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"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
Speech at the Ground Breaking Ceremonies for the Library, October 13, 1959


Eisenhower and the Great War
March 2017 - March 2018

War erupted in Europe in 1914 and soon involved nations around the globe. The Great War as it became known shocked the world with its massive scope and the industrial-like slaughter created by advances in military technology. The United States reluctantly joined the conflict in 1917 and began to build a large professional army from the ground up. One of the young officers who helped in this endeavor was a lieutenant by the name of Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower showed remarkable talent for organization and leadership during the years of American involvement in the war. Tasked with training thousands of inexperienced troops in the new and untested art of armored warfare, Eisenhower quickly built a strong and motivated group of soldiers while overcoming severe obstacles and setbacks. This exhibit tells the story of the Great War and its influence on Eisenhower’s budding leadership abilities. World War I, as it would become known later in the century, proved critical to the making of this American Icon.

Chisholm Trail and the Cowtown that Raised a President
April 2017 - May 2018

Celebrate the Chisholm Trail Sesquicentennial as part of the tristate celebration with Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. See rare artifacts and historic photographs. Learn about the “square meal,” “real McCoy,” origins of the cowboy boot, and “the wickedest town in the West.” Discover stories behind the legends of T.C. McInerney, Bear River Smith, and Wild Bill Hickok among others. Find out why Dwight Eisenhower developed a love for all things western and the Cowtown that raised a President!

Marlin Fitzwater: From Wheat Fields to White House
May 2017 - August 2017
Library Lobby

Experience the inside perspective and humorous White House anecdotes of Marlin Fitzwater. Fitzwater grew up in Abilene, and was on the White House staff for ten years, including six as press secretary. He was the only press secretary appointed by two presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The exhibit gives a glimpse of what it was like to be in the White House during historic transitions. Fitzwater was left holding the nuclear code numbers when President Reagan departed the White House for the last time. He accompanied President Bush home to Houston when he left office.

The Chisholm Trail: Driving the American West
August 2017 - October 2017
Library Lobby

Come and experience life on the Chisholm Trail 150 years ago. The exhibit includes historic items from the period, including a saddle, chaps, spurs, a western “dime novel” and a stereograph viewer. (Some of the first photographs of Abilene were stereographs.) The exhibit also features video clips from famous western movies such as “Red River” and “The Old Chisholm Trail.” Children will enjoy the many images displayed for small visitors.

This unique traveling exhibit, created for the Symphony in the Flint Hills by Flint Hills Design of North Newton, uses wood, metal and leather to provide tactile, hands-on displays. Life-size longhorn steers made from metal rods are the centerpiece of the exhibit.


See the Exhibits Schedule for current and past exhibits

The Best of the West TALK Series

More Information
Full Schedule

The Last Cattle Drive
August 14

The next Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program is set for August 14 at 7 p.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium. This is the final program in this year's series. more information


See the Calendar for a full schedule of events throughout the year

News and Announcements

National Archives Announces New Head of Eisenhower Presidential Library

Dawn Hammatt Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero today announced the appointment of Dawn Hammatt as the new Director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, effective May 28, 2017. more information


Ike Needs You!

Do you enjoy meeting people from all over the world? Love history? Want experience for that college or job application? Then we have the opportunity for you! more information


Great Plains Theatre logo Take advantage of our partnership with Great Plains Theatre! Show your ticket stub and receive $5 in savings at either venue.