 1961. Kennedy was looking for an escape to the Florida Keys. The president spent a whopping 45 days in the House before he had to attend to important matters in Washington.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to stay at the Little White House in 1932, and since then, many presidents have followed in his footsteps. President Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed at the Little White House in 1955 and 1956 during his terms in office. President John F. Kennedy visited in 1962. In the 1980s, Key West underwent a transformation and became a tourist destination, where President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton sought relaxation.

President Harry S. Truman became renowned for his declaration, “the buck stops here,” emphasizing the President’s responsibility to make final decisions on crucial national matters. Truman often mentioned the desk sign in public statements. He diligently worked daily at his desk in the living room of the Little White House, where the iconic “The Buck Stops Here” sign can be seen.

During World War I, Edison was asked to help the war effort by using his expertise to develop new technologies. He was appointed to the Naval Consulting Board and worked with the Navy to develop new weapons and technologies. One of Edison’s most notable contributions during WWI was the development of the Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida. This facility was used to develop and test new weapons and technologies for the Navy. Edison was also involved in the development of the first submarine detection system, which was used to detect enemy submarines.

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