Former Press editor, Randy Turner, pens book on Truman, Lamar

The Buck Starts Here is written by Randy Turner and available at

As the 75th anniversary of Harry S. Truman becoming the 33rd President of the United States on April 12, 1945 approaches, attention will be turned to Independence, the Missouri city with which he is most associated.

His story did not begin in Independence, however, and now for the first time a full-length book details the connection between Truman and Lamar, Missouri, the town where he was born on May 8, 1884.

In his new book The Buck Starts Here: Harry S. Truman and the City of Lamar, author Randy Turner explores the rich history of both the president and the city of Lamar, detailing Truman’s visits to the city in 1924, during his senatorial campaigns in 1934 and 1940 and at the dedication of his birthplace as a historic site.


The book offers an extensive look at both the former president and the city during the World War II years, including the improbable series of events that led to Truman making his first speech before a nationwide audience on August 31, 1944 at the Barton County Courthouse in Lamar.

Along with the Truman story, Turner, a former editor of the Carthage Press and Lamar Democrat, interweaves the history of Lamar, with revealing looks at some of its most fascinating residents including the city’s first marshal Wyatt Earp, war hero and prisoner of war Richard Chancellor, the longest serving mayor in Missouri history Gerald Gilkey and legendary Lamar Democrat editors Arthur Aull and his daughter, Madeleine Aull VanHafften and the energetic young reporter who challenged their newspaper’s dominance over the city, Marvin VanGilder.

The book is published by Drop Cap Publishing and Turner.

It is available in paperback and e-book formats from

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