This year marks the 65th anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration as the 34th President of the United States. Not only was he POTUS post WWII but he was a five-star general that led the Allied Forces in D-Day. A humble man who grew up in Abilene, Kansas, Ike worked hard to live a life both as a husband, father, grandfather and President of the United States with a set of morals, integrity and values that he wanted America to represent. The Eisenhower Presidential Museum captures his life from boyhood to Westpoint to General to President. Currently the Eisenhower Foundation is in the planning stages of modernizing the museum and exhibits. The $2.3 million renovation will open on the 75th anniversary of D-Day — June 6, 2019. For more information, visit us at:


Update 2/21/18: When I came back on reddit this morning, I was thrilled to see all of the new comments. It will take me awhile to get through them, as we have the Kansas Governor signing a bill at the Eisenhower Presidential Library today. Also, some of your great questions are better suited for an archivist -- a telling sign we should ask my archivist colleagues from the Eisenhower Presidential Library if they would be willing to conduct a reddit. Thank you all for your interest in Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Eisenhower Foundation! We appreciate your participation in our first-ever reddit/AMA.

Comments: 67 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

forava74 karma

What is your favorite fact about Eisenhower that people don't know?

EisenhowerFoundation16 karma

Hi forava7-

I've been with the Eisenhower Foundation for eight years, and everyday I learn something new about Ike! One of my favorite facts, which many people don't know, is that Eisenhower declared his candidacy for President on June 4, 1952, just six short months before he was elected in November 1952. Can you imagine a six-month presidential campaign today?!

CocteauQuintuplet3 karma

Is Eisenhower's reputation as an inactive, uninspiring, golf-playing president fair?

EisenhowerFoundation8 karma

Hi CocteauQuintuplet- Indeed, Eisenhower had a reputation for playing golf. The Eisenhower Library's archives contain more than 26 million pages of documents covering both his military and presidential years. It is through the research of the archives by independent scholars that we have come to learn about his presidential leadership style and political decisions. We even have a classified vault in our archives, and when documents become declassified, that scholarship sheds more light on his presidency. This has resulted in more than 15 published books since December 2016, and he continues to rise in the presidential rankings:

So while Eisenhower's career had centered around civilizations in conflict, it appears his hobbies, such as golf and painting, provided a healthy balance.

EisenhowerFoundation4 karma

And for the record, he did play alot of golf. How much? I don't know exactly, but if you want to go through his presidential appointment books, you can get an idea. All of his appointment books are contained in the Eisenhower Presidential Library and are open to the public. You can also check out a few of his appointment books using this link:

Look for "presidential appointment books." Enjoy!

MatanKatan2 karma

Would you say that Eisenhower's greatest accomplishment as President was the Interstate Highway System, ending the Korean War, signing the Civil Rights Bill of 1957, or balancing the budget three times?

Would Eisenhower be pretty disgusted with the state of the GOP today?

EisenhowerFoundation1 karma

In my opinion, I would say the Interstate Highway System is his greatest accomplishment as President of the United States. The scale of the project and the massive transformation it allowed the United States to undergo is unprecedented. It is really hard to say though…everything you listed is impressive…not to mention NASA, effectively managing to keep the Cold War “cold,” purchasing enough of the Salk Polio vaccine to inoculate every American child… He managed to do a lot in eight years.

When I’m asked to guess as to what Eisenhower would think or how he would feel, I often refer to his many quotes. He once remarked to the Republican State Chairmen, "Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote."

schtam2 karma

Why do you call him General Eisenhower and not President in the title?

Aside from a warning in his farewell address, what actions did Eisenhower take to combat the military-industrial complex during his presidency?

How does the Eisenhower Foundation carry the torch in guarding against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military–industrial complex?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma

We call him both "General" and "President" Eisenhower. As a special note, after Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped down from the presidency, he was restored to his five-star general ranking (

While in office, President Eisenhower worked to curb military spending, despite the Cold War arms race. As one of his most well-known quotes says, "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 fifty miles of concrete pavement. 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 is, I repeat, 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. [...]"

The Eisenhower Foundation, along with our colleagues at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, provides access to President Eisenhower's Farewell Address for people to research and draw their own conclusions based on that research. Here is an online repository of a selection of documents our collection contains pertaining to his Farewell Address: We even have the many edited drafts that show his thought process as he wrote his final goodbye to the American people.

RedditHead_ReadAhead2 karma

How come you call him "Ike"? You're either belittling him or feeling very akin to him. Part of me finds it very poetic that you spend your life's work studying one person, but it kind of sounds monotonous - or is it a bit of both?

EisenhowerFoundation1 karma

Hi RedditHead_ReadAhead. Thank you so much for your question, and thank you growboulder, for your response!

"Ike" was Dwight D. Eisenhower's nickname. It was actually a nickname given to him during his early days in Abilene. His older brother, Edgar, was called "Big Ike" and he was known as "Little Ike." Here is a great photo from the Abilene High School Year Book that even has the two boys' nicknames below their photos:

While Edgar grew out of the nickname eventually, Dwight's stuck and even became one of the most iconic political slogans of all time. Here's a Disney commercial created for the campaign, telling everyone "Everybody Likes Ike":

As for your question about studying one person, we actually have the opportunity to study his entire lifetime, therefore from 1890 to 1969. As Ike's life spanned across two centuries, two World Wars, countless social and cultural transitions, not to mention the advancements in technology, I still learn something new everyday!

RedditHead_ReadAhead2 karma

Which came first: your fascination with Eisenhower, or your connection with the Eisenhower Foundation?

EisenhowerFoundation1 karma

As a native Kansan, I grew up learning about Dwight D. Eisenhower, our state's favorite son, in Kansas public schools. When my adult life brought me to Abilene, where the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is located, it was almost hard to not learn about Ike. Then, when I started working for the Eisenhower Foundation eight years ago, I gained an even better understanding of his important place in history and how we continue to see his fingerprints on the world we live in today.

willaaay1 karma

Thank you for doing this: Eisenhower was known as a General who did not believe that that former high ranking military personnel should run for office. Why do you think that his view changed between the 1948 and 1952 elections when he decided to run?

EisenhowerFoundation4 karma

Hi Willaaay- I can't speak to what changed in Ike's mind, but I can tell you that he had no desire to run for public office. It was the American people, through a grassroots effort, that convinced him to run. He was overwhelmingly the people's choice, which resulted in him feeling like it was his civic duty. During the general election of 1952, Eisenhower won 442 electoral votes to Adlai Stevenson's 89 electoral votes.

LittleDittyJM-1 karma

What are some future plans you have for the next year…3 years?

EisenhowerFoundation3 karma

Hi LittleDittyJM- As I just shared with Colenecraig, over the next three years, we will completely renovate the exhibits in the Eisenhower Presidential Museum and update our IKEducation curriculum to correspond to the new exhibitry. The new Eisenhower Presidential Museum will function as a teaching museum, bringing students out of the classroom and into the galleries.

TWFM-1 karma

with a set of morals, integrity, and values that he wanted America to represent.

Um. Kay Summersby?

EisenhowerFoundation3 karma

Kay Summersby's personal diaries are included in the Eisenhower Presidential Library's archives. They are open to the public and I encourage you to check them out.

TLBDCO-2 karma

Do school groups have to pay to participate in IKEducation?

EisenhowerFoundation1 karma

No, IKEducation programming and admission to the Eisenhower Presidential Museum are free, thanks to the Eisenhower Foundation's generous donors. In addition, the Eisenhower Foundation actively seeks funding to help schools cover expenses associated with field trips to the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kansas.

We also have two programs, Ike's Field Trip Fund and the Dane G. Hansen Field Trip Program, that provide schools with much needed field trip funding. If you would like to help more schools visit the Eisenhower Presidential Campus in Abilene, please visit to make a donation.

mollyschusta-2 karma

Why does the Eisenhower Foundation exist? What’s it’s role?

EisenhowerFoundation0 karma

The Eisenhower Foundation exists to support programs, events, and exhibits at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home — one of only 14 across the country operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Our role is to provide funding and make possible the many world-class programs, events, and exhibits that are available to visitors at the Eisenhower Presidential Campus, located in Ike's hometown of Abilene, Kansas. These opportunities not only make the visitor experience unique, they also demonstrate Ike’s continued relevance in the modern world.

TLBDCO-2 karma

Why did the Eisenhower Foundation launch IKEducation?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma

Hi again, TLBCO-

As the triumphs of World War II and the progress and prosperity of the 1950s become a distant memory for most Americans, today’s students are further removed from the period. Realizing the challenge of sharing this rich history with generations for whom Dwight D. Eisenhower’s lifetime is relatively unknown, the Eisenhower Foundation developed IKEducation.

Since launching in 2013, over 20,000 students and teachers have participated in IKEducation programming. Just last year, IKEducation increased K-12 onsite programming at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home by 28%, from 6,047 students and teachers during the 2015-16 academic year to 7,753 students and teachers during the 2016-17 academic year.

Obviously, you've heard of IKEducation. Can you tell me how you learned about it?

colenecraig-2 karma

I heard that there are renovations being planned to the Eisenhower Presidential Museum. Can you tell us more about them?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma

Hi Colenecraig- Thanks for another great question. You heard right....we are planning a comprehensive renovation for the exhibits in the Eisenhower Presidential Museum. This will be the first time in over 45 years that all of the exhibits will be updated at the same time. While the footprint of the Museum will not change, the new Eisenhower Presidential Museum will be a space for exploration and interaction for our visitors.

We have an award-winning exhibit design firm, The PRD Group, who recently completed the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas and the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. They are working diligently to ensure our project is complete so we can reopen the Eisenhower Presidential Museum in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day--June 6, 2019.

Just out of curiosity, please share where you heard the news about the renovations....I'm interested in knowing what outlets we're using are the most effective in helping us get our message out.

mollyschusta-3 karma

What does Eisenhower Foundation stand for?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma

The Eisenhower Foundation stands for Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States and Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. Our mission is to honor and champion the relevance today of the life and leadership of Dwight D. Eisenhower through compelling programs and events that celebrate his legacy.

BrandenCattle-4 karma

I'm so glad you're on AMA! I am a Friend of the Eisenhower Foundation and love getting your newsletters and supporting your fundraising efforts because I Like Ike! What is your favorite exhibit at the Eisenhower Presidential Museum?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma

Hi BrandenCattle- Thank you for being one of our thousands of Friends from across the United States! Which state?....we have Friends from all 50 of them!

While all the exhibits are fantastic, I would rather refer to my favorite artifact--the D-Day table. Yes....we have it! This table was the site of high-level planning meetings prior to D-Day. It resided in an English manor house, named Stanwell Place, that was owned by Sir John Watson Gibson during the second World War. Gibson served as deputy director-general of civil engineering at the Ministry of Supply, and was one of the principal people responsible for the construction of the top secret Mulberry Harbors. It was as a result of this that he lent Stanwell Place to the SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces) Commanders, and they held top level meetings there during the buildup to D-Day. The highest level commanders, including General Dwight D. Eisenhower, stayed at Stanwell Place for these meetings. It was so top secret that it was referred to as the “Hush-hush House.”

It was presented to President Eisenhower by Nelson Rockefeller, on the 10th anniversary of VE Day (May 8, 1945) and was on display in the White House Staff Conference Room from May to November of 1955. Because there’s not enough space in this gallery, the extra leaves are in storage, as are 8 of the 10 matching chairs. An upcoming museum renovation will bring the table out in its full glory.

I get chills every time I stand in front of the table and consider the bravery of the men who sat around it. They were making plans to preserve democracy and save millions of lives. I can only imagine the weight of the task they carried. If that table could talk....

TLBDCO-4 karma

What is IKEducation?

EisenhowerFoundation2 karma


IKEducation is the Eisenhower Foundation's innovative K-12 program that serves thousands of students and teachers across Kansas, and beyond, both online and onsite. IKEducation provides not only historical lessons about Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unparalleled accomplishments, it also gives students and teachers insight into life in America during the twentieth century.

The mission of IKEducation is to provide every K-12 student, either online or onsite, with an innovative educational experience that enhances their understanding of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander and 34th President of the United States.

We have lesson plans for elementary age, middle school age and high school age students. They can be found using this link:

I am proud to report that recently, one of our IKEducation lesson plans was featured in the Washington Post:

colenecraig-6 karma

How can people get involved in the Eisenhower Foundation?

EisenhowerFoundation0 karma

Hi Colenecraig- I'm so glad you asked! As I mentioned earlier, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Through NARA, the federal government supports archival, curatorial and security staff, as well as maintenance at the Eisenhower Presidential campus. Exhibit updates, K-12 and public education programs, and community events, however, must be funded through the Eisenhower Foundation.

We're always looking for people to become Friends of the Eisenhower Foundation. Our Friends provide the critical support necessary for our world-class exhibits, programs and events. For more information, and to join the Friends group, use this link: