Key West Presidential Retreat Polos

At the end of the island chain stretching from Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, the coral island of Key West--4 miles long and 2 miles wide--is the southernmost point in the United States. Coconut palms, purple and red bougainvillea, frangipani, red and pink hibiscus, and tinted oleanders thrive in the frost-free climate. Off--shore, the cobalt blue reaches of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico offer deep--sea fishing for yellow fin, grouper, amberjack, mackerel, and barracuda. The Navy submarine base there offers a degree of privacy, security, and freedom not found at other vacation spots.

For Harry Truman, Key West turned out to be a place where "You could find your-self and be your-self". The West Indian--style house, which under President Truman, became known as "The Little White House", has 10 rooms covered with screened and louvered porches that filter the midday sun and welcome the tropical breezes. As years past, this retreat became more secretive and secluded.

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