This weekend’s annual Territorial Days festival will include tributes to Lecompton’s history with Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War and the wedding of President Dwight Eisenhower’s parents in 1885.
Territorial Days begins Friday evening in Lecompton with a carnival and games and gets into full swing Saturday. The Parade “History Remembered” begins at 11 a.m., and a Civil War Re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Titus will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Territorial Capital Museum.
A re-enactment marking the 125th anniversary of the wedding of David Eisenhower and Ida Stover will be at 2 p.m. in the chapel of the museum. Paul Bahnmaier, president of the Lecompton Historical Society, said there will be seats for 225 people.
Dwight Eisenhower’s parents met at Lane University and were married in Lecompton. Mary Jean Eisenhower, Dwight’s granddaughter and CEO of People to People International, is scheduled to attend to view the celebration of her great-grandparents’ wedding.
Lecompton has long celebrated its Bleeding Kansas history.
The U.S. House in 1858 rejected the Lecompton Constitution, written at Constitution Hall and endorsed by President James Buchanan. The rejection prevented Kansas from becoming a slave state, and historians have argued the fallout allowed Republican Abraham Lincoln to take political advantage of a divided Democratic party.
Bahnmaier said Lecompton residents are thrilled to be able to celebrate the city’s importance in Eisenhower’s life and the Civil War era.
“To me it just adds to the overwhelming importance that Lecompton played in the history of the United States,” he said.
A complete schedule of events is available at lecomptonterritorialdays.com.