If you’ve ever wanted to delve behind the scenes of a US president, travellers with a love of history, American politics and Florida sunshine can combine their passions with an exclusive tour of The Little White House.
Starting out life in 1890 as the first officer’s quarters on the naval submarine base, the wooden Key West duplex was a favourite location of Harry S. Truman during his two terms in office, between 1945 and 1953. He made regular visits to what became known as The Little White House, and the building was used by subsequent presidents for high-profile meetings and talks, before becoming Florida’s only presidential museum in 1991.
Meticulously restored to its Truman-era appearance, the Little White House showcases authentic artefacts including the former United States president’s handmade poker table, a tropical shirt he wore in Key West and the desk where he carried out his official duties.
“President Truman made 11 presidential visits to Key West totalling 175 days of his presidency, essentially running the United States right here from the Key West Little White House,” said Clinton Curry, director of operations for the Little White House.
VIP White Glove Tour
In addition to regular tours of the white-painted structure, the museum recently debuted a small-group VIP White Glove Tour whose participants can view galleries of priceless Truman objects not on public display, and hold presidential belongings – including his prized whiskey jigger. The experience culminates with a ride in the custom-built limousine that carried America’s 33rd president.
Acquired by the non-profit Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, the vintage Lincoln Cosmopolitan stretch limo has only 32,000 original miles on the clock. Its features include an intercom system, hydraulic privacy shield, security elements and an airflow controller for the president’s comfort.
“This limo is one of nine that were situated at different cities throughout the United States for use by the president when he would travel to different locations, because back in that period, of course, the presidential limousine did not travel on the presidential plane,” said Curry.
The tour includes the limo ride to the Truman Waterfront, runs for 2.5 hours and is priced from $537.50 (£390) based on up to six people sharing the experience.
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