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Give Peace a Chance - January 17, 2020

General and later President Dwight D. Eisenhower hoped to reduce worldwide conflict through peaceful personal diplomacy.  Essentially, this meant getting people from different nations together so that they might better understand and relate to one another and thus, be less likely to go to war.

 

Q: After witnessing the death and destruction of World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower came up with an idea he hoped would reduce international conflicts.  Once he became president, the man from Abilene created an international exchange program, which is now headquartered in Kansas City.  What's the name of the program?

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A: People to People or People to People International

Five-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II, saw first-hand the death and destruction caused by war.  He also witnessed the horrors of Nazi concentration camps liberated by his soldiers.  It was during the war that Eisenhower first had the idea of creating some kind of international exchange program.  He thought if people from different countries got to know one another on a more personal level, they would be less likely to go to war with one another.  By the end of the war, the man from Abilene who had planned the D-Day invasion of Europe, was now thinking of diplomacy - but on a much more personal level.  After becoming president, Eisenhower enlisted the help of Joyce C. Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, as well as Walt Disney, comedian Bob Hope and others to create People to People International.  The organization, now headquartered in Kansas City, connects people through a number of cultural exchanges.  According to the organization's website, more than 950,000 cultural exchanges have taken place in 130 countries since 1956.  Those exchanges have involved more than 300,000 students and 4,300 teachers.  Learn more at People to People International.

Read more about Dwight Eisenhower's plan for "Peace through Personal Diplomacy." 

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