Day 5: Presidents, Politics, & History

On our final day, our travel day, we still got some sight-seeing in.  Although we had spent considerable time in Norman, we had focused our energies on the University of Oklahoma campus.  Today, we visited the downtown area, where we checked out some of the public art…

Norman_Sculpture_Web…which included more aviation themed work.

Plane_Sculpture_Norman+WebMost interesting, though, was the statue of James Garner, the star of Rockford Files and Maverick, who grew up in Norman, Oklahoma.

James Garner
                            James Garner

Another highlight was, strange as it sounds, was getting to see a train go by…

Train_Waving_Web

The real highlight of the day, however, was in Denison, Texas, where we visited the birth-home of Dwight Eisenhower.

Ike's Birthplace
                          Ike’s Birthplace

Eisenhower was born here in 1890, and he would be the last President to be born in the 19th century.    His father worked for the railroad, which passed by about thirty yards in front of the house.

The site is run by the Department of Texas Parks and Wildlife, and we had a knowledgeable tour guide to take us through the home.

Interior of Ike's Home
                     Interior of Ike’s Home

Our visit was made all the more appropriate with the arrival of Veterans Day.

Eisenhower Statue
                        Eisenhower Statue

The last day was also a day for reflecting on the trip and the different things we did.  Heading home, we canvassed the group for our favorite activities, which are presented below.

Favorite Restaurants:

1) Cattleman’s (OKC)
2) Greek House (Norman)
3) The Hideaway (Norman)

Honorable Mention: Coriander Cafe (Norman)

Gyros from Greek House
                Gyros from Greek House

Favorite Artifacts:
1) Abraham Lincoln (Cowboy Hall of Fame and OU Law School)
2) Land Run Monument (OKC)
3) Capitol Artwork (OKC)

Artwork in State Capitol
     Artwork in State Capitol

Favorite Destinations:
1) OU Campus, for OPSA and OU Law School
2) Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum
3) Segway Tour

OU Law Courtroom
                      OU Law Courtroom

Favorite Presentations:
1) Southern Politics, by Scott Buchanan
2) Public Opinion, Drug Use, and Depedence, Lauren Reinke
3) Affordable Health Care, Isaac Lutz

Professor Scott Buchanna
              Professor Scott Buchanan

We were very impressed with Oklahoma City, Norman, and the people we met on the trip.  We’d especially like to thank the organizers of the Oklahoma Political Science Association, who were very helpful to us.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to news stories, having contributed more than 50 pieces in the past year. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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