Daniel D. Holt

David A Nichols

King Of Glory Lutheran Church’s GUSTO! Program hosted the second in a four-part series of speakers on The Essential Eisenhower, Monday, April 18, at 10 a.m. Daniel D. Holt, former director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, spoke on the topic of General Eisenhower as Architect for Victory in World War II. Holt is currently associated with the Eisenhower Institute and Gettysburg College.

Following the welcome by Sharon Chapman and devotional by Chuck Beck, Jack M. Holl introduced Daniel Holt. Holl is a professor of history emeritus from Kansas State University, an Eisenhower scholar, King of Glory member, and organizer of the Eisenhower series. He was also the first speaker of the series on Monday, April 11 on Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Man from Abilene.

Daniel Holt traced Eisenhower’s distinguished military career with his penchant for strategy and planning. The speaker discussed Eisenhower’s placement in the Philippines to set up a base of operations. Holt also briefly talked about Eisenhower’s rather tenuous relationship with General Douglas MacArthur.

During the question and answer period, a gentleman in the audience asked David Holt if Dwight Eisenhower had ever served in combat during his many years of service.

“No,” replied Holt. “You don’t send a guy like that into combat. You want him back planning strategy.”

David A Nichols continued the series on Monday, April 25, speaking on “Eisenhower’s Biggest International Challenge: Peace in the Middle East.” Nichols is a leading authority on the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. His new book, Eisenhower 1956: The President’s Year of Crisis – Suez and the Brink of War, published by Simon & Schuster, has received favorable reviews in Newsweek and the Dallas Morning News. Sharon Chapman again presented the welcome preceding Dick Hanson’s devotional. Jack M. Holl introduced David Nichols.

Nichols began with a short talk on his previous book, A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution, at Holl’s request. He explained that, contrary to the opinion of those that believe Eisenhower was inactive on civil rights, Eisenhower was very proactive in promoting civil rights and desegregation. Among his major accomplishments were the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (the first civil rights act since Reconstruction), desegregating the District of Columbia, and sending troops to the desegregation crisis at a Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The majority of Nichols presentation centered on the subject of Eisenhower 1956, a year of crisis for Eisenhower following his heart attack in September of 1955. In the later part of 1956, in addition to his doctor’s concern for his health with lack of sleep and rising blood pressure, Eisenhower faced the Suez Canal crisis, a crisis in Hungary as the Kremlin attacked the country, and a campaign for an election he professed to no longer caring if he won. Admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in October, doctors removed a cancerous tumor from Eisenhower’s colon.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was re-elected and would go on to sign the Civil Rights legislation and would oversee Sputnik and the creation of NASA. Nichols outlined the crises of 1956 in eloquent and knowledgeable fashion, referring to parts of his book for addtional information. He remained after the talk to autograph books and answer further questions.

Jack Holl will conclude the series he organized and started with his Man from Abilene presentation. On May 2nd, Holl will speak on Eisenhower and America’s Civil Religion. The Eisenhower Series is a GUSTO! Series – part of the ongoing GUSTO! program. GUSTO! is a life group for mature adults. The last event for the 2010-2011 school year is a two-part series on Issues in the Holy Land. Monday, May 9th will be from a Palestinian perspective and May 23rd will be from a Israeli perspective. Both events begin at 10 a.m. GUSTO! activities will resume in August.

Peace be with you.      

              Susan Chapman                                                                                                      Jack M. Holl

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