The Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation and The Society of Presidential Descendants to present February’s “Presidential Families Weekend and Forum” in Key West, Florida
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, Friday, February 17, through Monday, February 20, 2023, 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.
Centerpiece of the multi-day event is a Saturday, February 18, forum discussion on the topic of "Working Across the Aisle: American Bipartisanship” 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: Susan Ford Bales, daughter of Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States; Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President; Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of 34th U.S. President General Dwight D. Eisenhower; Massee McKinley, great-great grandson of 22nd and 24th U.S. President Grover Cleveland, and great-great nephew of 25th U.S. President William McKinley; and Patricia Taft, great-granddaughter of William Howard Taft, the 27th U.S. President.
Back by popular demand for the 2023 Presidential Families Weekend are two live performances of “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!”, the long running and highly acclaimed stage production written by Samuel Gallu that spotlights the life and presidency of Harry S. Truman. Presidential descendant Clifton Truman Daniel, an actor, author, and humanitarian, has starred in the role of President Truman since 2017, and is the first direct descendant to portray a presidential ancestor in a stage production of this kind. “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!”, a fast paced, faithful to history, and often humorous one-man-show, is set for Sunday evening, February 19, and Monday evening, February 20, outdoors on the grounds of the Harry S. Truman Little White House. Last year’s scheduled performance, as well as an added encore performance, quickly sold out.
During the daytime on Monday, February 20, 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 lunchtime event.
Other Presidential Weekend offerings are to include guided tours of the Historic Little White House, self-guided botanical lawn tours, and for Foundation members, ancillary cocktail parties with presidential descendants.
The annual “Presidential Families Weekend and Forum” 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 recently founded Society of Presidential Descendants, a membership organization for individuals with direct lineage to one or more of the forty-six United States Presidents.
This year, as a component of the Presidential Families Weekend events, and in the spirit of fostering youth political awareness and participation, the partnership announced a student essay contest for Monroe County High School Students. Announced in November, interested students have until January 15 to submit their compositions. In addition to cash prizes, First, Second and Third place winners will receive tickets to attend the Saturday, February 18 forum, where attending presidential descendants will introduce the winning students to the audience following the discussion.
The “Presidential Families Weekend and Forum” is presented with the support of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. For tickets, information, and student essay guidelines and submission information visit www.trumanlittlewhitehouse.org/foundation/events/. For questions, contact Foundation executive director Rachel Katzenberger at Rachel.Katzenberger@kwtrumanfoundation.org
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