Local historian brings Harry Truman to life through re-enactment

Local historian brings Harry Truman to life through re-enactment
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April 8 marks the 100th anniversary of Truman leaving France to come home to Kansas City at the conclusion of World War I.

In rememberance of Truman and his legacy, a local World War I historian and re-enactor made a stop at George Washington Carver to bring America’s 33rd President of the United States to life.

“The shells started coming in, one of them landed within about 15 feet of me and actually blew me off my horse.”

9-year-old Tyler Murphy sits on the edge of his seat with his mom, listening to war stories as told by Harry Truman, something he loves.

“History is great, and it can teach you about what happened in the past,” said Murphy.

For the past three years, Murphy has been home-schooled by his mother who is constantly on the look out for educational opportunities like this.

“It really helps bring it to life for them. They love getting out of the house, for sure, and meeting new people, and coming to these just adds on to what they’ve already learned because no matter how much you look into it, you always can learn something new at these,” said Cathryn Murphy.

“I’ll never forget that feeling when Bess cried on my shoulder, when I told her I was going to war.”

Kavan Stull, a World War I historian and re-enactor, portrays Truman through letters he’d written to his wife, Bess, during his brief time in World War I, an experience that shaped his future as the president who decided to drop an atomic bomb on Japan in World War II.

“People have a lot of interest in Harry Truman. They look at him as a practical, common-sense man. Even though he may have not been that popular back in 1948, every year that goes by, they wish he was still around,” said Stull.

Stull appreciates the young faces in the crowd, knowing these generations will carry on America’s legacy.

“It’s really gratifying that they can learn the appreciation for what the soldiers over the years have done for our freedom and to advance the calls of liberty. A lot of them died so they could have a future.”

It’s a sacrifice not lost on Murphy, who hopes to continue learning from the past.

“It can teach what happened in the past, and what not to do in the future.”

May 8 marks Truman’s birthday. He would’ve been 135.