So far, no U.S. President has hailed from Colorado, but one of the first ladies has – Mamie Eisenhower. As a result, the President who spent the most time in our state was Dwight D. Eisenhower; he even established a “Summer White House” at Lowry Air Base during his presidency. It was on this day 57 years ago, September 24, 1955, that Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while visiting Colorado. According to Colorado: A History of the Centennial State (University Press of Colorado, 2005), which you can check out from our library, Ike’s heart attack came after eating a hamburger and playing twenty-seven holes of golf!
Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels. Courtesy CDOT.
Eisenhower’s Colorado legacy also extends to transportation. Colorado describes how one of his fishing buddies, a developer, helped convince the President to support the construction of I-70 running east-west through Colorado. As a result, the Eisenhower Tunnel was named for him. (A bit of trivia: Only the westbound tunnel is the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel; the eastbound tunnel is the Johnson Memorial Tunnel, named for Colorado Governor and U.S. Senator Edwin C. Johnson.) Learn more about the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website, which includes a behind-the-scenes photo tour of the operation of the tunnels.