Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eisenhower Presidential Museum, Abilene, Kansas

Through dedicated hard work and constant planning, we have now completed our visits of all 12 official Presidential Libraries – plus Lincoln’s for a Baker’s dozen!  See list at the bottom of this post.
Actually it was pure luck and serendipity, that led us to the Eisenhower Presidential Museum yesterday :-).  Our original plan was to travel highway 80 thru Nebraska on our way to Oregon, but as we perused the map on our first day headed west from Louisville, we noticed that it would be just as easy to stay on 70 to Denver, then jog north to pick up 80 in Wyoming.  That way we could visit our friends, Diane and Andy, in Golden!  Our Streets and Trips trip planning software indicated a second night’s stop near Abilene, Kansas and Lo and Behold we saw billboards advertising the Eisenhower museum.  Can anyone deny that ours is a charmed life?!

The RVer’s President?

Eisenhower is primarily known as the General who won the war in Europe – being the Supreme commander of allied forces in Europe during WWII, but he was equally skilled at ‘Winning the Peace.’  He governed over a very prosperous time in the United States: 1953-61, and he was responsible for building the Interstate Highway system as we know it the Eisenhower Interstate System!  We could not be traveling as we are if those Interstates weren’t here!  He also revitalized the National Park Service with a 10 year plan called ‘Mission 66.’  And, last but not least, Alaska became a state during his watch.  Here’s a page that lists all the major events of the Eisenhower years.  ‘Ike’ is generally accepted as one of our top 10 American Presidents.  Did you know that our Presidents are ranked?
We love history and biography.  We also love these United States.   There’s just nothing that puts that all together like our Presidential Libraries. Yes, we could watch documentaries on the History channel, but there’s just something about walking the same ground as the President walked, and being surrounded by the actual memorabilia of the time that brings the information to life.
And, sometimes Larger than Life!
There were some pretty impressive murals inside too:
If any of you are WWII buffs, you may already know about the ‘Mulberry Harbors’ built at Normandy to facilitate the invasion.  This was the first time I had learned of these ‘Miracle Harbors.’  What a story!  There was no way to put troops on land without a port, and there was no way the Germans were going to allow any existing port to be taken – so the Allied forces built their own!  After manufacturing all the parts elsewhere, they were towed to Normandy and assembled in a two-week period so that jeeps, tanks, landing craft, personnel and supplies could go ashore.  If you’re at all interested, click the link above to read the story and see pictures.  Given that I’ve seen a 2 block stretch of city street take 3 months to expand and resurface, it truly is a miracle that breakwaters, docks, and floating roads became a reality in two weeks!
There  was so much more!  Actually, now that we’ve visited all the Libraries – I’d be more than happy to go back to each one again!  Here’s the list of all the Presidential museums we’ve visited.  The links take you to our blog post from the day.  If you know of anyone else who might be interested, there is a set of icons at the bottom of the post that you can use to share this via Facebook, Twitter, or just old-fashioned email!
  1. Gerald Ford (BB - Before-Blog)
  2. Richard Nixon
  3. Ronald Reagan
  4. Jimmy Carter
  5. Bill Clinton
  6. Lyndon Johnson
  7. George Bush (Sr.)
  8. Harry Truman
  9. Herbert Hoover
  10. Abraham Lincoln
  11. John F. Kennedy
  12. Franklin Roosevelt
  13. Dwight Eisenhower Tags:


Sandy Teggatz said...

I like the new format for your blog; it's much easier to read and seems to load more quickly. Thanks for making the changes!

Kathy said...

I agree that walking where they walked brings things to life wayyyyyyyyyy more than watching it on TV or even reading about it.
My husband would love this tour!