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Ike Likes the National Spotlight

KSAL StaffFebruary 2, 2017

The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene was in the national spotlight Thursday evening. Fox News Channel’s Chief Political Anchor Brett Baier hosted a live nationwide broadcast from inside the museum. Baier hosted his top-rated Fox News cable series “Special Report with Bret Baier” on location. The hour-long broadcast was seen live around the country, and by a live audience.

Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Interim Director Tim Rives told KSAL News that it truly was a special event. He says that part of the Fox broadcast crew arrived earlier this week, and worked hard for several days in preparation of the broadcast.

Baier himself is no stranger to the Eisenhower facilities. He conducted much of the research at the library for his best selling book “Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Journey”.  The “three days in January” refer to the period between Eisenhower’s prophetic farewell address on the evening of Jan. 17, 1961, and John F. Kennedy’s inauguration of the afternoon of January 20th, the closing act of one of modern America’s greatest leaders. The book is currently number one on the Wall Street Journal’s best seller list and number two on the New York Times best seller list. Rives says that it was a pleasure to host Baier while he conducted his research, and while he broadcasted his show. Baier on Thursday was fulfilling a vow he had made to come back to Abilene.

Baier told KSAL News that broadcasting his show in front of a live audience is different, and is something that he enjoys to do. Among those in the audience were Baier’s Family, including his wife Amy and their sons Paul and Daniel. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback even made a surprise appearance.

Paul Baier has watched his father do the show multiple times. But Thursday night it was a little different, and a little special.

Also in the audience was Dwight Eisenhower’s great grandson Merrill Eisenhower Atwater.  Eisenhower Atwater, who is currently the Aviation Director at the Kansas Department Of Transportation, told KSAL News that it was emotional to watch first-hand an event like this originate at his great grandfather’s namesake Library and Museum.

Following the broadcast, Baier hosted a public discussion about his book. “Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Journey” digs deep into Eisenhower’s last address as president and his efforts to advise Kennedy in the three days between the address and Kennedy’s inauguration. At the end of those fateful three days in January 1961, Eisenhower left the public stage having done perhaps more than any other modern American to set the nation, in his words, “on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.” Baier told KSAL News he hopes that the book will make you think, and that you will learn something new about Eisenhower.

Following Baier’s stop in Abilene, he is off to the west coast.


Governor Sam Brownback’s Segment with Bret Baier

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