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The Long Road to the Short History of the Truman Center at UMKC.

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Presentation on theme: "The Long Road to the Short History of the Truman Center at UMKC."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Long Road to the Short History of the Truman Center at UMKC

2 This collection of events and upcoming plans along “the long road to the short history” of the Truman Center was prepared for our friends and supporters – for those who believe in the power of civic education and civic engagement, as Harry Truman did. We hope you enjoy our story. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss programs or plans that are of specific interest to you. Dr. Dale Neuman Program Director phone: 816-235-2787 e-mail: Gayla Curtis Program Associate and Assistant to the Director phone: 816-235-2720 e-mail: Or visit us online at

3 The Establishment of the Truman Center at UMKC

4 In the Beginning… In 1969, President Harry S. Truman, in a letter to UMKC Chancellor James Olson, authorized the establishment of the Harry S. Truman Center for Governmental Affairs. Over the course of the next 25 years, committees meet, studies are done and recommendations come forth to no avail. The Center lies dormant.

5 Beginning in 2007, following a mandate from a new chancellor, a transition advisory committee that included persons from public life and the university was created to develop a mission statement and identify initiatives for the Truman Center. A New Start Harry S. Truman, 33 rd President of the United States

6 Truman Center Mission: To honor Harry S. Truman’s legacy of public service, leadership, and the importance of the contribution of the ordinary citizen to the well-being of the political community through public affairs and educational programs. Truman Center Initiatives: It was agreed that each initiative must address something that was important to Harry Truman and, when taken together, could serve to honor his legacy. Those initiatives came to be Civic Education, Civic Engagement and Local Governance. Truman Center Mission & Initiatives

7 In June 2007, Dean Karen Vorst of UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Michael Devine, Director of the Truman Presidential Library, sign a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the two Truman-named entities would become cooperating partners in programming to honor Truman. Cooperating Partners Subsequently, the Truman Forum of the Kansas City Public Library began to partner with the Truman Center by providing a venue for our programs. Dr. Dale Neuman and Dean Karen Vorst of UMKC, and Dr. Michael Devine and Dr. Ray Geselbracht of the Truman Presidential Library gather to sign the Memorandum of Understanding

8 Programming & Events: 2007-Present

9 In November 2007, Frank K. Kelly a UKC alumnus, Class of 1938, inaugurated our public affairs series when he returned to Kansas City and UMKC to discuss writing speeches and working for Truman in 1948. Inaugural Event Frank K. Kelly, former Truman speechwriter, at UMKC

10 In February, 2008, Ken Hechler, who worked in the Truman White House from 1949-1952, came to UMKC to discuss issues of staffing the White House Office and the difference between the way Truman and presidents of recent years chose and used advisors. 2007-Present Ken Hechler, assistant to Truman from 1949-1952

11 In April 2008, David Moore, former Gallup vice president and senior editor of the Gallup Poll came to Kansas City and revisited the difficulties with opinion polls in the Truman election of 1948. Moore also discussed issues relevant in the conduct of recent polls. 2007-Present David Moore discusses “Polling in America: From Truman to Bush”

12 In May 2008, two undergraduate students, are named the first two Harry Truman Bootstrap Scholarship Interns. In June, they are sent all expenses paid to Washington to intern in Congress for both Senator McCaskill and Representative Cleaver. The scholarship included tuition and fees so interns could earn academic credit by combining an academic program with real- world experiences. 2007-Present United States Capitol

13 In October 2008, UMKC celebrated its 75 th anniversary. As part of the celebration, William Worley, adjunct history professor, provided an impersonation of Truman, recreating memories and events, including Truman’s acceptance of an honorary degree on the steps of Scofield Hall at the University of Kansas City. 2007-Present William Worley as Truman in 2008. Truman accepts honorary Doctorate of Law degree at UKC in 1945.

14 Truman’s honorary diploma from UKC, 1945

15 Later that month, the Truman Center partnered with the Kansas City United Nations Day Committee to host a program on global warming. Dr. John M.R. Stone, provided a presentation titled “Challenges and Opportunities of Climate Change,” in which he discussed his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. 2007-Present Dr. John M.R. Stone

16 In February 2009, the Truman Center hosted Dr. D. Robert Worley, noted expert in national security, for a discussion of the president’s use of the National Security Council, beginning with its initial organization under Truman. 2007-Present Dr. D. Robert Worley

17 In the summer of 2009, the Truman Center presented “Harry Truman the Road Builder: A Look Forward from 1920 to 2040.” Archivist Dr. Sam Rushay discussed Truman’s fascination with roads and automobiles, along with his impact on transportation issues of the day in Jackson County. Tom Gerend of the Mid- America Regional Council provided a futuristic look at the pressing transportation issues of today, going forward. 2007-Present Truman and his Stafford car at a picnic

18 1922 Jackson County, Missouri, campaign flyer Button supporting Truman’s bond issue concerning roads

19 In September 2009, the Truman Center presented “Democracy’s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public’s Role,” the first of two Harry’s Front Porch Forums, focusing on Americans turning away from public life and becoming spectators, rather than participants. This was a small- group discussion format, led by a moderator. 2007-Present Former President Harry S. Truman shakes hands with an unidentified man at the Truman Library ca. 1964

20 On October 5, 2009, the Truman Center hosted Dr. David Atkinson, UMKC’s Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science and Law. Dr. Atkinson presented “Appointing the Supreme Court: From Truman to Obama,” in which he discussed the controversial appointments of Supreme Court Justices. 2007-Present Dr. David Atkinson

21 In October 2009, the Truman Center participated in the second of Harry’s Front Porch Forums, titled “Preparing Today’s Kids for Tomorrow’s Jobs: What Should Our Community Do?” This small- group discussion focused on the preparation of today’s youth in a rapidly changing economy and world. 2007-Present President Truman greeting a group of children

22 On October 20, 2009, authors Allis and Ronald Radosh visit Kansas City as guests of the Truman Center and the Jewish Community Relations Bureau. They discuss their new, highly acclaimed book, “A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel.” 2007-Present

23 On October 29, 2009, the Truman Center hosted United Nations Under-Secretary General, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, to discuss the topic of children and armed conflict. 2007-Present Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

24 On June 22, 2010, Dr. Meena Bose, Director of the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University, presented a lecture on The Role of the UN in U.S. Foreign Policy: From Truman to Obama. 2007-Present

25 On September 27, 2010, Dr. George C. Edwards III, George and Julia Blucher Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University, spoke on “Presidential Leadership and Health Care Reform From Truman to Obama.” Edwards examined the challenges our presidents face in setting healthcare policy. 2007-Present

26 On October 18, 2010, the Truman Center hosted UN Under- Secretary General B. Lynn Pascoe, head of the U.N.’s Department of Political Affairs. Pascoe addressed his department’s chief responsibilities in “preventative diplomacy.” 2007-Present

27 October, 2010, the Truman Center co-partnered with the Truman Forum at the Kansas City Public Library—Plaza Branch on the topic of “America’s Role in the World: What Does National Security Mean in the 21 st Century?” 2007-Present

28 In November, 2010, the Truman Center and the Kansas City League of Women Voters, in collaboration with a delegation from Azerbaijan, presented a discussion “Learning Democracy: Election Processes in the U.S. and Azerbaijan.” 2007-Present

29 In May, 2011, Ambassador James McLay, New Zealand’s permanent representative to the United Nations, addressed a Truman Center audience on the occasion of the memorial to those UN Peacekeepers who lost their lives on peacekeeping missions in 2010. 2007-Present

30 The Truman Center, along with UMKC’s Political Science Honor Society (Pi Sigma Alpha) and GCKUNA, hosted Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania. Dr. Migiro spoke on the need for everyone to get involved in the global issues that affect the UN, because ultimately, they affect not just one country or region, but us all. 2007-Present

31 On President’s Day, February 20, 2012, Historian of the U.S. Senate, Don Ritchie, presented “A Conflicted Legacy: Presidents and Congress from Truman to Obama.” 2007-Present

32 Dr. Susan Levine came to Kansas City in March of 2012 to present “School Lunch Politics: From Truman to Reagan” in honor of Truman’s signing of the first school lunch bill. 2007-Present

33 In celebration of Mayor’s UN Day, 2012, Lynn Stratford, Senior Vice- President of Program & Strategic Partnerships for UNICEF, spoke at a pre-dinner session on global efforts on behalf of children’s health. 2007-Present

34 In observance of 2013’s UN Peacekeepers Day, Kieran Dwyer, Chief Spokesman, U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, addressed the challenges in current peacekeeping operations. Peacekeepers Day is a time to honor the women and men from many nations who don Blue Helmets to defend the helpless and keep the peace. 2007-Present

35 On October 23, 2013, in celebration of Mayor’s UN Day, Kristin Hetle, Director of Strategic Partnerships-UN Women, along with other KC organizations focused on women’s issues. Discussions included the achievements and challenges in promoting gender equality and empowering women in the U.S. and abroad. 2007-Present

36 Jordie Hannum, Director of the Better World Campaign of the UN Foundation, on June 6, 2014, discussed the history, role, effectiveness and costs of the UN Peacekeeping Operations as they deal with preventing and reducing violence around the world. 2007-Present

37 On June 3, 2014, Dr. Melvin Goodman presented “Presidents & the CIA: From Truman to Obama” at the National Archives, where he discussed the intelligence and operational successes and failures of the CIA from the perspective of the relationship between the Presidency and the CIA. 2007-Present

38 On September 24, 2014, Dr. Stephen Sestanovich discussed Maximalist: America in the World From Truman to Obama. Beginning with President Truman, he examined the winding road of American foreign policy, illustrating where the U.S. often must make detours amid great controversy. 2007-Present

39 I n observance once again of the Mayor’s United Nations Day 2014, recently retired Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo spoke at a pre- dinner session for high school and college students on Oct. 27th. She addressed the current U.S.- U.N. relationship and also participated in a Q&A session with the students, describing in detail life in the foreign service. 2007-Present

40 Looking Ahead: Programming Ideas & Plans

41 Truman Legacy Public Affairs Series The President as Manager of the Economy from Truman to Obama (Truman was the first president required to manage the economy by the Employment Act of 1946) The President and Nuclear Arms from Truman to Obama The President and NATO from Truman to Obama (Truman signed and the U.S. Senate approved the NATO treaty in 1949) Programming Ideas & Plans

42 Civic Engagement Broaden Undergraduate Bootstrap Internship Program to include full semesters in D.C. and/or in local Congressional and other placement sites. Identify and fund graduate student internships in local governments (also addresses County Governance initiative.) Encourage service learning opportunities in public and governmental agency environments. Programming Ideas & Plans

43 We hope you have enjoyed the sights found along the “long road” to the start of the UMKC Truman Center. We welcome your questions and would enjoy an opportunity to visit with you regarding topics of interest or suggestions you have regarding the Center. Dr. Dale Neuman Program Director phone: 816-235-2787 e-mail: Gayla Curtis Program Associate and Assistant to the Director phone: 816-235-2720 e-mail: If you are interested in donating to the Truman Center, please visit us online at:

44 Truman Center Logo Commissioned by the Truman Center, and developed in collaboration by UMKC Graphic Design students Natosha Snidow, Riley Davis, and Samantha Kuns

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