TOPEKA — Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and her son Merrill Atwater, joined Governor Sam Brownback, Brig. Gen. Victor J. Braden, Fort Leavenworth, and Timothy Rives, Eisenhower Presidential Library, in adding President Eisenhower to the Kansas Walk of Honor. His bronze plaque joins 10 other notable Kansans along the walkways of the Kansas State Capitol.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) born in Denison, Texas, but grew up in Abilene, proudly considered himself a Kansan. He graduated from West Point in 1915. He graduated first in his class from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in 1926. Promoted to brigadier general in 1941, Eisenhower directed the allied invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy from 1942 to 1943 and then as Supreme Allied Commander, he planned and executed the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944, which ultimately led to victory in Europe the following May. He served as U.S. President from 1953 to 1961 during a post-war period of prosperity for the nation. President Eisenhower authorized the Interstate Highway System, People to People International in 1956, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The walk was established in 2011 and highlights people who contributed on a state and national level and have significant connections to Kansas. The previous honorees are Clyde Cessna, Walter Chrysler, Samuel Crumbine, John Steuart Curry, Charles Curtis, Bob Dole, Amelia Earhart, Jack Kilby, Gordon Parks, and William Allen White.
The Kansas Historical Foundation, a 501(c) (3), serves as the caretakers of funds for the Kansas Walk of Honor. People can donate to this fund. The Historical Foundation, which supports the Kansas Historical Society, a state agency, established the walk fund so people can offer donations to cover the cost of plaques.