|City leaders, Rotarians, and elementary students will commemorate U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1960 visit to Chula Vista at a tree dedication ceremony Thursday, February 19. The tribute begins at 11 a.m. on the Civic Center campus, located at 276 Fourth Avenue.
On October 21, 1960, more than 25,000 people crowded the fairways at the San Diego Country Club to welcome President Eisenhower to Chula Vista. As high school bands and mariachis played, eight military helicopters delivered the President and his entourage to the club’s golf course. The nation’s 34th president was invited to address an outdoor meeting of the Chula Vista Rotary Club honoring delegates to the Inter-American Congress of Municipalities—30 mayors from Mexico and Latin America. Eisenhower, a long-time Rotarian, spoke about strengthening international ties and promoting better municipal government throughout the western hemisphere. Local Congressman Bob Wilson arranged the presidential visit. Retired Judge Manuel Kugler, a Chula Vista resident who was the Program Chairman for the President’s visit, will be the keynote speaker at Thursday’s dedication.
Recently, the Chula Vista Rotary donated a camphor tree in memory of the high profile visit. On February 19, an accompanying plaque, also donated by Rotarians, will be unveiled. Councilman Rudy Ramirez assisted the Rotary with the project.
“President Eisenhower’s visit was a significant historical event that left its mark on the City and several generations of Chula Vistans,” said Councilman Rudy Ramirez. “I commend and thank the Chula Vista Rotary for taking the initiative in commemorating this rare and very special presidential visit. It’s an excellent example of how the City and civic leaders can work together to benefit the entire community.”
The February 19 event is free and open to the public. Students from Vista Square elementary will attend and participate in the tree dedication ceremony.