Remembering Dwight D. Eisenhower

(Frank) Marco the Polo Bear! (Deb) You know and one time he was coming up to to Fancy Gap, Virginia. He was going to be at Sunnyside, which is a little store there, a wonderful store. It had a little bit of everything and they got special shipments of Christmas toys in. So, Marco the Polo Bear was gonna be there. So, I was going to go meet Marco the Polo Bear. And it snowed and we couldn’t go because the roads were too bad and they cancelled Marco the Polo Bear’s visit because of snow. (Frank) Oh no. (Deb) I will never forget that. I must have been six or something. I was so disappointed I didn’t get to meet Marco the Polo Bear. (Frank) As you know we’re in the State Capitol today. And of course, Kansas was the 34th state to join the Union and the 34th President of the United States was Eisenhower, from the state of Kansas. And you… (Deb) Well, that worked out well, didn’t it? (Frank) It did. So, but you took a trip over to the Eisenhower Museum which is in Abilene. (Deb) I love the Eisenhower Museum. I love taking friends there. So, this is another great place over the winter break or whenever you have friends come to town. Take them to the Eisenhower Museum. I’ve also researched in the library there, which is really incredible and a phenomenal research facility. We forget Frank because you and I lived through so much of it, but kids don’t even realize Ike was responsible for essentially winning World War II and freeing the world. I mean there’s so many of Ike’s accomplishments other than the presidency that a lot of kids aren’t even aware of. So, make sure you get all the young folks over there to see the Eisenhower Museum. It’s incredible. (Frank) Do you still have an “I Like Ike” button? (Deb) Of course I do. (Frank) Everybody has an “I Like Ike” button. (Deb) And my Grandfather served with Ike. He served under Ike in World War I at Gettysburg. And so when I tell people my Grandpa served with Ike in Gettysburg and they’re like, boy has she got her history messed up! You know, but he really did. So, that’s another facet of Ike’s history you can learn about. At the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home in Abilene, visitors can explore the extraordinary life and legacy of the only 5-Star General who became President of the United States. The Eisenhower Presidential Library is home to a world-class research facility that caters to scholars and history enthusiasts from around the world. The vast holdings of the Library consist of millions of pages of historical records and photos, thousands of feet of film footage, and tens of thousands artifacts. It is one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives. They preserve the documents and artifacts of our Presidents, providing insight into the times in which these Presidents lived and served the nation. The Eisenhower Museum and Boyhood Home allow visitors to explore Ike’s boyhood years growing up in America’s heartland, his years as military leader, and his presidency. Through December 2016, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum presents World War II Remembered: Leaders, Battles & Heroes, an inclusive commemoration of the pivotal events of World War II, marking the 70th anniversaries of the war. What makes this exhibit stand out from other interpretive WWII exhibits is the focus on personal stories. The exhibit strives to honor the unsung heroes and tell the lesser-known stories of the time. The accounts of such groups as the Tuskegee Airmen, Native American Code Talkers, the brave contribution of the Ritchie Boys, and the heroic stories of women at war and on the working home front are shared. Also on exhibit through December 2016, is Be Ye Men of Valour: Allies of World War II. While it was major industrial powers like the United States, England, and the Soviet Union that provided the bulk of manpower and resources, dozens of other Allies selflessly spent blood and treasure of their own to defeat the Axis powers. This exhibit explores the important victories, defeats, personalities, and causes associated with the lesser known Allied nations and resistance groups. Check the website for more information on these and other special exhibits as well as programing. Make sure you pick up an “I like Ike button” while you’re in the gift shop!

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