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Presidents Day: Take A Road Trip With President Truman

'Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure' by Matthew Algeo

In the summer of 1953, Harry and Bess Truman threw 11 suitcases in their new Chrysler New Yorker and headed east. They planned to drive from their home in Independence to Washington, D.C., and back.

President Harry Truman had been out of office for only a few months. The trip had a June 26 deadline: Truman had to be in Philadelphia for a speaking engagement. So with Harry behind the wheel and Bess monitoring his speed, the Trumans stopped in diners, hotels and gas stations in a road trip that would be unimaginable today.

Author Matthew Algeo, a former St. Louis Public Radio reporter, retraced the Trumans' trip, and published a book about the former first couple's adventures in 2009, "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip." "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh talked to Algeo about the book in 2009; part of that conversation was dusted off for Presidents Day.

Two years later, Algeo also tracked down the car that the Trumans drove to the East Coast and back, rusted but with the original title.

Listen to the original 2009 interview:

"St. Louis on the Air" archives: Matthew Algeo talks about "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure."

“St. Louis on the Air” discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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