Legacy Organizations

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Legacy Organizations

The American Assembly

Eisenhower Foundation and
Eisenhower Presidential Library

Eisenhower Institute
at Gettysburg College

EISENHOWER FELLOWSHIPS
(COMING SOON)

People to People International
(Coming Soon)

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The American Assembly

The American Assembly

Dwight D. Eisenhower founded The American Assembly, a public policy institute dedicated to illuminating issues of national importance, during his time as president of Columbia University. He envisioned it as an experiment in democratic citizenship — one that would address key challenges facing our country and address issues of national importance through the reconciliation of divergent views and interests. It is the oldest legacy organization created by Eisenhower, and his principal legacy as an educator.

HISTORY AND MISSION

OUR WORK TODAY

HISTORY AND MISSION

HISTORY AND MISSION

In the late 1940s, only a handful of public policy institutions existed and structured conferences were a new and evolving form of exchange. Deeply concerned about the social, economic, and political quandaries we faced as a country after World War II, Eisenhower sought to create a place and a process that would bring together the nation’s brightest minds to address difficult issues and identify effective solutions.

The American Assembly

EISENHOWER: A CIVIC THINKER

Through the establishment of The American Assembly, Eisenhower helped create a rigorous framework that could marshal intellectual power across a range of public and private sectors. Though he is most often remembered as a preeminent military strategist and political leader, Eisenhower’s passionate advocacy to create The American Assembly reveals a broader commitment to key issues of democracy and the important role of educational institutions in protecting the democratic process.

 

He claimed: “The basic values of democracy have been won only through sacrifice, and it is essential to explore, thoroughly, all the facts and factors involved in the problems of democracy.”

EISENHOWER’S ADDRESS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NATIONAL BICENTENNIAL DINNER, MAY 31, 1954

The American Assembly

EISENHOWER'S FAREWELL ADDRESS

During his final public speech as 34th President of the United States, Eisenhower emphasized a theme that would become one of the central tenants of The American Assembly: the need for an engaged and knowledgeable citizenry in a democratic society.

 

He once famously said: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwanted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

EISENHOWER

EISENHOWER'S FAREWELL ADDRESS, JANUARY 17, 1961

The American Assembly

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO ARDEN HOUSE

Eisenhower proposed a plan for “America’s First Conference Center” and imagined bringing together citizens who represented a spectrum of views from business, labor, politics, finance, higher education—among others—to cooperate for the greater good.

 

In 1951, Arden House was given to Columbia University by W. Averell Harriman. At the dedication ceremony, he said, "It is a matter of pride that at the very time when people in some other countries are being jailed or executed for deviating from proscribed ways of thinking, we, in in this country, have established this meeting place where differences of opinion can be explored in complete freedom.”

The American Assembly

THROUGH THE DECADES

For more than 60 years, The American Assembly has held over 100 convenings on topics ranging from prison reform to health care to nuclear disarmament, and continues to foster non-partisan public policy discussions through convening, research, and publication.

OUR WORK TODAY

OUR WORK TODAY

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s deeply held beliefs and a mandate to protect democratic society continue to define the work of The American Assembly today. The tradition of fostering non-partisan, cross-sector public-policy discussion is still very much alive in Assembly work on a host of issues from information policy to financial regulation, and particularly in its Legacy Cities program.

The American Assembly

AMERICA'S LEGACY CITIES

Legacy cities are places that have changed dramatically since the mid-20th century. Older, formerly-industrial urban areas primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, legacy cities have experienced significant population loss and are facing the challenges associated with vacant properties and diminished resources.


The American Assembly works to advance public policy discussion around this unique set of fifty cities through the Legacy Cities Partnership project.

LEGACY CITIES AT A GLANCE

LEGACY CITIES AT A GLANCE

The American Assembly

ASSETS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Despite real challenges, legacy cities also have numerous assets — from strong cultural fabric to abundant historic architecture — that serve local communities and strengthen them as centers of their metropolitan regions. Many legacy cities are becoming hubs of innovation, as leaders develop new, cross-cutting solutions to the challenges at hand.

The American Assembly

THE LEGACY CITIES PARTNERSHIP

The Legacy Cities Partnership aims to reverse the trend of neglect among a class of distressed cities by building the capacity of a growing community of people and organizations working together to revitalize legacy cities. Through traditional and updated methods of Assembly-style gatherings, we promote the exchange of resources, information, policy interventions, tools, and programs among local, state and national leaders.

 

Learn more and stay connected at the Legacy Cities website and blog.

Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Eisenhower Foundation and
Eisenhower Presidential Library

Today's stately complex of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, Boyhood Home, and Place of Meditation began with the efforts of General Eisenhower's Abilene admirers to create a memorial to honor their hometown hero and the troops he led in World War II. Their work laid the foundation for today's complex, now administered by the federal government.

HONORING KANSAS' FAVORITE SON
(1944 - 1954)

PRESERVING IKE'S LEGACY
(1955 - 1966)

THE CAMPUS EXPERIENCE:
FEATURES AND PROGRAMS

HONORING KANSAS(1944 - 1954)'/>

HONORING KANSAS' FAVORITE SON
(1944 - 1954)

As World War II drew to a close, various residents began to discuss  the creation of a memorial to honor Abilene's favorite son, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the men and women of the US Armed Forces. During this period, thanks to the resolve and persistence of a small group of Kansans to overcome multiple disappointments and challenges, the Eisenhower Foundation was established, which then acquired Eisenhower's boyhood home, and the Eisenhower Museum was planned and built, dedicated in Eisenhower's second year as President. 
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

A Memorial for General Eisenhower

"I come from the very heart of America," General Eisenhower remarked in the London Guildhall on Jun 12, 1945, upon becoming an honorary Londoner for his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces that just weeks earlier had achieved Victory in Europe over Nazi tyranny. As Eisenhower accepted the accolades of a grateful free world on a whirlwind victory tour, his Abilene roots attracted notice. In 1944, artist Albert Reid wrote to Abilene Reflector-Chronicle owner and editor Charles Harger suggesting the construction of a memorial or "shrine" to the general. Harger began promoting the idea and found that most people wanted to include space for items from veterans and the General himself. When Ike returned for a victory parade in 1945, he agreed to the plan and the Eisenhower Foundation was established the same day. The organization sought to erect a war memorial in Abilene to recognize General Eisenhower and honor the American soldiers of World War II.
“The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.”

Homecoming Speech, Abilene, Kansas, 22 June 1945

General Eisenhower's "Homecoming Speech" in Abilene, Kansas on June 22, 1945

Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Establishment of the Eisenhower Foundation

Founded on July 22, 1945, the Eisenhower Foundation began to plan for a memorial and museum. Despite the laudable goal, the nationwide fundraising campaign stumbled when an overzealous promoter boasted that he would pressure potential donors. Eisenhower denounced the idea, and on September 4, 1946, ordered the Foundation to quit raising money in his name. The “crisis,” as the historian of the Eisenhower Foundation described it, nearly killed the organization before it could begin its work. Only the death of the General’s mother shortly afterward, and the need to do something with the now-empty Eisenhower family home, saved the Foundation.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Acquiring Ike's Boyhood Home

The death of General Eisenhower's mother, Ida, in 1946, left the family home empty. The Eisenhower brothers and the Foundation reached an agreement: the foundation would restrict its fundraising campaign to Kansas, and in return it could have the family home. They shook hands over the “gentlemen’s agreement,” and the deed was signed over on December 2, 1946. As the Eisenhower home was opened to the public on June 22, 1947, seven radio stations broadcast the event. More than 500 Kansans toured the home that day; millions have followed them over the last seventy years. The Eisenhower Boyhood Home is the cornerstone of the twenty-two acre site.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Planning and Building the Museum

Eisenhower laid the cornerstone of the museum building when he came to Abilene to announce his presidential candidacy in June 1952. Construction of the museum took two-and-a half years. Eisenhower returned as President to open the Museum on November 11, 1954, the first official Veterans Day, which he had renamed from Armistice Day via Proclamation. The building was later expanded, and now has 30,000 square feet of gallery space featuring permanent and temporary exhibits.

Remarks of President Eisenhower at the dedication of the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas, 11 November 1954

PRESERVING IKE(1955 - 1966)'/>

PRESERVING IKE'S LEGACY
(1955 - 1966)

After the opening of the Museum, President Eisenhower decided to give his papers to the Eisenhower Foundation if a suitable library could be built. A state commission was formed to raise money for the construction. Upon completion of the Eisenhower Presidential Library in 1966, the campus was given to the National Archives and Records Administration. That same year, the first researchers arrived. Today the Library is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives. The Library preserves the documents, images, films, and artifacts that provide context of the times in which Eisenhower lived and served the nation and offer a window into how he operated as General and President. And yet, the Eisenhower story is still unfolding through new interpretations and groundbreaking research thanks to declassification of records and new discoveries. The final chapter is yet to be written, but the first drafts begin in the Library's archives. 
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Genesis of the Eisenhower Presidential Library

Soon after the opening of the Museum, Eisenhower decided that he would donate his papers to the Eisenhower Foundation if a suitable building could be built in Abilene. The State of Kansas formed an Eisenhower Presidential Library Commission to raise money for the building. The Library Commission remained in business until 1966 in order to construct the Place of Meditation, a chapel which would become the final resting place of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and their firstborn Doud Dwight "Icky" Eisenhower.

Remarks by President Eisenhower at the groundbreaking for the Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas, 13 October 1959

Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Library Dedication

Eisenhower returned to Abilene to break ground for the Library on October 13, 1959. He formally dedicated the building on May 1, 1962, in a ceremony attended by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
“When this library is filled with documents, and scholars come here to probe into some of the facts of the past half century, I hope that they, as we today, are concerned primarily with the ideals, principles, and trends that provide guides to a free, rich, peaceful future in which all peoples can achieve ever-rising levels of human well-being.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Speech at the Ground Breaking Ceremonies for the Library, 13 October 1959

Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Turnover to National Archives

In 1966, the completed Library was donated to the United States and became part of the National Archives system. It is a federal facility built by private funds that is now owned and operated by the Federal government. The Eisenhower Presidential Library collects and preserves archival materials and makes them available to visitors and researchers. Annually, the site receives visitors from every state in the union and dozens of foreign countries. Around 13,000 researchers have visited the Library to date.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Ike's Final Post

Dwight D. Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969, at Walter Reed Army Hospital. After a solemn funeral in Washington, D.C., his body was brought to Abilene by train for burial in the Place of Meditation on April 2, 1969. A crowd of national dignitaries and locals gathered together to witness the interment ceremony. Several years earlier, the body of Dwight and Mamie's first-born son, Doud Dwight, had been interred there. After Mamie's death in 1979, she was buried alongside her husband.
THE CAMPUS EXPERIENCE:<br>FEATURES AND PROGRAMS

THE CAMPUS EXPERIENCE:
FEATURES AND PROGRAMS

A multi-faceted experience awaits visitors. Experience the history of World War II and the 1950s at the Museum, stroll the manicured grounds of the 22-acre campus, shop at the Visitor Center, delve into historical records at the Library, and reflect on the Eisenhower legacy at the Place of Meditation.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Research and Access

Researchers from around the world visit the Library to delve into its original holdings. More than 26 million manuscript pages, 350,000 photographs, supplemented by audio recordings and film footage, are kept here. Records spanning Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life form the core, including iconic treasures such as Eisenhower’s never-delivered “In Case of Failure” message and the reading copy of his famous Farewell Address warning of the “military-industrial complex.” Over 500 collections donated by his associates and over 500 oral histories add breadth and depth. Some items have been placed online, but most exist only in their original format.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Permanent and Temporary Exhibits

Various indoor and outdoor attractions beckon visitors. The Museum's permanent galleries explore Dwight D. Eisenhower's careers as a military officer and as president through a wealth of artifacts and displays that bring World War II and the 1950s to life. The table at which the Normandy invasion was planned, Mamie Eisenhower's wedding dress, Eisenhower's World War II staff car, and many other extraordinary items await visitors. On the grounds, Robert L. Dean's imposing bronze scupture of Dwight D. Eisenhower and a series of majestic pylons add grandeur to the walking paths around the attractive 22-acre campus.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Public Programs and Education

Whether your interest lies in lectures, book talks, civic discussion forums, concerts, or classic movies, you are likely to find an event that interests you. Many activities are available for students, including learning experiences centered on museum exploration and research in archival records.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Step Back in Time in Ike's Boyhood Home

In 1898, seven-year old Dwight Eisenhower moved into a two-story clapboard house with his parents and brothers. He grew up there, sharing a bedroom and learning to cook in the small kitchen, until he left for West Point in 1915. Dwight's parents, David and Ida, continued to live in the home until their deaths. By agreement, the home has been preserved as it was upon the death of Ida in 1946. Visitors may tour the home with knowledgeable guides, seeing artifacts such the radio on which Ida listened to war news, and rugs woven by Dwight's grandfather.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

Shop and Learn at the Visitor Center

Purchase museum tickets, learn about coming events, and find locally-themed and vintage style souvenirs, gifts, and a selection of books on World War II, Eisenhower, the presidency, and other topics in the Visitor Center. An informational film on Eisenhower's life is shown on a daily schedule.
Eisenhower Foundation and<br>Eisenhower Presidential Library

The Place of Meditation: Final Resting Place of the Eisenhowers

Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower are buried in the chapel-like Place of Meditation, along with their first-born son, Doud Dwight, who was re-interred there in 1966. The travertine marble walls and walnut woodwork echo the design of the Library building. As Eisenhower's wished, he was buried in an $80 government issue casket. Visitors are encouraged to take time to reflect, as Eisenhower hoped, on the ideals upon which the nation was founded.
Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

Eisenhower Institute
at Gettysburg College

The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College promotes the undergraduate study, analysis, and understanding of critical public and global issues and develops engaged citizens guided by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s example of principled leadership.

 

Gettysburg College is a highly selective national four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. 

THE EISENHOWER LEGACY

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

THE EISENHOWER LEGACY

THE EISENHOWER LEGACY

Gettysburg College has long been associated with the life and legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower. A half-century after the Civil War, Eisenhower took command of a tank training camp on the Gettysburg Battlefield. The College provided housing for the young officer and his wife, Mamie, at the home of Alpha Upsilon, the Gettysburg Chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, where the Eisenhower Institute office is located today.

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The Institute has offices on both the historic Gettysburg campus, in what was once the home of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, and in the heart of the nation’s capital, just blocks from the White House. This unique historical relationship and legacy of the Eisenhower Institute, combined with the premier education offered by one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, provides undergraduates with unparalleled opportunities for learning.  Learn more. 

 

Gettysburg is a significant historical location, serving as the site of the most important battle—the Battle of Gettysburg—in the American Civil War.

 

During World War I, as a captain in the U.S. Army, Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, lived in Gettysburg while he was stationed at Camp Colt, MD. And in 1950 the Eisenhowers returned to make Gettysburg their permanent home.

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

HISTORY OF GETTYSBURG COLLEGE

Gettysburg College was originally founded in 1832 by anti-slavery theologian Samuel Simon Schmucker. When the Civil War erupted, the College stood in its midst. Elements of two great armies swept through campus on July 1, 1863, the first day of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg. Pennsylvania Hall, the College's first building, served during and after the Civil War battle as a hospital for the wounded, treating more than 700 Union and Confederate soldiers.

 

On November 19, 1863, Gettysburg College students walked from Pennsylvania Hall into the historic town to hear President Abraham Lincoln deliver his legendary Gettysburg Address. Today, the annual First-Year Walk honors this important moment in history. 

 

Learn more about Gettysburg College.

“The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract….It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

President Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 19 November 1863

Gettysburg College and the Civil War

Gettysburg College and the Civil War

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

EISENHOWER RETURNS TO GETTYSBURG

After World War II, General Eisenhower returned to Gettysburg to accept an honorary doctorate from Gettysburg College. Following his presidency, Eisenhower served on Gettysburg College’s Board of Trustees and wrote his memoirs in the College’s Admissions Office -- known today as “Eisenhower House."
“…The measure of our leadership as a nation is the sum total of the character and sense of responsibility that each of us applies to our daily tasks. And there is nothing far-fetched in tracing a similarity between the problems of world cooperation that we face today, and those of national unity with which Lincoln struggled so long ago.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gettysburg College Commencement Address, May 1946

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

IKE & MAMIE CALL GETTYSBURG HOME

Ike and Mamie bought their farm in Gettysburg in 1950. During Eisenhower’s presidency, they used the house to entertain and host many heads of state and wartime comrades. Among those to visit were Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, French President Charles de Gaulle, the first postwar German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. In fact, in 1955 while Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack at the farm, it became known as the “Temporary White House.” At the end of his presidency in 1961, Eisenhower retired to the farm, where he lived out his remaining days. Always reverent of his proximity to the battlefield and as a military commander himself who had shouldered the burden of sending young men into war, in 1963 he accepted an invitation to deliver the commemorative speech of the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which he delivered from the National Cemetery.
“We read Lincoln's sentiments, we ponder his words - the beauty of the sentiments he expressed enthralls us; the majesty of the words holds us spellbound - but we have not paid to his message its just tribute until we - ourselves - live it. For well he knew that to live for country is a duty, as demanding as is the readiness to die for it.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Centennial of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 19 November, 1963

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

EISENHOWER WORLD AFFAIRS INSTITUTE

The Eisenhower World Affairs Institute was founded in 1983 by colleagues and confidants of President Eisenhower. Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the late President, was a founding director and later the first president of the Institute. In 1991, she founded the Center for Political and Strategic Studies (CPSS), which merged with the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute in 2000 to create the Eisenhower Institute. In 2007, a new leadership team was appointed to integrate the Institute with Gettysburg College. 

 

The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, as it is known today, has continued to transform and grow, expanding its programming to meet the distinct demands of a world that is more globally interconnected and technologically advanced than ever before.

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

The Enduring Mission of The Eisenhower Institute

The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College prepares undergraduates to address the critical issues facing our nation and the world. Grounded in President Eisenhower’s visionary leadership and commitment to service, the Institute's programs promote nonpartisan discourse and foster critical analysis of important issues. With locations in both Gettysburg and Washington, D.C., the Institute is a window to the world, facilitating students’ immersion into national and global affairs. 
“Over the one hundred and twenty-seven years of Gettysburg College's existence, its graduates have, in many ways, served the cause of freedom and of justice. May the years ahead be as fruitful as those which you now look back upon with such pride and with such satisfaction.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address at the Gettysburg College Convocation: 4 April 1959

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

Grounded in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legacy of leadership, the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College promotes nonpartisan discourse and critical analysis of issues of long-term importance through competitive fellowships, access to renowned experts, and symposia. 

 

The Institute prepares undergraduates to assume their responsibility as global citizens in public, private, and nonprofit sectors—students learn how to lead with integrity, build capital to garner influence, and translate knowledge into action.

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

Programs

A distinctive feature of the Institute is a series of programs led by experts in a variety of fields and on dynamic topics—from the challenges facing the Middle East, to environmental policy, presidential leadership, women in leadership, and everything in between.

 

Students have access to mentoring/networking opportunities, global learning including international travel, and practical leadership experiences that complement classroom learning. 

 

Learn more about the Institute’s programs. 

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. ”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

Lectures, Discussions, and Symposia

The Institute believes in engaging in healthy public discourse and contributing to the greater community. Every year the Institute invites prominent policy makers, leaders, and elected officials to speak on issues of current importance; past speakers have included Secretary of Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, Senator Russ Feingold, New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Ambassador of Nicaragua to the United States Francisco Campbell, House Majority Leader Richard Armey, journalist Gwen Ifill, Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, and Senator Tom Daschle, to name a few. 

 

Learn more about the Institute's programs.

Eisenhower Institute<br>at Gettysburg College

Fellowships and Scholarships

The Institute provides a variety of national scholarships and fellowships for recipients to engage in dialogue with noted public servants and to pursue a study of public policy. Since the founding of the Institute, it has provided in excess of $3 million to deserving students seeking to further their educational and professional experiences. 

 

Learn more about the Institute's programs.

EISENHOWER FELLOWSHIPS<br>(COMING SOON)

EISENHOWER FELLOWSHIPS
(COMING SOON)

People to People International<br>(Coming Soon)

People to People International
(Coming Soon)