Harry Truman was so fond of walking through his hometown of Independence, MO, that the city has honored him with a trail of his own.
The city completed the Truman Historic Walking Trail in 2003 as a tribute to the eventful and triumphant life of its most famous resident. The 5-mile trail links 43 memorable places in Truman's life, with a customized brass plaque at each site describing its significance.
While he remained in good health, Truman took almost daily walks through the Downtown Independence square area, past his barbershop, the church where he and Bess were married and to his office in the Truman Presidential Museum and Library. He enjoyed strolling the tree-shaded streets of his beloved neighborhood where he lived, was invited to dinner and stopped to play cards. “I walk early to get a chance to think over things and get feady for (the) work of the day,” Truman once said.
Many of the sites he passed are included on the trail, which is designed to be a self-guided experience. Along the way are homes of Truman's friends and associates and several landmarks, including Truman's courtroom in the historic Jackson County Courthouse and Clinton's Drug Store where he held his first job.
To pick up a map of the trail, stop by Fire Station No. 1 at 223 North Main on the square. The building now houses the Truman Ticket Center and offices for the National Park Service, which conducts tours of Truman's nearby home. Or call Independence Tourism at 1-800-748-7323. For more details, visit www.visitindependence.com