The Eisenhower Institute honors the legacy of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century - Dwight D. Eisenhower. He and his wife, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, lived lives representing exemplary public service.
Born in Texas, raised in Kansas, and a graduate from West Point, his military career culminated in his being Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and a five-star general. He served as President of Columbia University and later took a leave of absence to serve as Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In 1952, he secured the Republican nomination and was elected 34th President of the United States. He was elected again in 1956 and, following his retirement in 1963, the former president moved to a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The former Redding Farm is now part of the National Park Service. President Eisenhower was a best-selling author, an amateur painter, and a gentleman farmer.
Dwight and Mamie first came to Gettysburg in 1918. As a young officer, Eisenhower was a proponent for the offensive use of a new "defensive" weapon - the tank - and later became Commander of Camp Colt. Camp Colt was America's first tank training camp situated on land that overlapped the battlefield at Gettysburg. The Eisenhowers bought the aforementioned Redding farm near the battlefield, which was used as a more personal retreat than nearby Camp David, named for Eisenhower's grandson, during the presidency. Guests invited to the Eisenhower home included the famed visit by Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev in 1959. Eisenhower became a trustee of Gettysburg College and wrote his memoirs on the campus. The College's Admissions Office is today named "Eisenhower House," and the Eisenhower Institute has its Gettysburg offices in the home occupied by Dwight and Mamie in 1918.
There is a vast and still-growing library of scholarship on President and Mrs. Eisenhower. First-person memoirs, including reminiscences by the general and the president; memoirs by military leaders and members of the Eisenhower administration; biographies; historical and analytical scholarship on all aspects of the Eisenhower career, the Eisenhower Administration, and the Cold War era; and there is a vast library of films, news reels and video footage. This array of scholarship shows the depth and relevance of the Eisenhower legacy.