Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day online with Truman Library

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Posted at 7:41 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 08:41:50-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — On this day 75 years ago, the Germans surrendered, ending World War II in Europe. A man from Missouri was president of the United States of America at the time.

The first V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) was also Harry S. Truman’s 61st birthday.

To celebrate the two occasions, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, and the Truman Library Institute planned a large-scale event.

Now, it’s moving the celebration to social media because of social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The library wants people to share stories about World War II veterans on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to recognize how those veterans and Truman shaped the world we live in today.

“It’s important for us to remember that this peace and prosperity and celebration of the end of the war and the prosperity we’ve all enjoyed, some people paid and continue to pay a price with sleepless nights and whatever else with what they had to do to bring us this opportunity,” said Kurt Graham, the library’s director.

The museum also launched a blog and new Twitter profile marking the moments of Truman’s presidency leading to V-E Day.

The library and museum is currently closed for a $25 million renovation. But some of the exhibits are online so people can still explore Truman’s connection to World War II.

The coronavirus has not slowed down construction on those renovations. Graham said the museum is set to reopen in the fall. He’s enjoyed tracking the construction's progress.

“All of a sudden it gets to a finishing point where, boom, overnight you see walls are painted, carpet goes in, lighting fixtures are in place, and it starts to look like a finished product. We’re kind of at that stage now and every little twist and turn now is really quite exciting,” Graham said.

Once construction wraps up, Graham said the next steps will be installing exhibits and artifacts inside the museum.