Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home
Library History :
The basic function of the Library building is to provide a place for scholars to come to work in the rich historical materials housed there. Because of the necessity to provide a quiet atmosphere in which researchers, and staff can work, there is no general admittance to the research areas of the building.
Museum History :
Built by the Eisenhower Foundation, with funds raised through public gifts, the Eisenhower Museum is constructed of Kansas limestone. Originally dedicated on Veterans Day, 1954, the Museum was built to house the materials and objects related to Dwight D. Eisenhower's life. It contains over 30,000-square feet of gallery space, with exhibits showing not only the fine art objects collected by and given to Eisenhower but also the story of his carrers as military leader and President of the United States.
The Museum is divided into five major areas consisting of an introductory gallery, changing exhibits gallery, a First Lady's gallery, a military gallery, and a presidential gallery. Of special interest and importance is the changing exhibits gallery. A different exhibit is presented periodically so that repeat visitors can experience something new.
A spacious and beautiful campus includes his museum, library, childhood home and chapel (his and Mamie's final resting place.) I visited in July of 2017 and was vastly impressed with the museum, which serves as a detailed history of WWII as well as the life of our 34th President of the United States. Plans to renovate the museum were underway, so I'll be returning when that is completed. Enjoy the gift shop, the short video in an adjacent room, the wonderful staff, and the beautiful town of Abilene, Kansas. 5 out of 5. Strongly recommend.
Very nice and well-run. A lot of good information. Easily spent 5 hours and could have stayed longer but they closed. Such an interesting and inspiring man - Very relevant to our times. Ike: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
We stopped here on our way home from Las Vegas, and we were so glad we did. The only improvement to the experience would have been able to stay a few hours longer. As a student of history I thought I knew a good deal of Ike's history, but I've been disabused of that notion by reading Eisenhower's biography by Carlo D'Este's "Eisenhower A Soldier's Life", that I purchased at the Museum Store. Including notes & references, it spans almost 850 pages, and is thoroughly detailed and entertaining. The site includes the Museum
The Eisenhower presidential library was our reason for visiting Abilene. It has an extensive campus, beautiful park with outdoor monuments and shaded picnic tables. The museum is ready for updates and they are raising the funds. The plans make me want to return. You definitely get a sense of the sacred at the chapel.
Forgive me. At the fountain outside of Ike and Mamies tomb, another was chosen. A young black girl with a pure spirit. The Ank has been passed.