The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home is located in Eisenhower’s hometown of Abilene, Kansas. This 22 acre property includes Eisenhower’s boyhood home where he lived from 1898 until his appointment to West Point in 1911. It is also the president’s final resting place. There are multiple buildings on the property but the first place you will need to enter is the visitor center and gift shop. There you will find the admissions desk.
The visitor center has a short film, around 25 minutes or so, about Eisenhower’s career from his time in the military to his presidency and later years. It briefly covers his time in the military from his service during World War II, up to his helping to found NATO, his presidential campaign and election, and his later years.
There are multiple rooms inside the museum and they all go in succession according to Eisenhower’s life. The first area is all family history and focuses a lot on Eisenhower’s high school graduation and his time at West Point. The second area talks about Eisenhower meeting his wife, Mamie Doud, the Doud family history, and it introduces Eisenhower’s time in the military starting in 1918. There is a pretty cool area with a touchscreen display in this room. It shows additional information about Eisenhower’s military posts along with a timeline that shows the dates he was posted in these various locations.
The next few areas details Eisenhower’s experiences in World War II starting in 1941 as well as descriptions of weaponry and uniforms worn by both men and women. The European theatre of war is discussed as well as details of Operation Overlord, D-Day, and others.
Mamie also has her own room that gives details on her redecorating of the White House. It includes her extensive presidential china collection. There is a large display showing a small selection of her 28 handbags, 68 pairs of shoes, and 118 hats, which are all in the museum collection.
Eisenhower did so much during and after his time in office. The next few rooms talk about his thoughts and opinions on nuclear warfare and weapons and the space race. Also talked about is prosperity in post World War II and after. There are details about the establishment of the Department of Health and Education. Additionally, the creation of the interstate highway system which Eisenhower was heavily involved in. He also expanded social security to millions more Americans than had been eligible before his time.
The final room details Eisenhower’s legacy that he left behind up to and after his death.
The Museum Grounds
The Eisenhower Presidential Library is wide open and has some extremely wide walkways. They provides plenty of walking room for large crowds. There are statues and murals on the grounds that makes for a great tour and very educational. The landscaping is extremely well kept up and is a very peaceful and picturesque
There is also the place of meditation. Here, according to General Eisenhower’s wishes, it was hoped that visitors would reflect upon the ideals that made this a great nation. He also hoped it would inspire those to pledge themselves again to continued loyalty to those ideals.
Eisenhower’s Boyhood Home is also located on the grounds. It has additional information inside and is run by a guided tour. This is an additional cost to the regular admission.
Have you already been to the Eisenhower Presidential Library? What did you think? Check out the other places we went to and see what we think of them!