By November 1946, President Harry S. Truman had served nineteen grueling months in office. The decision to drop the atomic bomb, the conclusion of World War II, the daunting task of rebuilding Europe and Japan and the conversion from a wartime to a peacetime economy had taken their toll on the president.
From August 16 to September 2, 1946, President Truman tried to rest by sailing to Hamilton, Bermuda. Unfortunately for the President, rough seas left him seasick and not too rested. By late fall, the President had developed a lingering cold that seemed to be getting worse. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, having just inspected the Key West Naval Station, suggested Quarters A in Key West as a secure, warm retreat. The President came for a week of relaxation and promised to return. Return he did for a total of eleven presidential working vacations and five post- presidential trips. Truman claimed Key West was his second favorite place on earth, only surpassed by his hometown of Independence, Missouri.
Dates of Visits by Truman
November 17 – 23, 1946
December 3 – 8, 1947
February 20 – March 5, 1948
November 7 – 21, 1948
March 6 – 19, 1949
November 28 – December 20, 1949
March 12 – April 10, 1950
March 2-22, 1951
November 8 – December 9, 1951
March 7- 27, 1952
Post Presidential Truman Visits
Each visit included a formal Little White House dinner with the base commander.
February 9-28, 1957
President and Mrs. Truman vacationed in both Islamorada in the upper Florida Keys and in Key West. RADM Francis McCorkle entertained the former President with a dinner in the Little White House dining room.
February 23-25, 1960
Most of this vacation was spent in Miami with a quick trip to Key West.
Most of the vacation was on Duck Key in the middle Florida Keys with a dinner at the Little White House on March 23,1964.
The Truman family vacationed at the Casa Marina in Key West.
The extended Truman family came once more to Key West and attended a
dinner at the Little White House on April 6, 1969.