KEYS HISTORY: TRUMAN LITTLE WHITE HOUSE MARKS 30 YEARS AS STATE HISTORIC SITE

Built in 1890, the Truman Little White House recently celebrated its 30th anniversary as a state historic site and museum. CONTRIBUTED

Key West’s Truman Little White House on Nov. 8 celebrated the 30th anniversary of its dedication as a state historic site and museum. 

On that day in 1991, the Whitehead Street Presidential Gates opened to receive a procession of honored guests, including U.S. Secretary of the Navy Henry Garrett, Truman Library Director Dr. Ben Zobrist and Monroe County Mayor Wilhelmina Harvey, to the North Lawn of the Truman Little White House for the grand opening ceremony.

Built in 1890 to serve as the naval station’s command headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, the historic site later became

the second White House to President Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the U.S. 

The house has been host to presidents Dwight Eisenhower, William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with other world leaders and dignitaries for summits, relaxation, recuperation and peace talks, playing a role in the shaping of America’s future here and abroad.

The Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation is a nonprofit that serves to preserve the Truman Little White House as Florida’s only presidential museum, sharing the history of the American presidency and supporting civic engagement, education and the historic and cultural influences of the Truman era. 

Upcoming 2022 programming includes the Presidential Families Weekend and Forum, titled  “American Bipartisanship: Working Across the Aisle,” and the 18th annual Truman Legacy Symposium, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Transporting Truman and How He Transported America.” 

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Brad Bertelli is an author, speaker, and Florida Keys historian. His latest book, “The Florida Keys Skunk Ape Files,” is a fun blend of two of his favorite subjects — Florida Keys history and the Skunk Ape.