Food for the Body and Soul

Eisenhower Birthplace: Exterior of house

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site showcases the home where the 34th U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in 1890. The site contains an impressive collection that tells the story of President Eisenhower’s humble beginnings.

For Amanda Lanum, an educator from Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, one of the most rewarding things about working at the site is facilitating connections. She helps visitors explore their understandings and memories of the site and of Eisenhower’s life. Through this process, she has the privilege of hearing the visitors recount stories of the past. Some of the most memorable stories are those when visitors share experiences of voting in their first election for President Eisenhower or remembering the times he visited Denison when they were children.

Eisenhower Birthplace: Kitchen.

While Amanda has many memories from working at Eisenhower Birthplace SHS, one experience that sticks with her relates to a foodways virtual programming event she presented for the Friends of the THC. The virtual event, Cooking With Ida, featured a cooking demonstration of a corn meal mush recipe that Ida Eisenhower was known to have used. After the presentation, Amanda was pleased to hear many attendees share nostalgic tales of how they ate meals much like the recipe that she’d prepared when they were younger. Others shared that they had similar recipes that originated in other regions of the U.S. Through this programming, Amanda witnessed how food and history can bring people together and make an experience more meaningful by forming a personal connection to history.

The Friends of the THC is currently coordinating a campaign to raise funds for improvements at this historic site, including better site access for school buses and RVs, a new statue plaza, and creation of a lost neighborhood footprint to provide a better idea of what the scene looked like at the time of Eisenhower’s birth.