VE-Day 65th Anniversary Secretary Gates to be Keynote Speaker

April 21st, 2010


VE-Day 65th Anniversary

Secretary Gates to be Keynote Speaker


ABILENE, Kan. - The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum invites you to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE-Day) on May 7 and 8 in Abilene on the presidential center grounds.



The celebration starts on Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m. with author Robert M. Edsel discussing his book, The Monuments Men, in the Visitors Center Auditorium. Focusing on the 11-month period between D-Day and VE-Day, Edsel follows six "Monuments Men" on their daunting mission to save the world's great art from Nazi destruction.


On Saturday, May 8, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will be the keynote speaker. He will speak on the steps of the Library Building at 1 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Visitors Center Auditorium.


Capping off the celebration at 7 p.m. on May 8 will be a concert and dance. The Bobby Layne Orchestra, featuring vocalist Trudy DuMay, will perform on the steps of the Library Building. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the Library Lobby and Courtyard. Bobby Layne is celebrating more than 50 years in the Big Band business.



Ike holding surrender pen photo (see photo below)


On May 8, the VE-Day exhibit opens in the Military Gallery of the Eisenhower Presidential Museum. The exhibit will feature the inaugural public display of the Russian-language version of the Unconditional Surrender marking victory in Europe. The exhibit includes, courtesy of Mr. Edsel, an album Hitler created identifying the works of art he wanted to add to his collection. This exhibit will only be on display during the VE-Day celebration weekend. The artifacts will then become part of the exhibit opening May 24 titled "Eisenhower and the Righteous Cause: The Liberation of Europe."



Robert M. Edsel is the founder of the "Monuments Men Foundation," which honors those who saved Europe's finest art from Hitler's hands. Edsel is the author of the non-fiction books Rescuing Da Vinci and The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. He is the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, and Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art.


Dr. Robert Gates, a Kansas native, is the only Secretary of Defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in office by a new president. President Obama is the eighth president Gates has served. Prior to becoming Secretary of Defense, Gates was President of Texas A&M. He has filled many public service roles, including Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993. Gates is the only career CIA officer to rise from entry-level employee to Director.


All events are free and open to the public. You are encouraged to bring your lawn chair for the outdoor activities. Additional parking areas will be available surrounding the Library grounds and will be marked with signs.


The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered 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. The federal government does not provide funding for our museum, education and public programs. The private Eisenhower Foundation is the primary fund raising support for the Library.


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