KEY WEST, Florida Keys — During Harry S. Truman’s 1945-1953 presidency, he spent 175 days at the Key West residence known worldwide as his Little White House. Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, the Little White House is to host the 2011 Truman Legacy Symposium recognizing the enduring influence of America’s 33rd president.
The 2011 symposium, titled “The Civil Liberties Legacy of Harry S. Truman,” is to explore the Truman administration’s response to the civil liberties challenges spawned by Americans’ obsession with communism and subversive threats.
The program features scholars, authors, political figures and Truman associates. Scheduled speakers include Michael Devine, director of the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Mo.; celebrated Truman scholar Richard S. Kirkendall, author of “Harry’s Farewell: Interpreting and Teaching the Truman Presidency,” among others; civil liberties expert and author Athan Theoharis; Ken Hechler, Truman’s former White House assistant, who later became West Virginia’s secretary of state, and Truman grandson and author Clifton Truman Daniel.
Events are to begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, with a reception and keynote speech on the grounds of the Little White House, 111 Front St. Meticulously restored to its appearance in Truman’s day, the property is Florida’s only presidential museum. Guided VIP tours are to be offered during the reception.
Saturday’s symposium events start at 8:30 a.m. at the Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel, 3841 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
Scheduled presentations and panels spotlight topics including civil liberties and the Truman peace program, the former president’s relationship with the FBI, his vetoes of controversial legislation and Truman-era civil liberties in relation to Congress and the Supreme Court.
Event information and schedule: www.trumansymposium.com or 305-294-9911
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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