Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Helicopter Landing Pad
Eisenhower National Historic Park
The smoothest ride I ever had in my life.
his first helicopter ride
President Eisenhower was the first president to travel by helicopter. His first ride was in 1957 during Operation Alert, a Cold War exercise to evacuate the president and his cabinet officers to safety in the Virginia mountains in case of nuclear attack. The helicopter soon proved to be very convenient, as well.
A drive from the White House to Gettysburg took about two hours. On a helicopter, he could travel to Gettysburg in about 35 minutes. Camp David, another presidential retreat, was a 10-minute flight to the south.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Government & Politics • War, Cold. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1957.
Location. 39° 47.628′ N, 77° 15.845′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Guest House (within shouting distance of this marker); Guest House Railings (within shouting distance of this marker); Follow in the Footsteps (within shouting distance of this marker); The Stables (within shouting distance of this marker); Secret Service Office (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Pond (about 500 feet away); I shall leave the place better than I found it. (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Herd of Modest Size (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
More about this marker. The bottom of the marker features a photograph of Eisenhower and French President de Gaulle exiting a helicopter. It has a caption of “Charles de Gaulle, walking next to Eisenhower, visited the farm in April 1960, during a break from talks at nearby Camp David. Eisenhower found the farm a perfect setting for conducting one-on-one diplomacy.”
The right of the marker contains a photo of “A Marine helicopter with the President aboard land[ing] near the Eisenhower home in 1958,” and a picture of a portable light with the caption “When the Secret Service received word of the President’s impending arrival, agents would place portable lights around the landing pad and turn on a strobe light in the barn.”
Also see . . .
1. Eisenhower National Historic Park. National Park Service website. (Submitted on November 4, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Biography of President Eisenhower from the White House website. (Submitted on November 4, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,318 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.