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Remembering Presidents

Eisenhower given NFR ticket

Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. President, salutes the standing-room only crowd at a Republican rally at the Mesquite (Texas) Arena in November of 1988. The visit to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo was Reagan’s only stop in Texas during a final campaign swing for President-elect George H.W. Bush.

The presentation to President Eisenhower was scheduled for 10 minutes, but lasted approximately 40 minutes as Eisenhower talked about the sport of rodeo. He fired one question after another, first at May, and then at Shoulders.

In between these questions and answers the President told the rodeo group of his experiences with horses and livestock – both as a boy, and as a cattle raiser, at his Gettysburg farm.

Left to right, John VanCronkhite, manager of the National Finals Rodeo; Jim Shoulders, 16-time World Champion and ProRodeo Hall of Famer; and Harley May, president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, watch as U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower receives a solid gold ticket to the 1959 National Finals Rodeo in Dallas, Texas. The photo was taken on Sept. 29, 1959. This photo ran in the Oct. 15, 1959 issue of the Rodeo Sports News.

Courtesy of PRCA