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On Harry S. Truman's 135th Birthday, Cleaver, Graves, Blunt, and Coons Introduce Bill to Rename D.C.'s Union Station to Honor His Legacy

May 8, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Commemorating the 135th birthday of Missouri native and former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Sam Graves (R-MO), along with U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) today introduced legislation to rename Washington, D.C.’s Union Station as the “Harry S. Truman Union Station.”

“It has been quite the privilege to represent the congressional district of President Truman’s hometown for the past 14 years in Congress,” said Congressman Cleaver. “A man who went from being a simple farmer in Missouri to President of the United States, Harry S. Truman embodied the American spirit and what it means to live the American Dream. When people from all over the country come to Washington, D.C. by train, just like President Truman when he returned after winning reelection, it’s only fitting that they arrive at Harry S. Truman Union Station.”

“Harry Truman was a statesman who exemplified leadership in every public service role he held,” said Graves. “It’s a highly fitting tribute to Missouri’s native son for one of our nation’s iconic transportation hubs to bear the name of Truman – who famously used the facility.”

“It’s an honor to share the office that Harry Truman worked in as a senator and as vice president,” said Blunt. “Missourians and people across the nation admire his leadership, character, and courage to confront difficult challenges. Naming our capital’s train station after President Truman will pay tribute to his accomplishments and legacy.”

“It was an accident in United States history that Harry Truman became President, and yet he made some of the most important decisions that laid the framework for the world we have today,” said Coons. “Naming the primary train station in our nation’s capitol would be a fitting way to honor a President who was committed to democracy and was a famous train passenger himself. President Truman was a humble man who did his job as he saw fit, made decisions that were difficult, held himself accountable for those that didn’t work, and left a legacy that has served our country well.”

Union Station was home to the Presidential rail car, U.S. Car No. 1, which was used extensively by Truman during his time in the White House. When Truman left Washington, D.C. aboard the train car to embark on his famous “whistle-stop campaign” tour, his journey began and ended at Union Station. The day after his reelection, Truman returned to Washington, via Union Station. As he made his way from Union Station to the White House, more than 750,000 people welcomed him back to the city. Following the inauguration of President Eisenhower in 1953, Truman departed from Union Station by train one last time with his wife, Bess. More than 5,000 people squeezed on the platform to see them off.

Union Station is owned by the federal government, giving Congress the authority to rename the station.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matthew Helfant at 202-225-4535 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here