From Dodge City, we drove to Abilene, Kansas to visit the Eisenhower home and Presidential Library. Dwight was one of five sons who relocated to Abilene with his parents. They lived in a simple two-story home which was considered to be “ on the wrong side of the tracks.”
Perhaps this is why all the Eisenhower kids went on to high esteem in their chosen fields. “Ike” and his brother, Milton, both wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford it. They agreed that one would start school while the other worked to help pay for it. Ike worked the first two years, and then discovered, through a friend, that he could apply for free college acceptance to either West Point or Annapolis. He was offered a spot at the USMA and graduated in the middle of his class… Of course, his class ended up having more than 50 cadets who achieved the rank of General.
During his early career years Ike never really commanded troops in war, but was assigned to administrative roles with the best and brightest. As WWI geared up, Ike was sent to Europe by General Marshal to assess the functionality of the Allied preparedness for war planning. When Ike submitted a negative report, Marshal put him in charge. We all know the rest of the story… Pretty good for a kid from the wrong side of the tracks !!
After retiring from the Presidency, Ike and Mamie bought a farm in Gettysburg, PA, but he always considered Abilene to be home. He chose it for his burial site and his Presidential Library. The site was informative and impressive… Who says Kansas has to be boring !!?