Topeka — A special exhibit on Greek heritage at a downtown museum features a statue of President Harry S. Truman.
Victoria Foth Sherry, director of the Heartland Orthodox Christian Museum, said Greek Americans who have inquired about the "Greek Heritage in the Heartland" exhibit ask, "Do you have something on Uncle Harry in the show?"
"And everybody who is not Greek says, 'Why is Harry Truman here?"' she said.
Many Greek Americans revere Truman for his aid to Greece during his presidency. Legislation adopted during the Truman administration allowed 10,000 refugees of a civil war in Greece to enter the United States, bringing a second wave of Greek immigrants to this area in the 1950s.
Also, it was Truman, during the early years of the Cold War, who through financial aid ensured Greece did not become a communist nation.
Truman, who was inducted into the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association in 1946, was one of the most prominent members of the Kansas City chapter of the fraternal organization.
The association financed a 12-foot bronze statue of Truman and had it installed on one of the most important thoroughfares in the Greek capital of Athens.
The 1/4-scale model of the statue on display in "Greek Heritage in the Heartland" is on loan from the Truman Presidential Museum & Library in Independence, Mo.
The exhibit opened Saturday and will be on display through Oct. 12. Admission to the museum is free, but donations of $2 for adults and $1 for children are suggested.