I am in Abilene, Kansas, researching at the Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library. Spent all day there yesterday and will finish my research today.
It’s rather sad that Eisenhower is practically a forgotten president for the current generation. Of course, I’ve often commented that students today know next to nothing about American history, but what they do know spans only their lifetime, or a portion of it.
The Eisenhower decade was really rather prosperous for America, and he kept the peace as we squared off with a hostile Soviet Union determined to bring us down. They knew they had to be careful dealing with Eisenhower because he was no fool. He had successfully navigated the plans for D-Day and brought Nazi Germany to its knees. He knew an enemy when he saw one, and he also knew what to do to keep an enemy at bay. Unfortunately, he was followed in office by a man with little to no experience on that front, leading to the Bay of Pigs, the building of the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Eisenhower, although not very religious throughout most of his life, became more attached to the Christian faith in his later years. Billy Graham played a central role, as did Eisenhower’s Presbyterian pastor in D.C., Rev. Edward Elson. Before he died, Eisenhower called Graham to his bedside one more time to be sure he understood the essence of salvation through Christ. I trust he died a convinced Christian.
This is my final presidential library stop for my sabbatical. It’s been quite a journey: the Reagan and Nixon libraries in California, the LBJ and George H. W. Bush libraries in Texas, and the Clinton library in Arkansas were my other destinations. I’ve amassed a ton of information in the form of personal correspondence between these presidents and the ones they looked to for spiritual guidance. Now it all needs to be manifested in a series of books. Please pray for my collaborator and me on this mission to publish this valuable information.