Staring our morning off with a tour of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, we entered a beautiful building filled with artifacts from our 33rd President. From a replica of his Oval Room to stories about his life and Presidency as well as many artifacts, we were treated to many things we had forgotten or never known. His parents were farmers in the Independence area and his grandfather led wagon trains west from Independence to California. As a boy, Harry was a smart student but not well liked, so spent most of his hours by himself reading. His family moved to Kansas City for a few years but he had taken a shine to a girl from a wealthy family in Independence so traveled back and forth on the train from Kansas City to Independence as a young man, to visit her. Her family and friends didn't feel Harry fit into their lifestyle as he was just a poor farmer's son. Harry decided to become wealthy and invested in oil and mining, both of which failed! He then enlisted in the military during WWI and turned out to be quite a leader. When he returned home after the war he convinced that girl he had been sweet on for so many years, Bess Warren, to marry him. They later had one daughter named Margaret. He and a friend opened a Haberdashery Shop in Independence on borrowed money and it was soon going broke. In need of a job, Harry was approached by Tom Pendergast who saw Harry as a perfect candidate for office. He ran for Jackson County Judge and was overwhelming elected by Pendergast's power machine. According to Harry's own personal diaries, he felt he was being manipulated by that power machine but knew he needed it to further his political career. He was 34 years old when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1926. He made quite a name for himself in the Senate and during the Democratic Convention in 1943, Henry Wallace was Franklin Roosevelt's VP running mate. Most of the Party knew that FDR was in poor health and would never complete his fourth term as President. They didn't want Wallace to become President and at the last minute of the Convention they elected Mr. Truman as FDR's running mate. Truman had served only 68 days as Vice President when he was called to the White House and told that FDR had died. In 1948 when he ran for President, he went to bed knowing that he had lost the election to Thomas Dewey as headlined by the Chicago Daily Tribune. However it was determined that while Dewey had won the popular vote, Truman had won the Electoral vote. He faced many troubled times during his terms as President from ending WWII, the bombing of Hiroshima and sending U.S. troops into Korea after stripping the military and causing the loss of many American lives. He also saw the start of the Cold War, an addition to the White House and a 1950 assassination attempt. With less than a 30% favor ability rating, he considered running for another term but was handily defeated in the New Hampshire primary and soon announced he would not seek another term. He returned to Independence to live out the rest of his life with the love of his life, wife Bess.
Our next stop was one of the most incredible places we have ever visited, a tour of the treasures found from the sunken Steamboat Arabia 150 years old, it is all NEW! This is an absolute "MUST SEE" in your lifetime. The museum is privately owned, as are all the artifacts, by the families who were the original treasure hunters. It holds the world's largest collection of 1856 frontier supplies. They have done an amazing job in the preservation and display of these wonderful artifacts. And I would highly suggest you visit the link to their website and click Arabia Exhibit/ collection. You won't be disappointed! "The Treasure of the Steamboat Arabia" is part of the City Market and that was to be our next adventure. We soon discovered the Farmer's Market and tent portions are only open on the weekends and only things open during the week are trinket shops and restaurants, which we weren't interested in, so off we headed to our next destination which will answer the question asked in the title. TARGET="_BLANK">http://www.1856.com/
"What do 3200 miles, $900 and ribs have in common? British actor Richard Griffiths flew from England in 1967, spending $900.00 on air fare and hotel rooms, to purchase 140 pounds of BBQ Ribs from one of the 10 most famous BBQ joints in the U.S...Arthur Bryant's. Having read about Arthur Bryant's and seen them on TV touted as one of the most famous BBQ places in America, we decided it was a "must stop" on our bucket list. We had been advised by people who live in Kansas City to go in the daylight as it isn't in the best of neighborhoods. "Joint" is a good word to describe the place but the ribs and brisket are some of the best we have ever eaten. In visiting with the employees, we learned that Arthur Bryant's has been in business since 1935 and in its current location since the mid-1960's. A few of the famous faces that have eaten there include President Jimmy Carter and his wife, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover and Sally Fields. Their yummy BBQ has been written up in Better Homes & Gardens, Gourmet, Fortune, Mode, American Heritage, Golf Digest, Esquire, People, Bon Appetit, Entrepreneur and Southern Living magazines just to name a few, many newspapers and featured on several TV shows. Having many choices to choose from (all BBQ'd of course), homemade french fries, beans and coleslaw, we ordered the ribs and brisket. And OMG were they tasty! Mike's ribs came on a turkey platter with fries and my brisket came on a huge dinner plate. I immediately made friends with the server cutting the meat when I asked him to serve me 'whatever it was that made them famous,' hence the brisket. Immediately he cut me a huge pile of brisket and a plate full of ends. While we were enjoying our dinner, there was a constant flow of customers from men and women in business attire to blue collar workers and families coming in to enjoy the fare at Arthur Bryant's at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Having stuffed ourselves, we asked for "to-go" boxes and were given huge pieces of wrapping paper for our leftovers to take home and enjoy tomorrow...and boy will we ever. If you like BBQ, this is a great stop and we will definitely go again when passing through the area.