DDay+80 Symposium

D-Day 1

“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 6, 1944

On April 20, 2024, the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Society hosted a one-day symposium to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy. The event featured remarks and lectures from distinguished experts on General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Second World War, including David Eisenhower, Susan Eisenhower, Dr. Craig Symonds, and Dr. John C. McManus.


All events held in Masters Hall, Mara Auditorium unless otherwise specified.

8:15 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast, Masters Hall, Gettysburg College

9:00 a.m. Welcome, Introductions and Sponsor Thanks - Tracie Potts, Director of the Eisenhower Institute, and Carol Hegeman, Executive Director, Dwight D. Eisenhower Society Mara Auditorium, Masters Hall

9:15 a.m. The Americans at D-Day – Dr. John C. McManus

10:15 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Perspectives on D-Day Panel Discussion

  • Early Planning for Operation Overlord – Important but Little Remembered Leadership Decisions - Susan Eisenhower
  • Operational Dilemma: The German Defense of Normandy – Dr. Doug Douds, Col (USMC, Ret)
  • Allied Airborne Operations in Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944 – General William Matz

Questions and Answers

11:45 a.m. Lunch at the Atrium, Gettysburg College Dining Hall

1:00 p.m. “The Navy Saved our Hides”: U.S. Naval Gunfire Support on D-Day – Dr. Craig Symonds 

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Triumph and Tragedy: D-Day and Beyond – David Eisenhower

3:15 p.m. Wrap Up and Thank You – Tracie Potts and Carol Hegeman. Book signing in Mara Lobby

3:30 p.m. Optional Program – Mara Auditorium

D-Day at Pointe Du Hoc narrated by David McCallum  – Tim Gray and Col. John Fenzel

3:45 p.m. Optional Program – Gettysburg National Cemetery

“The Great Crusade": D-Day Casualties in Gettysburg National Cemetery – Park Ranger Dan Vermilya

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Our thanks to additional sponsors:

Destination Gettysburg
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Robert M. Lauman Charitable Foundation
World War II American Experience Museum
World War II Foundation