Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 15, 2016

Missouri Senators Want to Rename Union Station for Harry Truman

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., pitched a bill to rename Union Station for President Truman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., want to rename Union Station for President Truman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Washington, D.C., has no memorial or statue in the Capitol to honor President Harry S. Truman, who left office in 1953 as one of the most unpopular chief executives in history but whose legacy has been more than rehabilitated since then, with members of both parties grabbing for his legacy.

So Missouri’s senators want to honor the only man from their state to lead the nation by designating the District’s most iconic train station the “Harry S. Truman Union Station.”

“It would be a fitting tribute to have the train station just a short walk from the Capitol, that played such an important role in his presidency, bear the name of this great leader,” Democrat Claire McCaskill said in a statement. She said the “gutsy straight-talker” deserves “a memorial in Washington that can carry the weight of his heavy accomplishments and can remind future generations of his great legacy that inspired a nation.”

Congress has the authority to wield its legislative power to rename Union Station, since the transportation hub is owned by the federal government. Both McCaskill and her home-state Republican co-sponsor Roy Blunt serve on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which will have jurisdiction over the bill.

The Bethel granite building, completed in 1908, has special significance to Truman’s tenure in D.C. In 1948, when Truman decided to run for a full term in the White House, he launched a 30,000-mile whirlwind tour of the nation to get his message to the people. His “whistle-stop campaign” tour began and ended at Union Station.

During his presidency, the station was home to the presidential rail car, U.S. Car No. 1, which he used extensively to travel the states. On Nov. 29, 1951, for instance, Truman’s special train — which included his private car, two dining cars, a club car and cars for Cabinet members and reporters — pulled out of Union Station bound for Philadelphia to catch the annual Army-Navy football game.

The senators introduced the bill on Thursday, Truman’s 130th birthday.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., who sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been overseeing revitalization efforts of the station, was not immediately available for comment.

  • Jack Everett

    A Fitting tribute to a great president! He had the guts to use the most deadly weapon devised by mankind to save the lives of thousands of Americans.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    As a former republican supporter, it sickens me the way the senate republicans have held” hostage” the passing of the unemployment extension bill in the senate. When there are more than 2.6 million families affected by unemployment in this country, many of whom have lost everything and have become homeless, while waiting for the extension bill to finally be passed. It saddens me to think that my party who claims to represent “family values”, have shown itself, to be the party that represents big business interests, and lobbyists. Senators such as John Boehner, have put the interest of the XL Oil Pipeline lobbyist, before his own constituents, and countrymen. The republican party has shown us their “new face”, and it’s not a pretty one. When millions of families in this country have had to face evictions, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy, and homelessness, the senate are still playing “party politics” as usual. Since late last December the republican senate have used these poor families as bargaining chips, and for political leverage, to advance their own political agenda. As Benjamin Franklin once said “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”, and the republican party will see a tremendous backlash by these millions of voters in the coming election. Many of voters who were once long time republicans, are disillusioned, and disgusted by the republicans uncaring and unsympathetic policies and decisions. I nor any of my “former ‘ republican friends, will not ever AGAIN VOTE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

    • Jack Everett

      And this has what to do with Truman?

  • Jazzboy1

    Truman was one of the most honest, hard-working Presidents in years — yes, rename Union Station.

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