In the waning days of his presidency, a 70-year-old Dwight D. Eisenhower fled Washington with his wife, Mamie, to their farm in Gettysburg. He was facing the impending reality of life after the Oval Office, a time marked by uncertainty.
Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith offered a peek behind the curtain at those private lives during Thursday’s morning lecture, titled “Hail and Farewell: An Exclusive Trade Union.” Smith’s talk was the penultimate lecture for Week Nine, themed “The Presidents Club.”
“Ike faced the conundrum of a retirement for which there was no retirement policy,” Smith said. “To guide him, Eisenhower had only his own instincts and the often dispiriting examples of those who had gone before.”Continue reading