Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Monday, January 23, 2012

President Truman in the Ozarks

President Obama visited Joplin last spring in the aftermath of the tornado, but presidential visits to the Ozarks, as a rule, have been pretty few and far between. I suppose President Truman visited the Ozarks while in office more than any other president. Perhaps that is to be expected since he was, of course, born at the edge of the Ozarks in Lamar.
I have written previously on this blog about Truman's visit to Bolivar on July 5, 1948, to dedicate the statue of Simon Bolivar. At the time it was called "Bolivar's greatest day," although the most memorable thing about the day to the president himself was apparently the unbearable heat. Truman supposedly was wont to use the expression "hotter than hell," but after his visit to Bolivar he instead used the expression "hotter than Bolivar" anytime he commented on extreme heat.
The heat of the Ozarks, though, was not enough to keep Truman from making at least one other trip to the region in the middle of a summer season during his presidency. On July 2, 1952, he came to northern Arkansas to dedicate both the Norfork Dam and the Bull Shoals Dam. He spoke at the Norfork dedication in the morning, then rode in his motorcade to Bull Shoals, where he helped dedicate the dam there in the afternoon.

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