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Published: January 3rd 2007
President Harry S. Truman brought some notoriety to Key West when his doctor advised him to get some rest and sun. Truman was advised the Base Commanders house was empty at Key West Naval Base. Truman visited the base, like the climate and surrounding so much he made 11 visits totaling 175 days during his administration. It became known as Harry S. Truman Little White House.
Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the base in 1939. Thomas Edison lived-in the house during World War I while donating his services to the Navy. In 1948-49 General Dwight D. Eisenhower held a series of meeting that resulted in the creation of the Department of Defense. In 1956 he returned to recoup from a heart attack. John Kennedy made a second visit in 1962 immediately following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Former President Carter had a family reunion there in 1996. In April 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell opened a week of OSCE peace talks.
This is a guided tour and a great one at that. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed in the main building. You have to be content with listening to the guide tell stories of the personal side of Truman which
were very interesting.
It was easy to see how Truman would have liked this place. When Truman visited, the house was built right on the waterfront. Now, that part has been filled in so the water view is lost.
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