Then & Now

West Point cadets and the sex-and-drug ’60s; IBM, Luckey Platt, and ice harvesters; airports, bridges, and those famous ferries. Join us for a look back at the last 100 years of Valley history


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Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower's son, John, and wife Mamie at John's USMA graduationReprinted with permission from Highlands by Dr. Randolph Preston Schaffner.

No Mission Too Great

Then: For two centuries, the United States Military Academy at West Point has been turning out some of the nation’s top leaders: Famous alumni include presidents Ulysses S. Grant (class of 1843) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (class of 1915). However, Eisenhower couldn’t attend his son John’s graduation from the academy on June 6, 1944 — D-Day — because he was in Europe commanding allied forces. But proud mom Mamie was there (left). John soon went off to the war; he also served during the Korean conflict before becoming U.S. ambassador to Belgium.

Photograph courtesy of
United States Military Aacademy
Photo of the newest West Point cadets tossing their hats into the air upon graduating

Now: Today’s cadets are also leaving the academy during wartime. Many of the 970-plus graduates of the class of 2008, all of whom immediately became second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, will see active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.


If you like what you see here, check out, the Web site of Arcadia Publishing. The leading publisher of history books in the U.S., the company generously supplied many of the vintage photographs for this article. Their list includes a large number of titles that profile Valley cities, towns, and other popular locations.


Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley


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