Originally published 04/02/2013
When we think about the budget mess in Washington, it’s easy to focus on how it affects what’s now and what’s next. But what’s often overlooked is how budget cuts impact the study of the past. Or, how those cuts might shape history for current and future generations.In the past year, I’ve spent many a Saturday morning at the Harry S. Truman Museum and Library in Independence, Mo., merrily panning for research gold sifting through umpteen boxes and folders. Thankfully the museum and the researcher’s reading room/library will not be closing.But as of March 24, Truman’s old white-board home in Independence (which he far preferred to the other White House he lived in, dubbing the latter, “the great white jail”) will be closed on national holidays, Sundays and Mondays. The Noland house across the street, which once belonged to Truman’s cousins, is being shuttered for good. And though visitors can still mosey around the grounds of the family farm in Grandview, Missouri, they’ll no longer be able to tour the house....