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  1. Eisenhower and the Great War

    March 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018 @ Library 2nd Floor Gallery

    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 later become known, proved critical to the making of this American Icon.

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  2. Chisholm Trail 150th: The Cowtown that Raised a President

    April 1, 2017 - May 31, 2018 @ Museum Temporary Gallery

    Celebrate the Chisholm Trail Sesquicentennial as part of the tri-state 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!

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  3. Marlin Fitzwater: From Wheat Fields to White House

    May 12, 2017, 6:00 PM - August 20, 2017, 6:00 PM @ Library Lobby

    Growing up in Abilene, Kansas, Fitzwater looked up to Dwight D. Eisenhower as a hometown hero. Fitzwater earned a journalism degree from Kansas State University then embarked on a career that eventually lead to a decade of service in the White House, from 1983 to 1993. Fitzwater, the only press secretary in history to be appointed by two Presidents, recently donated his personal papers to his alma mater. The Eisenhower Presidential Museum is pleased to collaborate with Kansas State University to bring this extraordinary exhibit to Fitzwater's hometown. "Marlin Fitzwater: From Wheat Fields to White House" will be on display from May 12 to August 24, 2017 and will feature items from his distinguished career as Press Secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush

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Public Programs

  1. CASI Chili Cook-Off

    August 5, 2017, 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Campus grounds

    Abilene's 2nd annual Wild Steer CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) Cook-Off supports the National Old West Trails Foundation. Beginning at 9 a.m., the event is the Kansas state qualifier for the Original International Championship Chili Cook-Off in Terlingua,Texas. Chili will be submitted for judging by 11:30 a.m. In addition to being a competitive event, spectators will have the opportunity to taste variations such as red chili, green chili, chili with beans and salsa. Cinnamon rolls, chili dogs, Frito pies, Call Hall ice cream and root beer floats will also be available. Lunch will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Chili Awards Ceremony is set for 3 p.m.

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  2. Vintage Base Ball Game

    August 5, 2017, 1:00 PM @ Campus Grounds

    Baseball history comes alive with help from the Cowtown Vintage Base Ball Club. Donning uniforms from the 1860s, the game is played using base ball rules from the Victorian era, which are quite different from today's game. For instance, outfielders can catch the ball on one bounce for an out and base stealing and sliding are prohibited. Crowd participation is highly encouraged and often impacts the rulings on the field.

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