Eisenhower Foundation raises money to keep nation aware of late president
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.