Key West, Florida Keys,
16
January
2024
|
20:29 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Presidential Descendants to Star in Family Forum and ‘Give ‘Em Hell Harry’ Stage Show in Key West

A forum featuring descendants of six former American presidents and a play about past president Harry Truman, starring his oldest grandson, are among events awaiting history lovers at Truman’s famed Key West retreat over Presidents’ Day weekend.

Staged by the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation and the Society of Presidential Descendants, the Presidential Families Weekend is set for Thursday through Monday, Feb. 15-19, at the Harry S. Truman Little White House. During his 1945-1953 administration, Truman spent 11 working vacations at the 111 Front St. residence — now meticulously restored and famed as Florida’s only presidential museum.

The Presidential Descendants Forum is to highlight the weekend, with descendants discussing political maneuvering and the influence of the presidency at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in an open-air setting on the Little White House grounds.

Participants are to be James Carter, grandson of Jimmy Carter; Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel; Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower; Ulysses Grant Dietz, great-great-grandson of Ulysses S. Grant; Patricia Taft, great-granddaughter of William Howard Taft; and Massee McKinley, great-great-grandson of Grover Cleveland.

Scheduled moderator is Dr. Kurt Graham, director of Missouri’s Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

At 4:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Feb.18-19, Daniel is to portray his grandfather in the one-man play “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” at the former commander in chief’s retreat. A seasoned actor and author, Daniel is the first direct descendant to depict a presidential ancestor in a stage production.

The compelling production features “Harry” addressing the audience on topics including war concerns, his predecessors in office and a president's role and duty to the people. 

Also Sunday is a 10 a.m. presentation by renowned artist Tom Corbin, who sculpted the monumental Harry Truman bronze in Statuary Hall at Washington D.C.’s U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Corbin’s appearance launches the Truman Foundation’s ongoing TRU-ly Amazing Art series.

Other long weekend activities include a kickoff “Happy Hour at Harry’s” cocktail and trivia event Thursday, Feb. 15; a Presidents’ Day cookout set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday; guided tours of the Little White House and self-guided botanical lawn tours.

Event proceeds help support the preservation of the Truman Little White House and the foundation’s programming.

In addition to being Truman’s working headquarters, the Little White House has hosted former presidents Carter, Eisenhower, Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

Event information and ticketing: trumanlittlewhitehouse.org/foundation/events/

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