The folksy president with the history of business failures in his private life at one point had an approval rating of 22 percent, and a prominent war hero denounced him publicly by stating, "The American nation has never been in greater danger. It is led by a fool who is surrounded by knaves." This in addition to charges of corruption in his office and cabinet — Harry S. Truman sure was some lightning rod of a president. And yet after leaving office, he refused to cash in on his presidential status by taking highly-paid, do-nothing board positions or racking up pricey speaking engagements. Truman instead retired to Independence, Missouri, opened a presidential library and wrote his memoirs — and lived long enough to see his reputation and his legacy rehabilitated in the public's opinion. The tumultuous public life of Harry Truman is the subject of Samuel Gallu's one-man show, Give 'Em Hell, Harry. The Midnight Company presents Give 'Em Hell, Harry starring Joe Hanrahan, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (February 12 through 22) at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-361-9017 or midnightcompany.com). Tickets are $16 to $20.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 12. Continues through Feb. 22, 2009