Independence, MO; where the Oregon Trail begins and the buck stops

This small town, a mere twenty minutes from Kansas City, has some noteworthy American history.

Independence, MO was a major starting point for the Oregon Trail. We visited the National Frontier Trails Museum. Through quotes from journals, illustrations and actual artifacts, the displays recreate the travels of many pioneers. The exhibits also include the early explorations of Lewis and Clark, the Mormon route and the building of the transcontinental railroad which brought overland wagon travel to a fortunate end.Also in Independence are the home, library and courthouse where Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States resided and practiced law. The courthouse square is charming and filled with historic markers and good restaurants.His home, which he returned to after his presidency, is now a museum. The Truman Presidential Library is also in Independence. It highlights the major issues and events of his presidency as well as the family and farm experiences that shaped his political future. There is also a temporary exhibit about his service during WWI. Harry Truman was the only American President to serve in combat in World War I.Truman took responsibility for all his difficult decisions, never passing blame as President. The sign on his desk, the buck stops here, is a rule he lived by. Give ’em Hell, Harry!

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