Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eisenhower's Final Diaries Open to Researchers

ABILENE, Kan. - The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum marks the 40th anniversary of President Eisenhower's death with the opening of his final personal diaries from 1966, 1968, and 1969. The last diary entry was made in late January 1969. Eisenhower died just two months later on March 28, 1969.

"The new diaries show that Ike was still very much engaged in the world of politics and affairs, even in the twilight of his life," said Karl Weissenbach, director. "These priceless diaries show that he was in firm control of his mental faculties despite failing health."

Eisenhower writes that he started the diary in 1966 "to make notations of any physical discomfort or ailment so as to answer my doctor's questions concerning my health." Although medical problems dominate the volumes, Ike found space to comment on the issues and personalities of the day, including the economy, civil rights, Vietnam, and the 1968 presidential elections. "Scholars will find President Eisenhower's opinion of President Johnson to be of particular interest," added Tim Rives, supervisory archivist.

In addition to the public release of President Eisenhower's diaries, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum announced a marked increase in the expansion of the Library's archival and museum collections. Weissenbach states, "I am pleased to announce we have acquired an additional 800,000 pages of records, 7,200 photographs and 4,000 museum artifacts through an active solicitation program in the last three years. This initiative is a win-win situation for scholars, the public, teachers, students, and museum visitors," Weissenbach said. The Library's archival holdings have more than doubled from 12 million pages in 1966 to over 27 million pages in 2009.

"As we mark the passing of President Eisenhower in 1969," Weissenbach said, "we note with pride that the presidential library's archival and museum collections continue to see an increase in use. This solidifies the Eisenhower Library and Museum's reputation as one of the nation's premier research institutions."

The Eisenhower diaries are now available for researchers in the Eisenhower Library in Abilene. The research room is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. Due to the heavy demand for access to the newly-released diaries, there may be a time limit imposed upon researchers wishing to examine them.

For more information about conducting research at the Library, please call 785-263-6700 or toll free 1-877-RING IKE. The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, a federal non-partisan institution, is one of twelve presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. To learn more, please visit

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