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Revisit the 1950s at the Eisenhower Site

Eisenhower National Historic Site

National Park News

The Eisenhower National Historic Site cordially invites you to return to a time when Elvis was King and Ike was President during our Fifties Weekend, June 17 and 18. Meet Dr. Roger Lanius from the National Air and Space Museum, who will speak on the creation of the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) during the Eisenhower presidency and America's early years in space. Discover the latest in Fifties fashions. Look under the hood and kick the tires of the latest 1950s cars and see working 1950s farm equipment. Re-discover the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee, view campaign advertising for the 1956 election, or eat a hamburger or hot dog reminiscent of weekend picnics in the park.

The Cold War was in full swing with Nike missiles positioned to protect major cities from nuclear attack and Americans constructing fallout shelters in basements. Just fifty years ago President Eisenhower authorized the building of the Defense Early Warning Line a string of radar posts across Alaska and northern Canada to give warning of the approach of Soviet aircraft. Videos about the Nike Missile program and DEW Line will be shown throughout the day.

A highlight of the weekend will be presentations by Dr. Roger Lanius, Chair of the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum. Dr. Lanius will share his insight on the Cold War and the creation of the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) during the Eisenhower presidency and America's first steps into space at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Saturday and at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday. Dr. Lanius' participation at Fifties Weekend is sponsored by The Dwight D. Eisenhower Society.

In addition to tours of the Eisenhower grounds and home, park staff will present programs on the issues of the 1950s. At 10:15 a.m. both days, a park ranger will speak on Eisenhower and Civil Rights. At 1:15 Saturday, the topic is Eisenhower and the C.I.A. At 2:15 p.m. Sunday the program is Mamie Eisenhower: Campaigner, First Lady and Beloved Wife. At 3:15 both days the program is Eisenhower the Sportsman.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. living historian Sandra Reck will take visitors back to the Fifties to discover the latest in fashions and fads. Both days, visitors can watch the 1956 campaign ads for Eisenhower and Stevenson and learn about the candidates and issues of the day. Sunday only, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. about 40 Fifties era tractors will be on display for visitors to see. Both days, hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be for sale courtesy of the Heidlersburg Fire Department.

The site is only accessible by shuttle bus. The shuttle bus departs from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center every half-hour from 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $5.50 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 13-16 and $3.00 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. For more information call 717 338-9114, or visit the web site <>.


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