KEY WEST, Fla. — History buffs who visit Key West’s Harry S. Truman Little White House, Florida’s only presidential museum, can now choose to ride around the island in a presidential limousine Truman used during his term in office.
Truman spent nearly six months in Key West, spread over 11 visits, during his 1945-1953 presidency.
Acquired by the non-profit Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation, the vintage Lincoln Cosmopolitan stretch limo has 32,000 original miles on its odometer. 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 Clinton Curry, director of operations for the Little White House.
Meticulously restored to its Truman-era appearance, the Little White House showcases authentic artifacts including the former 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 totaling 175 days of his presidency, essentially running the United States right here from the Key West Little White House,” said Curry.
In addition to regular tours of the white-painted structure, the museum recently debuted a small-group White Glove Tour whose participants can view galleries of priceless Truman objects not on public display, and don white gloves to hold presidential belongings including his prized whiskey jigger. The experience culminates with a ride in the limo that carried America’s 33rd president.