Eisen­hower Foun­da­tion raises money to keep na­tion aware of late pres­i­dent

The China Post - - ARTS -

To mark the 125th year since Dwight D. Eisen­hower’s birth, a multi-mil­lion-U.S.-dol­lar fundrais­ing cam­paign has be­gun to do a bet­ter job of telling the story of the 34th U.S. pres­i­dent.

Three months ago, the Eisen­hower Foun­da­tion be­gan rais­ing money to im­prove the Eisen­hower Pres­i­den­tial Mu­seum, Li­brary and Boy­hood Home, its web­site and ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams, The Wi­chita Ea­gle news­pa­per re­ports. The mu­seum is lo­cated near Eisen­hower’s boy­hood home in Abi­lene, a town of about 6,800 res­i­dents in the cen­tral U.S. state Kansas.

“In the last 15 to 20 years there has been more in­for­ma­tion that has come out about Ike’s pres­i­dency through our li­brary and be­cause of records be­com­ing de­clas­si­fied,” said Mered­ith Sle­ichter, ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Eisen­hower Foun­da­tion, us­ing a com­mon nick­ame for Eisen­hower. “These have shaped and evolved his story even more. Our mu­seum needs to be up­dated so we can get his story up to date.”

It’s not yet known how much money will need to be raised over the next five years, Sle­ichter said. The fu­ture pres­i­dent was born in 1890.

One of the main fo­cuses will be up­dat­ing mu­seum ex­hibits to make them more in­ter­ac­tive and in­for­ma­tive for gen­er­a­tions who have never heard of Eisen­hower, the Holo­caust or even the Cold War. Be­fore be­com­ing pres­i­dent, Eisen­hower was the Supreme Al­lied Com­man­der in Europe dur­ing World War II who launched the D-Day in­va­sion of France in June 1944.

Eisen­hower mu­seum of­fi­cials are an­tic­i­pat­ing that the mu­seum will close for about a year in 2018 for ren­o­va­tion. The Eisen­hower com­plex — the li­brary, boy­hood home and med­i­ta­tion chapel — will re­main open with some of the ex­hibits mov­ing tem­po­rar­ily over to the li­brary.

“We want to cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence for our guests that in­cor­po­rates the tech­nol­ogy and brings up to a mod­ern stan­dard what mu­seum guests ex­pect to­day,” Sle­ichter said.

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