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Truman Key West Visits

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
March 12-19,1947
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.

March 1964
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.

March 1968
The Truman family vacationed at the Casa Marina in Key West.

April 1969
The extended Truman family came once more to Key West and attended a
dinner at the Little White House on April 6, 1969.

Presidential Visits

William Howard Taft visited the Little White House on December 12, 1912.
William Howard Taft visited the Little White House on December 12, 1912.
President and Mrs. Eisenhower visited Key West Dec 27, 1955 to Jan 7, 1956 while he was recovering from a heart attack.
President and Mrs. Eisenhower visited Key West Dec 27, 1955 to Jan 7, 1956 while he was recovering from a heart attack.
John F. Kennedy with Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on March 26,1961. John F. Kennedy visited again on November 26, 1962
John F. Kennedy with Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on March 26,1961. John F. Kennedy visited again on November 26, 1962.
Former President Jimmy Carter visited the Little White House with his family December 31, 1996 and again on December 29, 2007.
Former President Jimmy Carter visited the Little White House with his family December 31, 1996 and again on December 29, 2007.
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Senator Hillary Clinton, with the Truman Little White House Director Bob Wolz.
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Senator Hillary Clinton, with the Truman Little White House Director Bob Wolz.
florida-museum-powell
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell led a week of international peace talks with the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Photo of President Obama with Truman Little White House Shirt
President Obama shows off his Truman Little White House Shirt.

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