Celebrate President’s Day in Central Iowa

Celebrate President’s Day in Central Iowa

Happy Birthday Mr. President (s)! You can learn a little bit of Iowa and American history and celebrate the Presidency locally. In honor of President’s Day on February 15th, 2016 we put together this list of places with Presidential ties in Central Iowa. 

First in the Nation Exhibit

State Historical Museum of Iowa • 600 E Locust Street Des Moines, IA 50319 • (515) 281-5111

The State Historical Museum of Iowa showcases our state’s accomplishments, contributions and heritage across our 99 counties. You can experience Iowa’s rich history through exhibits and artifacts. The Museum is currently featuring a First in the Nation exhibit which explores presidential candidates’ journeys through the Iowa caucuses on the road to the White House.

Stop by the information desk on the first floor for a map, children’s activities and information about exhibits, programs and historical research. The Museum is open 9:00 am to 4:30 pm; Monday through Saturday and Noon to 4:30 pm on Sunday.  It is closed on official state holidays. Admission is FREE.

Harlan-Lincoln House

Iowa Wesleyan College Campus • 101 W Broad Street • Mt Pleasant, IA 52641 • (319) 385-6215

Set amid the lush, rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, the town of Mount Pleasant yields an unexpected Lincoln connection: the home of James Harlan, where Abraham Lincoln’s grandchildren spent many of their summers. Since 1959, the college has maintained the Harlan-Lincoln House as a museum. The museum includes artifacts belonging to the Harlan and Lincoln families: a fragment of the coat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated and Mary Todd Lincoln’s mourning veil.

To schedule a tour of the Harlan-Lincoln House, please call (319) 385-6215 or email alumni@iw.edu. It is recommended that you schedule your tour one week in advance. Donations of $5.00 per person are encouraged as they help to support the preservation of the Harlan-Lincoln House.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

210 Parkside Drive • West Branch, IA 52358 • 319-643-5301

The Hoover Library & Museum enables visitors to experience for themselves the many sides of Iowa’s only president. The Museum sits on the grounds of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and is the final resting place of Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, We are fortunate to have this institution so close, as it is one of only 13 Presidential Libraries in the United States.  Find Tips 4 a Family Fun Day at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum.

The Presidential Library and Museum is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days). Children 5 & under are FREE; Children ages 6 to 15 $3.00; Age 16 to 61 $10.00; Age 62 and older- $5.00. It is FREE to visit the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site which includes the grounds around the Library, historical buildings and gravesite.

Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace

709 Carroll Street • Boone, IA 50036 • (515) 432-1896

Mamie Geneva Doud was born November 14, 1896 at 718 Carroll Street in Boone, the second of four daughters born to Elivera Mathilde Carlson and John Sheldon Doud. She grew up to become the wife of the 34th president of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower.  The Boone County Historical Society has restored the home where she was born, which contains many Eisenhower and Carlson family heirlooms and includes a library and exhibits on its lower level.

The Museum is open during the summer season; June 1 to October 31; Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays 1:30 to 5:00 pm. During the winter season; November 1 to May 31; the Museum is open by appointment only.

The Wallace Centers of Iowa

756 16th Street • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 243-7063
2773 290th Street • Orient, IA 50858 • (641)337-5019

Henry A. Wallace served as Depression-era U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933-1940, implementing revolutionary farm policies and programs. As Vice President from 1940-1944, Wallace traveled widely. He became Secretary of Commerce until 1946, and then ran for president in 1948.

Inspired by the Wallace family legacy, The Wallace Centers of Iowa provides a variety of programs and services to build awareness of local food, sustainable agriculture, and civility. WCI serves both urban and rural communities with locations at the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center in rural Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines. The centers offer community building and educational programs, locally sourced dining opportunities and other events.


What are your Presidents’ Day plans? Tell us in the comments section below.

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