Saturday, August 31, 2013

key west history, part 6

When FDR died in April of 1945, his Vice-president, Harry S. Truman, found himself in the oval office with a pant-load of pressing problems on his plate.
The second world war was still going on and the decision to drop the atomic bombs still had to be made (killing 250,000 people can't be an easy decision to make).

When the war was finally over, there was the daunting task of rebuilding Europe and Japan and then converting the United States back from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy.
It took Mr. Truman 19 months in the oval office to get all that done; but he did get it done and the ordeal, frankly,
kicked his ass.

The man was physically exhausted. So his doctor ordered a warm, quiet vacation; and Key West was just the ticket.


The navy put him up in a house that was originally the Naval submarine command headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. But by 1946. That house became Mr. Truman's "little piece of paradise".

It is, what we now call the "Truman Little White House".

The President loved it here in Key West; So much that he came back, to his "summer home", eleven times.

During the Truman visits, cabinet members and foreign officials were regular visitors for fishing trips and
poker games.

Truman again visited Key West just after his 1948 re-election and Division Street was renamed Truman Avenue
in his honor.

In 1974, when the submarine base was closed, the Truman Little White House was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1987, was deeded to the State of Florida.

In 1990 a million dollars restored the house
to its 1949 appearance.
It is now held in trust as a public museum.

The Truman Little White House is the only Presidential site in the State of Florida.

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