We thoroughly enjoyed visiting our family in Kansas and taking them on our visits to the Topeka zoo, the Cosmosphere – Air and Space Museum – in Hutchinson and the Einsenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS.
The Topeka zoo has improved and expanded a great deal since we last visited there.
This time David and Jacob got to feed a bird in the bird house and we got to attend a tortoise and snake show.
The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS, is simply phenomenal. It is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and houses an incredible amount of information and artifacts of the American space program. The Cold War space race is particularly interesting and well presented! We saw 2 documentaries about Nasa’ s search for water in space and the American Mars exploratory program at the domed Planetarium and an IMAX theater, respectively. The shows were tremendously enjoyable!
Hutchinson civic leader and amateur astronomer Patty Carey opened the Hutchinson Planetarium on the Kansas State Fairgrounds in 1962. Her passion for astronomy became the foundation for today Cosmosphere – 105,000 square feet of galactic splendor and an internationally recognized space artifact collection.
We were delighted to see President Einsenhower’s boyhood home and the room where they spent family time every night. The house has been preserved intact with the original furniture and decoration.
The first part of the Presidential Museum is mostly about World War II, its battles, its turns of event and its key players. I loved all the displayed army uniforms from both the Allies and Nazi armies. The boys loved all the guns and weapons on display. The second part of the exhibit is about the presidency and achievements of both President Einsenhower and his wife Mamie. The exhibited artifacts are impressive, especially Mamie’ s clothing items and Eisenhower’ s numerous medals.
At both the Cosmosphere and the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, the information and artifacts are amazing and overwhelming. The events portrayed there not only play prominent roles in American history but in world history as well. We could easily spend many days and weeks in each museum if we were to soak in the whole exhibits.
Most memorable of all for me are the human stories – the relationships, the characters, the endurance through hardships, the courage in the face of danger, and the adventures. Those historical elements never fail to make my hearts beat faster and make me feel truly proud to be human. The history of mankind is truly the story of human courage and the triumph of grit in the darkest times.
After leaving Abilene, KS, I made up my mind that “I still like IKE.” See my new license plate below. I bought this awesome frame at the Einsenhower Presidential Library and Museum gift shop. I love it!