Extensive press/filming/photo ops at international commemoration of D-Day+70
Abilene, KS…On Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7, the National Archives Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home will host the largest international commemoration of D-Day’s 70th Anniversary in the U.S. These events are open to the press and the public, and will be held at the Library in Abilene, KS. Highlights include a C-47 military fly-over, Remembrance Ceremony, evening symphony performance, gala reception, and exhibit openings.
Press are invited to live broadcast all events, interview top historians, Eisenhower Library staff, and speakers. To coordinate press coverage, contact Samantha Kenner, Communications Director, at Samantha.Kenner@nara.gov or 785.263.6764.
Nigel Hamilton, award-winning historian and biographer
WWII Military Re-enactorsi>WWII-era Military Vehicles - Owners/Club Enthusiasts
Eisenhower Presidential Library staff and volunteers
1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley representatives
Educator Workshop Attendees
Veterans and Active-Duty Military
Full Dress Rehearsal - Remembrance Ceremony/Wreath Laying Thursday, June 5 at 10 a.m., Eisenhower Presidential Library Campus
EVENT: Remembrance Ceremony Friday, June 6 at 9 a.m. Eisenhower Presidential Library Campus
Presentation of the Colors Flag Ceremony
Allied Forces Wreath Laying
Order of the Day Reenactment
FILM: The Ritchie Boys Friday, June 6 at 2 p.m., Visitors Center Auditorium
As teenagers they had escaped the Nazis. They trained in intelligence work and psychological warfare, and returned to Europe as US soldiers - with the greatest motivation to fight this war: They were Jewish. They called themselves “The Ritchie Boys”. Christian Bauer´s 2004 documentary tells a story that begins in Camp Ritchie, Maryland, the birthplace of modern psychological warfare, and it ends with the defeat of Germany in May of 1945. The Ritchie Boys interrogated German prisoners, defectors and civilians, collected information of tactical and strategic importance: about troop size and movements, about the psychological situation of the enemy, and the inner workings of the Nazi-regime. The surviving Ritchie Boys are in their eighties now. In this documentary, many of these remarkable, brave men share their memories.
TALK: “Life as a Ritchie Boy” by Dr. Guy Stern Friday, June 6, at 4 p.m., Visitors Center Auditorium Guenther Stern, born 1922 in Hildesheim, Germany was the only member of his family of five who escaped and emigrated to the USA in 1937. In 1942, after turning 18, Guenther, now called Guy, was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was sent to Camp Ritchie and became a POW interrogator. Two days after D-Day, he arrived in Germany to interrogate German prisoners. He later received the Bronze Star for his “method of mass interrogation”. After Germany’s capitulation, he learned that family perished in the Warsaw-Ghetto. Guy became a professor of German Language and Literature at Columbia University. Today he is Distinguished Professor for German at Wayne State University in Detroit.
EVENT: Exhibits Openings and Gala Reception Friday, June 6 at 5:30 – 9 p.m., Eisenhower Library Courtyard A special gala reception will include a social hour with hors d'ouevres, remarks, exhibit viewing, dessert and concert by the Kansas State University Summer Choral Institute, and the opening of three new exhibits:
Be Ye Men of Valour: Allies of World War II, Second Floor Gallery, through December 2016
This exhibit tells the forgotten stories of the many smaller Allied countries during WWII and explores the important victories, defeats and causes associated with these nations and resistance groups. It is located in and complements the "World War II Remembered: Leaders, Battles & Heroes" exhibit.
Forbidden Art, Main Floor Gallery, through Labor Day 2014. On loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum of Poland and the Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools in Michigan, this exhibit features photographs of art created by prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was illegal for the prisoners to make art, yet many did so at great risk.
World War II Remembered: Leaders, Battles & Heroes, Temporary Gallery, through December 2016. New exhibit supplements featuring Operations Overlord (D-Day/France), Bagration (Eastern Europe), Ichi-Go (China), and Forager (Mariana Islands) will be on display through fall 2014.
FILM: D-Day Plus 20 Years: Eisenhower Returns to Normandy Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m., Visitors Center Auditorium
Reported by Walter Cronkite, this CBS special program commemorated the 20th anniversary of D-Day. It opens with Cronkite and Eisenhower at Southwick House, Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Eisenhower recalls the strategy of the attack and discusses the choice of Normandy as the site. At the Royal Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Eisenhower re-enacts his journey on D-Day, and discusses Winston Churchill. At Normandy, Eisenhower reconstructs the attack on Pointe Du Hoc and Omaha Beach, and discusses the landings.
TALK: Eisenhower’s “Not So Famous” Last Words when Launching D-Day Saturday, June 7 at 11:30: a.m., Visitors Center Auditorium Timothy Rives, Eisenhower Library Deputy Director, discusses General Eisenhower’s exact words when making the final decision to invade Normandy.
PANEL DISCUSSIONS: Life on the Home Front and Life on the Battlefield Saturday, June 7, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Visitors Center Auditorium Hear firsthand how World War II affected those at home and overseas. Women will share “Rosie the Riveter”-type experiences about entering the work force to support the war effort. Veterans will share accounts of landing on Omaha Beach and D-Day abroad. Veterans from the 16th Infantry Regiment, meeting at Fort Riley for a reunion, will be honored guests at the D-Day+70 events and have been invited to share their experiences.
TALK: D-Day: Seventy Years Ago Saturday, June 7, 4 p.m., Visitors Center Auditorium Nigel Hamilton, award-winning historian and biographer, will discuss this historic anniversary. His three-volume official biography of Field Marshal Montgomery won the 1981 Whitbread Award for Biography.
C-47 FLYOVER Saturday, June 7, at 5 p.m. The C-47 was vital to the success of many Allied campaigns, in particular those at Guadalcanal and in the jungles of New Guinea and Burma, where the C-47 (and its naval version, the R4D) made it possible for Allied troops to counter the mobility of the light-traveling Japanese army. Additionally, C-47s were used to airlift supplies to the embattled American forces during the Battle of Bastogne. In Europe, the C-47 was used in vast numbers in the later stages of the war. More than 1,000 C-47s dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines as part of Operation Overlord.
CONCERT: Symphony at Sunset Annual D-Day Commemorative Concert Saturday, June 7, 7-10 p.m. This special concert will feature patriotic classics and Big Band favorites 7 p.m. - 1st Infantry Division Band 8:30 p.m. - Salina Symphony Orchestra
About the Eisenhower Library
The Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, a nonpartisan federal institution, is part of the Presidential Libraries network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Presidential Libraries promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.