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President Truman’s debt finally paid

Truman Library and Museum visits Tallgrass Creek for festivities

Created date

July 24th, 2012
Tallgrass Creekcommunity member George Lund finally collected on a 65-year-old debt owed to him by late President Harry Truman. When he was young, George worked as a newspaper boy in Independence, Mo. For years, he delivered theIndependence Examinerto the Truman family home located at 219 North Delaware. The Trumans weren t home on the days when George went door to door to collect his payments, so the former president racked up an unpaid tab of $7.50. A few months ago, George finally got the money that was owed to him, which totaled $56.63 with interest, when representatives from the Truman Library and Museum visited Tallgrass Creek in May. A Harry Truman impersonator paid the decades-old debt to George in $1 bills. George promptly turned the money over to Tallgrass Creek s Quilts of Valor club, a group of women who sew quilts for veterans. Since President Truman was very friendly with the veterans and thought a lot of them, I think he would be proud to know this is where the money is going to go, George says.

We re just wild about Harry

The long-lost newspaper bill was paid during a festival at Tallgrass Creek called We re Just Wild About Harry. The daylong event drew a crowd of nearly 200 Tallgrass Creek residents and included a full lineup of Truman-themed performances and activities. Jim Peters, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas and author of the bookArlington National Cemetery: Shrine to America s Heroes, presented a historical overview of the Truman presidency. Tallgrass Creek residents contributed their own knowledge of the Truman era by giving eyewitness testimonials of memories and stories from that time in their lives. To take everyone back, memorabilia from the Truman years was on display. In addition to the historical aspects of the day, community members also participated in some lighthearted activities. There was a Harry Truman look-a-like contest, and attendees all joined in a rousing performance of Truman s campaign song I m Just Wild About Harry! To complete the Harry Truman-themed day, Tallgrass Creek s dining staff prepared a special meal of foods that were frequently served at the Truman White House, like gazpacho, beef liver with onions and bacon, filet mignon, and Ozark pudding.