MP2002-312 Former President Truman Highlights the Mural in his Presidential Library

MP2002-312 Former President Truman Highlights the Mural in his Presidential Library


Now, the setup for the purpose of taking care of four and a half million documents which I accumulated as president, and about two and a half million that the people who work for me accumulated, and the objective was to set it up here in such a way that a youngster who was looking for the history of the period would have no trouble finding out about it. Now, in this lobby here in this… entrance to the so called library, you will see a mural that was painted by Thomas H. Benton, the grandnephew of the original Thomas H. Benton, who was the first – one of the first senators – he wasn’t the first, he was
the second senator from Missouri, but was one of the two first senators that went to Washington. And, he painted this mural up here which… is intended to show the three great trails which originated here in Independence. The steamboats came up here and landed at Wayne City, which is at the foot of the road that went from Independence to the Missouri River, and it was set up in such a way that the trails all started from here. Then they
went out to Westport across Big Blue or the old trail, which is still marked out here in the county, and they came to a little town out here called Gardner. And one of the trails went on West to the
Mormon Trail [which] went on West to Utah. The Santa Fe Trail turned left and went down to Santa Fe, New Mexico and then the Oregon Trail turned and went and crossed the… Kansas River and the Platte River and went on West from there to Portland and Seattle, Washington. And, I was very much interested in having situations set up here so people could find out just exactly what happened in the history of this part of the world along the 1830’s and 40’s and 50’s and 60’s and 70’s, and that’s what we’re trying to do. What I hope you’ll do, whenever you come in here, is to take a look at everything you see and read the inscriptions on them. You’ll find out that there’s very much interesting- very many interesting things in connection with them. They’re all marked so you can tell what they are. Now, there are five flags over here at the
back of me, which were the flags of the various parts of the 35th Division and the situation that happened in this part of the world, which had to do with the people who contributed to it. I had the British flag, the French flag, the
American flag, and the Spanish flag, and the flag of the United States, and they were to represent the people who made up the people who settled this part of the country from
the West. And, it’s right interesting. Now, the original flags, I presented to each one of the great men. Foch…from France, the British prime minister who was here at
that time from…for Britain, the French- the Frenchman was Foch- and then to… Pershing, who was the American general, who was here. And then when that was all over they gave me those flags and I gave him back to the Memorial in Kansas City. And you know what they did with them? They put them down the basement and let them rot. Then I got the flag people who had given me the original flags to make some more and that’s the reason they’re here. But, this place is an educational institution, and I want people to understand just exactly what it means and why. [Offscreen] Cut. All right sir– [Offscreen] …One. Quiet. All right sir– In addition to what I’ve just told you… [Abrupt end]

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