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Exhibits

  1. Eisenhower Exhibits Now Located in Presidential Library

    May 14, 2018 - July 31, 2019 @ Library 2nd Floor Gallery

    While the Eisenhower Presidential Museum undergoes a comprehensive redesign, the exhibits are located in the Presidential Library building. Visitors will see "The Eisenhower Story," with highlights of the life and times of Dwight D. Eisenhower from his boyhood in Abilene, Kansas, to his leadership development through both World Wars, and his two terms in the White House as the 34th President of the United States.

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Public Programs

  1. IKEducation D-Day Program: "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without"

    June 5, 2019, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM @ Library Courtyard

    Every aspect of American life was focused towards winning during World War II, and everyone tried to do their part to support the Allied troops. Participants will handle and evaluate a variety of primary sources like ration books and propaganda posters to learn about life on the American home front during World War II. Then, participants will play a board game that immerses them in the rationing and recycling programs that helped our troops win the war. Appropriate for learners of all ages!

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  2. IKEducation Hands on History Stations: Dogs for Defense | Sacrifice on the Home Front

    June 5, 2019, 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM @ Library 2nd Floor Gallery

    Visitors can stop by these carts on the second floor of the Presidential Library to learn about specific aspects of World War II through hands-on exploration of artifacts. IKEducators will be available for discussion and questions about each artifact cart for about 2 hours. 11:30 - 1:30 - "Dogs for Defense" At a time when every American was asked to make sacrifices fo the war effort, World War II marked the establishment of a program to which families donated their dogs to serve in the U.S. military. These four-legged recruits were transformed through training from loving pets into working troops. 1:30 - 3:30 - "Sacrifice on the Home Front" Explore artifacts that exemplify how Americans on the home front served the common good through volunteer participation in a variety of programs designed to support our fighting troops and deal with scarce resources.

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  3. Panel Discussion featuring World War II Veterans

    June 5, 2019, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM @ Visitors Center Auditorium

    Enjoy a rare living history conversation! Currently, four World War II veterans are scheduled to participate. Local Abilene, KS, veteran, Marvin Ledy, was in the first group of nineteen year olds to be drafted from Dickinson County. He served with the 738th Tank Battalion at the Battle of the Bulge. Bob Cook, Salina, KS, was a paratrooper and jumped the Rhine. He guarded Gen. Eisenhower’s quarters in Berlin, liberated Italians from encampment, and was a member of Army’s wrestling team. Frank Benteman from Frankfort, KS, served in the Army's 79th Infantry Division in Europe. He received a Purple Heart for injuries suffered in Europe at the Rhine River. Louis Graziano, Thomson, Georgia, landed on D-Day on Omaha Beach, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and witnessed the German surrender in France. The moderator is Dr. Charles Sanders, Jr., Associate Professor of History at Kansas State University who served for 25 years as an Army infantry officer, retiring as a colonel.

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  4. D-Day 75th Film Series: "D-Day Plus 20 Years: Eisenhower Returns to Normandy" - World War II documentary

    June 5, 2019, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM @ Visitors Center Auditorium

    This documentary originally aired on June 6, 1964, the 20th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Walter Cronkite and Dwight D. Eisenhower begin at Southwick House, Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Eisenhower recalls the strategy of the attack and discusses the choice of Normandy as the site. At the Royal Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Eisenhower re-enacts his journey on D-Day, and discusses Winston Churchill. At Normandy, Eisenhower reconstructs the attack on Pointe Du Hoc and Omaha Beach, and discusses the landings. Eisenhower felt deeply about the responsibility of sending so many young men into battle, and expressed great reverence for the men who fought the battle. "The thing that pulled us out," he says, "was the bravery and courage and initiative of the American G.I." Walking among thousands of white crosses at the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, Eisenhower states, "I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these."

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  5. Reception and Keynote Address: Dr. Dennis Okerstrom, "War on Silent Wings: Gliders Into Normandy, D-Day 1944"

    June 5, 2019, 6:30 PM - 8:15 PM @ Visitors Center Auditorium

    On the eve of the D-Day 75th anniversary, Dr. Dennis Okerstrom will tell about his latest book project, "War on Silent Wings: Gliders Into Normandy, D-Day 1944." Gliders played a key role in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, carrying troops, vehicles and equipment. Released from C-47 tow planes, gliders were powered only by the prevailing winds and the guts of the men who flew them, engineless and unarmed, landing behind enemy lines, often in darkness. Dennis Okerstrom is an award-winning teacher and scholar, currently a Professor of English at Park University in Missouri and the author of four books about World War II. A certified flight instructor, he owns and flies a restored 1942 Army scout plane. The D-Day 75th Commemoration speaker series is presented by Jeffcoat Memorial Foundation, Abilene, KS, and Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago. This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy an author reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the 7:00 program.

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  6. VFW Vigil into D-Day

    June 5, 2019, 8:30 PM - June 6, 2019, 12:00 AM @ Place of Meditation

    At 8:30 p.m., members of VFW posts will gather at the Visitors Center for a procession to the Place of Meditation, the burial site of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, where they will stand vigil until midnight, marking the beginning of D-Day on the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings. The public is encouraged to stop by and pay their respects at the Place of Meditation on the campus of the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

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