Presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was a five star general who commanded the Army during World War II. In 1953, he became the 34th President of the United States.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. He was the third of seven boys born to David Jacob and Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower.

In 1892, the family moved to Abilene, Kansas, which Eisenhower considered his home town.

While Eisenhower’s mother was against war, it was her collection of history books that first sparked Eisenhower’s early and lasting interest in military history. He persisted in reading the books in her collection and became a voracious reader in the subject.

Upon finishing high school, he worked for two years before accepting an appointment at West Point in 1911. He graduated in 1915.

Eisenhower met Mamie Geneva Doud while stationed in Texas. They are said to be instantly taken with one another. They were married on July 1, 1916. They had two sons, Doud Dwight “Icky” Eisenhower was born September 24, 1917, and died of scarlet fever on January 2, 1921, at the age of three and John Eisenhower was born in 1922.

The Eisenhower family moved numerous times over the next 35 years, as Ike moved up the ranks and went where he received orders for service.

He served all during World War I, but much to his chagrin stayed state side. He received the Distinguished Service Medal for his work at home.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

After the war he was promoted to major, a rank he would hold for the next sixteen years. In the 1920s, he served under a series of talented generals. In the 1930s, He then was posted as chief military aide to General MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff and would accompany him to the Philippines in 1935.

In March 1941, he was promoted to colonel and brigadier general in October of that year. Although his administrative abilities had been noticed, on the eve of the American entry into World War II he had never held an active command above a battalion and was far from being considered by many as a potential commander of major operations.

In May 1942, he accompanied the commanding general of the Army Air Forces to London to assess the effectiveness of the theater commander in England. He returned with an uneasy feeling about what he observed. In July 1942, he was promoted to lieutenant general.

In November 1942, he was also appointed Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force of the North African Theater of Operations. In December 1943, President Roosevelt decided that Eisenhower would be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He was charged in these positions with planning and carrying out the Allied assault on the coast of Normandy in June 1944 under the code name Operation Overlord, which were costly but successful.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

In recognition of his senior position in the Allied command, on December 20, 1944, he was promoted to General of the Army. In this and the previous high commands he held, Eisenhower showed his great talents for leadership and diplomacy. Although he had never seen action himself, he won the respect of front-line commanders.

In 1945, Eisenhower anticipated that someday an attempt would be made to re-characterize Nazi crimes as propaganda (Holocaust denial) and took steps against it by demanding extensive still and movie photographic documentation of Nazi death camps.

Following the German unconditional surrender, Eisenhower was appointed Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone, based at the IG Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main. He returned to Washington in November 1945 as Chief of Staff of the Army.

In June 1943, a visiting politician had suggested to Eisenhower that he might become President of the United States after the war. Believing that a general should not participate in politics, one author later wrote that “figuratively speaking, Eisenhower kicked his political-minded visitor out of his office”. As others asked him about his political future, Eisenhower told one that he could not imagine wanting to be considered for any political job.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Others continued to encourage Eisenhower to run for president.

In 1948, Eisenhower became President of Columbia University, but was not a good fit of either one of them. During that year he published his memoir, considered one of the “finest U.S. military memoirs”.

President Truman encouraged Ike to run for president. Ike had no party affiliation and finally declared himself a Republican. A “Draft Eisenhower” movement in the Republican Party persuaded him to declare his candidacy for the 1952 election.

Eisenhower was the last president born in the 19th century, and at age 62, was the oldest man elected President since James Buchanan in 1856. Eisenhower was the only general to serve as President in the 20th century and was the most recent President to have never held elected office prior to the Presidency until Donald Trump.

During the campaign Eisenhower and President Truman became estranged and had minimal discussions about the transition of the administrations.

He was worn in on January 20, 1953. Eisenhower made greater use of press conferences than any previous president.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower’s main goals in office were to keep pressure on the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits.

In the first year of his presidency, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons in an effort to conclude the Korean War.

He won re-election in 1956 and began his second term in January 1957.

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Eisenhower condemned the Israeli, British and French invasion of Egypt, and forced them to withdraw.

After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the space race.

Eisenhower introduced the office of White House Chief of Staff.

Eisenhower was a golf enthusiast later in life, and joined the Augusta National Golf Club in 1948.
He also enjoyed oil painting and painted over 200 oil paintings in the last 20 years of his life.
He also enjoyed reading Westerns and Angels in the Outfield was his favorite movie. He was also an avid bridge player.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

He openly opposed Joseph McCarthy and helped bring the end to McCarthyism.

Eisenhower’s two terms saw considerable economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. Voted Gallup’s most admired man twelve times, he achieved widespread popular esteem both in and out of office.

Eisenhower actively campaigned in 1960 for his Vice President, Richard Nixon. Eisenhower, who was the oldest president in history at that time (then 70), was succeeded by the youngest elected president, John F. Kennedy.

Eisenhower was also the first outgoing President to come under the protection of the Former Presidents Act. Under the act, Eisenhower was entitled to receive a lifetime pension, state-provided staff and a Secret Service detail.

Because of legal issues related to holding a military rank while in a civilian office, Eisenhower had resigned his permanent commission as General of the Army before entering the office of President of the United States. Upon completion of his Presidential term, his commission was reactivated by Congress and Eisenhower again was commissioned a five-star general in the United States Army.

Eisenhower retired to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he had a farm adjacent to the battlefield. In 1967 the Eisenhower’s donated the Gettysburg farm to the National Park Service.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

They also had a retirement home in Palm Desert, California.

Dwight D. Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969 in Washington, D.C. He was 78 years old. When his body was taken to Kansas by train, was the last time a funeral train has been used as part of the funeral proceedings of a president.

He was buried as a General of the Army. President Richard Nixon eulogized Eisenhower, saying:
Some men are considered great because they lead great armies or they lead powerful nations. For eight years now, Dwight Eisenhower has neither commanded an army nor led a nation; and yet he remained through his final days the world’s most admired and respected man, truly the first citizen of the world.

He is buried in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library. His wife, Mamie was buried beside him when she died in 1979.

His reputation declined upon leaving office.
Since the late 20th century, consensus among Western scholars has consistently held Eisenhower as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.


34th President of the United States
(January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961)Nickname: “Ike”Born: October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas
Died: March 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C.

Father: David Jacob Eisenhower
Mother: Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower
Married: Mary “Mamie” Geneva Doud (1896-1979), on July 1, 1916
Children: Doud Dwight Eisenhower (1917-21); John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (1923- )

Religion: Presbyterian
Education: Graduated from U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. (1915)
Occupation: Soldier
Political Party: Republican

SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) is formedThe Warsaw Pact formed by Communist countriesNASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was established


1890 Dwight D Eisenhower

1908 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) established

1914 WW1 started 28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918

1916 Dwight D. Eisenhower was married to Mary “Mamie” Geneva Doud (1896–1979) on July 1, 1916. They had 2 children

1919 Treaty of Versailles

1927 Charles Lindbergh makes first trans-Atlantic flight
The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson is the first “talkie” to be released

1929 Great Depression begins

1932 Amelia Earhart flies across Atlantic Ocean

1934 Dust Bowl begins

1939 Germany invades Poland; World War II begins

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor
U.S. enters World War II
Dwight D. Eisenhower was in charge of the D-Day invasion during World War II. Eisenhower was made a 5-star general afterward.

1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Germany and Japan surrender, ending World War II

1946 The Cold War began between the United States and the Soviet Union

1949 NATO formed

1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy gains power and start Communist witch hunts (1950-1954)
Korean War begins

1953 1953 Dwight D Eisenhower became the President of the United States of America

1953 End of the Korean War (1953)

1954 Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

1956 Interstate Highway System Created (1956)

1957 In 1957 Eisenhower ordered Federal troops to Little Rock to enforce integration
Eisenhower Doctrine (1957)
Russians launch Sputnik

1958 NASA formed

1959 Cuban Revolution

1960 Greensboro sit-in
Civil Rights Act of 1960

1961 1961 The Presidency of Dwight D Eisenhower ended

1969 Dwight D Eisenhower died of coronary thrombosis on March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C. The state funeral of the President was held at Abilene, Kansas where he was also buried.






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