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The first time I remember paying attention to politics was when I was about six years old, and John F. Kennedy ran for President. The only thing I remember about that election was that Miss Willie, our elderly neighbor two doors down, didn’t like Kennedy. Isn’t that just like a little girl to remember something emotional?

Dwight D. Eisenhower had been president for almost a year when I was born. Since he was in office for eight years, Eisenhower was the only president I knew in my early childhood. I don’t remember my young mind having an opinion about him way back then, but I came to admire Eisenhower when Ray’s father, a World War II veteran, moved in with us and told us his many war stories. Some of those stories were about Eisenhower who served as commanding general of Allied forces during World War II.

My admiration grew even more when I researched President Eisenhower’s life for the biography of him I wrote in America the Beautiful. One event in Eisenhower’s life that always stands out to me is that Billy Graham talked with him about his faith during the 1952 presidential campaign. Graham encouraged him to become part of a church. Though Eisenhower had grown up in a devout home, he had not lived out his faith the way he should have for many years. He agreed with Graham that he should become part of a church and decided that he would. However, Eisenhower decided not to do so until after the election because he didn’t want his decision to be seen as political.

As a result of his long military career, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower never owned their own home until after he left the presidency. Ray and I have visited their retirement home, which overlooks the Gettysburg Battlefield, on a couple of occasions. On our way home from Colorado, we went to Abilene, Kansas, to visit his boyhood home.

Our son John had scheduled our visit so that Notgrass History could create one of our Takes You There videos about that historic site. The first place that we filmed was in the lobby of the Eisenhower museum. Beautiful painted murals depicting a timeline of Eisenhower’s life line the upper walls of the room.

One illustrates the faith instilled in Dwight Eisenhower when he was a boy. Each evening his family gathered inside the house or out in the yard so that the six boys could take turns reading the Bible.

The Eisenhower boys take turns reading the Bible.
The Eisenhower boys take turns reading the Bible.

We released a 6-minute biography of President Eisenhower this past Saturday on his birthday. I have shared the video with you below, but first I’d like to encourage you to keep instilling God’s Word in your children. And, if you have any children who are not walking in His way, keep praying and being the best example you can be. Never, never give up. Neither of Dwight Eisenhower’s parents lived on earth long enough to see him become president of the United States or, more importantly, to see the change that occurred in their son’s life. However, the teachings that they instilled lasted beyond their time on earth. Ours will, too.

Love is patient,
love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Click here to watch our 6-Minute Biography of President Dwight Eisenhower.

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