The WHS Junior Class took a couple buses on Wednesday to Abilene, KS for one of their annual trips down history lane. Abilene is an extraordinary visit and of course the hometown of the 34th President of the United States. (Eisenhower was actually born in Texas but raised in Abilene) The students spent time at the Eisenhower Library and Museum, which offers a complete layout of President Eisenhower's life and career, including his boyhood home.
This boy from Kansas would become supreme commander of Allied forces in Western Europe during World War II, and he would lead the massive invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe that began on D-Day (June 6, 1944). In 1952, leading Republicans convinced Eisenhower (then in command of NATO forces in Europe) to run for president; he won a convincing victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson and would serve two terms in the White House (1953-1961).
During his presidency, Eisenhower managed Cold War-era tensions with the Soviet Union under the looming threat of nuclear weapons, ended the war in Korea in 1953 and authorized a number of covert anti-communist operations by the CIA around the world. On the home front, where America was enjoying a period of relative prosperity, Eisenhower strengthened Social Security, created the massive new Interstate Highway System and maneuvered behind the scenes to discredit the rabid anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Also visited by the students was the Seelye Mansion & Gardens, a 11,000 sq ft, 25 room home in Abilene originally built in 1905 for Dr. A.B. Seelye who made his fortune in patent medicine. Most of the home's furnishings were purchased at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The electrical fixtures and appliances and most of the furniture and decorative elements are still original. Other items are only 90 years old, added when Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the Mansion's interior in the 1920's, including a lever operated bowling alley, purchased at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
A fun day for the Juniors as well as informational and hopefully inspiring. Pretty amazing to think how far this "boy from Kansas" went with his life and the roles he played in the world. Who knows, maybe there was a Junior on this trip that will be elected president in 2040! It could happen!
Enjoy these courtesy pics taken by WHS Students Brooke McCorkle, Delaney Parkey, Skylar Troutman and also Ms. Katie Ford, Yearbook Sponsor.