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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eisenhower Birthplace Discovers Historic Photo

By Robin Gilliam, Site Manager

Since February is Black History Month, the Eisenhower Birthplace was pleased to recently find some related history. In the mid-1940s, Denison's citizens learned that General Eisenhower had been born in their city. The birthplace site was purchased to become a shrine to the hero of World War II, but the home and grounds needed an upgrade. The carpentry class from Anderson/Terrell, Denison's segregated black high school, came to the site in 1946 to build a new picket fence for the front yard, as shown in the recently discovered photograph below.

The instructor was Smith Hughes, and the photograph of his students probably came from the school annual. We don't know who contacted the teacher or invited his class to undertake the project. The original site sign is visible near the woman standing on the porch. Terrell's African American students were finally moved to the all-white Denison High School in the mid-1960s.

Eisenhower Birthplace is located in Denison, approximately 75 miles north of Dallas. The site is part of the Texas Lakes Trail Region.

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