Ike's Request for West Point on Display

By: From 13 News
By: From 13 News

TOPEKA — The Kansas Historical Society announced that a letter from its collections is on display at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center through March 2010. The letter, written by Dwight D. Eisenhower to Kansas Senator Joseph Bristow, requests appointment to the military academy at either Annapolis or West Point.

Eisenhower, born October 14, 1890, was nearly 20, but claimed to be a year younger as the Naval Academy did not accept candidates over age 18. Eisenhower secured Bristow’s recommendation to West Point. An image of the letter and the full text transcription can be found on kansasmemory.org.

The Eisenhower letter is from the Historical Society’s State Archives & Library collections. Library director Pat Michaelis said, “How interesting that a letter from a young man in a state senator’s correspondence collection can turn out to be from a future president of the United States and one of the most famous people from the World War II era.”

The exhibit opened in October 2009 to celebrate the two millionth visitor at the Capitol Visitor Center. It includes approximately 50 historic documents, including colorful envelopes illustrated by World War II soldier Sam Boylston and Susan B. Anthony’s petition to Congress asking for remission of a fine she received when she was arrested and convicted for voting in a national election.

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