David and Ida Eisenhower moved to Denison, Texas, in 1889 after David secured a job working for a Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. On Oct. 14, 1890, in a house owned by the railroad, Ida gave birth to Dwight David Eisenhower, the couple’s third of seven sons. The family moved to Abilene, Kan., two years later, so Dwight did not realize his birthplace was Denison until contacted by local school principal Jennie Jackson while he oversaw U.S. military forces in Europe during World War II.
After confirmation from Eisenhower’s mother, the Jackson led the efforts to purchase the house and preserve it. Following his election to the presidency, the Eisenhower Foundation was established to restore the house. In 1958, the property was turned over to the state, which created the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site.
Following his presidency, George H.W. Bush selected the campus of Texas A&M University to be the home of his presidential library. Although Bush did not have previous connections to College Station or the university, stories say that Michel T. Halbouty approached Bush about the idea shortly after the 1988 election. In 1991, Bush informed the university’s board of regents that he wanted to build his presidential library in College Station.
In addition to the presidential library, the university built a conference center that also houses an apartment for the Bushes to use when visiting and a building for the newly established George Bush School of Government and Public Service. The presidential library and museum was dedicated on Nov. 6, 1997. Following an overhaul of the permanent exhibits, the library was re-dedicated on Nov. 10, 2007.
“The Day the Wall Came Down: A Monument to Freedom” by Veryl Goodnight celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall and is made with pieces of the wall.
“Duty, Honor, Country” exhibit with restored 1944 TBM Avenger, which is the type of plane Bush flew during World War II in the U.S. Navy.
“Working for Peace” exhibit details Bush’s two years as ambassador to the United Nations.
“The President and Mrs. Bush Request” exhibit displays a gown and tuxedo from a state dinner.
“Age of Freedom” exhibit features a 12-foot tall section of the Berlin Wall.