February’s “Presidential Families Weekend” in Key West, Florida, to feature Presidential descendant’s forum discussion, “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” stage production and more
The Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, in partnership with The Society of Presidential Descendants, is pleased to announce a series of special events to be held in celebration of Presidents’ Day Weekend, Thursday, February 15, through Monday, February 19, 2024, on the elegant tropical grounds of the Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida, where 33rd U.S. President Truman spent 11 working vacations from 1945-53.
Kicking off events on Thursday, February 15, from 5:30-7:30pm, is a special “Happy Hour at Harry’s Cocktail and Trivia” evening at which politicophiles can enjoy cocktails from “Harry’s Bar” while competing for prizes and glory in a presidential trivia battle of the brains.
Centerpiece of the multi-day event is a Saturday, February 17, forum discussion on the topic of "Political Maneuvering: The Powerful Influence of the Presidency” to be held among a gathering of distinguished presidential descendants before a live audience.
Moderated by Dr. Kurt Graham, Director of Independence, Missouri’s federally operated Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, this year’s scheduled forum participants are: James Carter, grandson of 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter; Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of 33rd U.S. President Harry S. Truman; Ulysses Grant Dietz, great-grandson of 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant; Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of 34th U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Massee McKinley, great-great grandson of 22nd and 24th U.S. President Grover Cleveland; and Patricia Taft, great-granddaughter of 27TH U.S. President William H. Taft.
Returning by popular demand for the 2024 Presidential Families Weekend are two live performances of “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!”, the long running, highly acclaimed stage production written by Samuel Gallu that spotlights the life and presidency of Harry S. Truman. Clifton Truman Daniel has starred in the role of his grandfather since 2017, and is the first direct descendant to portray a presidential ancestor in a stage production of this kind. A fast paced, faithful to history, and often humorous one-man-show, “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” will be performed Sunday evening, February 18, and as the long weekend’s finale event on Monday evening, February 19, with each beginning at 4:30pm. Staged outdoors on the grounds of the Harry S. Truman Little White House, tickets for previous year’s performances have quickly sold out.
On Sunday the 18th, from 10:00am until noon, the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation will welcome renowned master artist Tom Corbin, creator of the monumental Harry S Truman bronze sculpture on display in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington D.C. Part of the Foundation’s TRU-ly Amazing Art series, in his presentation, Corbin will share insights on his tools and processes and where he finds his inspiration.
Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19, the Little White House grounds will provide the setting for a family-friendly “Presidents’ Day Cookout,” with hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hotdogs available for purchase. A cash bar will also be available, and attendees are welcome to bring a picnic blanket for the 11:30am to 1:30pm event that will also include music and lawn games.
Other “Presidential Families Weekend” offerings are to include guided tours of the Historic Little White House and self-guided botanical lawn tours.
The annual “Presidential Families Weekend” held at the Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West is the largest Presidents Day Weekend gathering of presidential descendants in the country. Traditionally hosted by The Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, in 2022 the Foundation partnered for the first time with the Society of Presidential Descendants, a membership organization for individuals with direct lineage to one or more of the forty-six United States Presidents.
In the spirit of fostering youth political awareness and participation, the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation and The Society of Presidential Descendants have announced an essay contest for Monroe County High School Students, with submissions to reflect this year’s “Political Maneuvering: The Powerful Influence of the Presidency” theme. In addition to cash prizes, First, Second and Third place winners will receive tickets to attend the Saturday, February 17 forum, where attending presidential descendants will introduce the winning students to the audience following the discussion. Interested students have until January 15 to submit their compositions.
The “Presidential Families Weekend” and the Tom Corbin “TRU-ly Amazing Art” event are presented with the support of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. For tickets and information visit www.trumanlittlewhitehouse.org/foundation/events/. For student essay guidelines and information, contact Foundation Deputy Director Michael Ables at Michael.Ables@kwtrumanfoundation.org.
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