“Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, on an outdoor stage on the Little White House grounds at 111 Front St. An accurate and sometime humorous exploration of Truman’s life and presidency, the production showcases the talents of Clifton Truman Daniel, an experienced actor who is the son of former President Truman’s daughter Margaret.
An author, lecturer and humanitarian as well, Daniel is the first direct descendant to portray a U.S. president onstage.
During his 1945-53 administration, Harry Truman spent 11 working vacations at the sprawling Key West residence that became known around the world as his Little White House. As well as relaxing, he used the visits to consider momentous policy decisions and conduct meetings away from Washington, D.C.’s more constrained atmosphere.
Audience members at “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” are to be seated at bistro tables on the property’s spacious grounds, spaced to facilitate social distancing.
Following the production, they can learn more about the Truman grandfather and grandson during a question-and-answer session and a “meet and greet” gathering with Daniel.
On Presidents Day itself, Feb. 21, a picnic is to be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Little White House. Admission is free and attendees can purchase hamburgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs and beverages from a cash bar to enjoy on the grounds of Truman’s presidential retreat.
Meticulously restored to its appearance during Truman’s era, the Little White House is open daily to visitors. As well as viewing authentic artifacts and furnishings including the former president’s desk and handmade poker table, visitors can opt for a small-group White Glove Tour that includes a ride in one of his official limousines.
Both Presidents Day weekend events are presented by the not-for-profit Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and protect the Little White House State Heritage Landmark.
Tickets for the stage show and meet-and-greet reception are $180 per two-person table and $360 per four-person table, with discounts available to Foundation members.
Event information and tickets: trumanlittlewhitehouse.com or 305-294-9911
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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