Dwight D. Eisenhower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower

In office
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
Vice President Richard Nixon
Preceded by Harry S. Truman
Succeeded by John F. Kennedy

In office
April 2, 1951 – May 30, 1952
Preceded by Post Created
Succeeded by Gen. Matthew Ridgway

In office
May 8 – November 10, 1945
Preceded by Post Created
Succeeded by Gen. George Patton (acting)

Born October 14, 1890(1890-10-14)
Denison, Texas, United States
Died March 28, 1969 (aged 78)
Washington, D.C., United States
Birth name David Dwight Eisenhower
Nationality United States
Political party Republican
Spouse Mamie Doud Eisenhower
Children Doud Dwight Eisenhower,
John Sheldon David Doud Eisenhower
Alma mater U.S. Military Academy
West Point, New York, United States
Occupation Soldier
Religion Presbyterian
Signature Dwight D. Eisenhower's signature
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1915–1953, 1961–1969
Rank General of the Army
Commands Europe
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters,
Legion of Merit,
Order of the Bath,
Order of Merit,
Legion of Honor
(partial list)
Eisenhower with his wife Mamie on the steps of St. Mary's University of San Antonio, Texas in 1916, where Eisenhower was at the time a football coach.
Part of the 1912 West Point football team. Cadet Eisenhower 2nd from left; Cadet Omar Bradley 2nd from right.

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the thirty-fourth President of the United States from 1953 until 1961 and a five-star general in the United States Army. During the Second World War, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, with responsibility for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.[1]

As President, he oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, kept up the pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, launched the Space Race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began the Interstate Highway System. He was the last World War I veteran to serve as U.S. president, and the last president born in the 19th century.


Early life and family

Eisenhower family home, Abilene, Kansas

Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower in Denison, Texas,[2] the first president born in that state. He was the third of seven sons[3] born to David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stover, of German, English and Swiss ancestry. The house in which he was born has been preserved as Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site and is operated by the Texas Historical Commission.

He was named David Dwight and was called Dwight; he reversed the order of his given names when he entered West Point,[4], which is also where he received his nickname, "Ike".[5]

Eisenhower's paternal ancestors can be traced back to Hans Nicolas Eisenhauer, whose surname is German for "iron worker."[6] Hans Eisenhauer and his family emigrated from Karlsbrunn (Saarland), Germany to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1741. Descendants made their way west. Eisenhower's family settled in Abilene, Kansas in 1892. His father David Eisenhower was a college-educated engineer.[7] Eisenhower graduated from Abilene High School in 1909.[8]

Eisenhower married Mamie Geneva Doud (1896–1979) of Denver, Colorado on July 1, 1916. The couple had two sons. Doud Dwight Eisenhower was born September 24, 1917, and died of scarlet fever on January 2, 1921, at the age of three.[9] Their second son, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, was born the following year on August 3, 1922; John served in the United States Army (retiring as a brigadier general from the Army reserve), became an author, and served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium from 1969 to 1971. John, coincidentally, graduated from West Point on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and was married to Barbara Jean Thompson in a June wedding in 1947. John and Barbara had four children: Dwight David II "David", Barbara Ann, Susan Elaine and Mary Jean. David, after whom Camp David is named, married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie in 1968.


Eisenhower's paternal ancestor, Hans Nicholas Eisenhauer, was probably of Lutheran or Reformed Protestant practice.[citation needed] Eisenhower's mother, Ida E. Stover Eisenhower, previously a member of the River Brethren sect of the Mennonites, joined the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (now more commonly known as Jehovah's Witnesses) between 1895 and 1900, when Eisenhower was a child.[10] The Eisenhower home served as the local meeting hall from 1896 to 1915.

When Eisenhower joined the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1911, his ties to Jehovah’s Witnesses were weakened because of the group's anti-militarist stance.[11][12] By 1915, his parents' home no longer served as the meeting hall. All the men in the household abandoned the Witnesses as adults. Some hid their previous affiliation.[13][14] At his death in 1942, Eisenhower's father was given funeral rites as though he remained a Jehovah's Witness. Eisenhower's mother continued as an active Jehovah's Witness until her death. Despite their differences in religious beliefs, Eisenhower enjoyed a close relationship with his mother.

Eisenhower was baptized, confirmed, and became a communicant in the Presbyterian Church in a single ceremony on February 1, 1953, just 12 days after his first inauguration.[15] He is the only president known to have undertaken these rites while in office. Eisenhower was instrumental in the addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and the 1956 adoption of "In God We Trust" as the motto of the US, and its 1957 introduction on paper currency. In his retirement years, he was a member of the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church.[16] The chapel at his presidential library is intentionally inter-denominational.

He questioned Billy Graham about how people can be certain they are going to Heaven after death.[17]

Eisenhower was sworn into office with his personal West Point Bible, open to Psalm 33:12, at both his 1953 and 1957 inaugural ceremonies. Additionally for 1953, he included the Bible that George Washington had used in 1789 (belonging to St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 1), opened to II Chronicles 7:14.[18][19]


Dwight D. Eisenhower attended Abilene High School in Abilene, Kansas and graduated with the class of 1909.[8] He then took a job as a night foreman at the Belle Springs Creamery.[20]

After Dwight worked for two years to support his brother Edgar's college education, a friend urged him to apply to the Naval Academy. Though Eisenhower passed the entrance exam, he was beyond the age of eligibility for admission to the Naval Academy.[21]

Kansas Senator Joseph L. Bristow recommended Dwight for an appointment to the Military Academy in 1911, which he received.[21] Eisenhower graduated in the upper half of the class of 1915.[22] The 1915 class was known as "the class the stars fell on", because 59 members eventually became general officers.

Athletic career

Eisenhower long had aspirations of playing professional baseball:

When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing and as we sat there in the warmth of the summer afternoon on a river bank, we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I told him that I wanted to be a real major league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.[23]

At West Point, Eisenhower tried out for the baseball team but did not make it. He would later say that "not making the baseball team at West Point was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, maybe my greatest."[23] But Eisenhower did make the football team. He started as a varsity running back and linebacker in 1912. In a bit of a fabled match-up, he even tackled the legendary Jim Thorpe in a 1912 game.[24] The next week however, Eisenhower would hurt his knee after being tackled around the ankles, which he would soon worsen and permanently damage on horseback and in the boxing ring.[25] He would later serve as junior varsity football coach and yell leader.

Controversy persists over whether Eisenhower played minor league (semi-professional) baseball for Junction City in the Central Kansas League the year before he attended West Point and played amateur football there.

In 1916, while stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Eisenhower was football coach for St. Louis College, now St. Mary's University.[26][27]

Early military career

Eisenhower enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1911. His parents were against militarism, but did not object to his entering West Point because they supported his education. Eisenhower was a strong athlete and enjoyed notable successes in his competitive endeavors. In 1912, a spectacular Eisenhower touchdown won praise from the sports reporter of the New York Herald, and he even managed, with the help of a linebacker teammate, to tackle the legendary Jim Thorpe. In the very next week, however, his promising sports career ended when he incurred a severe knee injury.

Memorial To Eisenhower at West Point.

Eisenhower graduated in 1915. He served with the infantry until 1918 at various camps in Texas and Georgia. During World War I, Eisenhower became the #3 leader of the new tank corps and rose to temporary (Bvt.) Lieutenant Colonel in the National Army. He spent the war training tank crews in Pennsylvania and never saw combat. After the war, Eisenhower reverted to his regular rank of captain (and was promoted to major a few days later) before assuming duties at Camp Meade, Maryland, where he remained until 1922. His interest in tank warfare was strengthened by many conversations with George S. Patton and other senior tank leaders; however their ideas on tank warfare were strongly discouraged by superiors.[28]

Eisenhower became executive officer to General Fox Conner in the Panama Canal Zone, where he served until 1924. Under Conner's tutelage, he studied military history and theory (including Karl von Clausewitz's On War), and later cited Conner's enormous influence on his military thinking. In 1925–26, he attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,[29] and then served as a battalion commander at Fort Benning, Georgia until 1927.

The Eisenhowers by the Malecón in Manila, Philippines

During the late 1920s and early 1930s Eisenhower's career in the peacetime Army stagnated; many of his friends resigned for high paying business jobs. He was assigned to the American Battle Monuments Commission, directed by General John J. Pershing, then to the Army War College, and then served as executive officer to General George V. Mosely, Assistant Secretary of War, from 1929 to 1933. He then served as chief military aide to General Douglas MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff, until 1935, when he accompanied MacArthur to the Philippines, where he served as assistant military adviser to the Philippine government. It is sometimes said that this assignment provided valuable preparation for handling the challenging personalities of Winston Churchill, George S. Patton and Bernard Law Montgomery during World War II. Eisenhower was promoted to lieutenant colonel (in a non-brevet status) in 1936 after sixteen years as a major. He also learned to fly, although he was never rated as a military pilot. He made a solo flight over the Philippines in 1937.

Eisenhower returned to the U.S. in 1939 and held a series of staff positions in Washington, D.C., California and Texas. In June 1941, he was appointed Chief of Staff to General Walter Krueger, Commander of the 3rd Army, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He was promoted to brigadier general on October 3, 1941[30]. Although his administrative abilities had been noticed, on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II he had never held an active command and was far from being considered as a potential commander of major operations.

World War II

Eisenhower (seated, middle) with other US Army officers, 1945. From left to right, the front row includes Simpson, Patton, Spaatz, Eisenhower, Bradley, Hodges, and Gerow.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Eisenhower was assigned to the General Staff in Washington, where he served until June 1942 with responsibility for creating the major war plans to defeat Japan and Germany. He was appointed Deputy Chief in charge of Pacific Defenses under the Chief of War Plans Division, General Leonard T. Gerow, and then succeeded Gerow as Chief of the War Plans Division. Then he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of Operations Division under Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall. It was his close association with Marshall that finally brought Eisenhower to senior command positions. Marshall recognized his great organizational and administrative abilities.[31]

In 1942, Eisenhower was appointed Commanding General, European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA) and was based in London. In November, he was also appointed Supreme Commander Allied (Expeditionary) Force of the North African Theater of Operations (NATOUSA) through the new operational Headquarters A(E)FHQ. The word "expeditionary" was dropped soon after his appointment for security reasons. In February 1943, his authority was extended as commander of AFHQ across the Mediterranean basin to include the British 8th Army, commanded by General Bernard Law Montgomery. The 8th Army had advanced across the Western Desert from the east and was ready for the start of the Tunisia Campaign. Eisenhower gained his fourth star and gave up command of ETOUSA to be commander of NATOUSA. After the capitulation of Axis forces in North Africa, Eisenhower remained in command of the renamed Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), keeping the operational title and continued in command of NATOUSA redesignated MTOUSA. In this position he oversaw the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of the Italian mainland.

Eisenhower speaks with U.S. paratroopers of the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on the evening of June 5, 1944.

In December 1943, it was announced that Eisenhower would be Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. In January 1944, he resumed command of ETOUSA and the following month was officially designated as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), serving in a dual role until the end of hostilities in Europe in May 1945. In these positions he was charged with planning and carrying out the Allied assault on the coast of Normandy in June 1944 under the code name Operation Overlord, the liberation of western Europe and the invasion of Germany. A month after the Normandy D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, the invasion of southern France took place, and control of the forces which took part in the southern invasion passed from the AFHQ to the SHAEF. From then until the end of the War in Europe on May 8, 1945, Eisenhower through SHAEF had supreme command of all operational Allied forces2, and through his command of ETOUSA, administrative command of all U.S. forces, on the Western Front north of the Alps.

As recognition of his senior position in the Allied command, on December 20, 1944, he was promoted to General of the Army equivalent to the rank of Field Marshal in most European armies. 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. He dealt skillfully with difficult subordinates such as Omar Bradley and Patton, and allies such as Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and General Charles de Gaulle. He had fundamental disagreements with Churchill and Montgomery over questions of strategy, but these rarely upset his relationships with them. He negotiated with Soviet Marshal Zhukov[32], and such was the confidence that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had in him, he sometimes worked directly with Stalin, much to the chagrin of the British High Command who disliked being bypassed. During the advance towards Berlin, he was notified by General Bradley that Allied forces would suffer an estimated 100,000 casualties before taking the city. The Soviet Army sustained 80,000 casualties during the fighting in and around Berlin, the last large number of casualties suffered in the war against Nazism.[33][34]

It was never certain that Operation Overlord would succeed. The seriousness surrounding the entire decision, including the timing and the location of the Normandy invasion, might be summarized by a second shorter speech that Eisenhower wrote in advance, in case he needed it. Long after the successful landings on D-Day and the BBC broadcast of Eisenhower's brief speech concerning them, the never-used second speech was found in a shirt pocket by an aide. It read:

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.

Aftermath of World War II

Occupation of Germany

Eisenhower served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1945–48.

Eisenhower as General of the Army.
The Supreme Commanders on June 5, 1945 in Berlin: Bernard Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Georgy Zhukov and Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.

Following the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, Eisenhower was appointed Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone, based in Frankfurt am Main. Germany was divided into four Occupation Zones, one each for the U.S., Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. Upon full discovery of the death camps that were part of the Final Solution (Holocaust), he ordered camera crews to comprehensively document evidence of the atrocity for use in the war crimes tribunals. He made the decision to reclassify German prisoners of war (POWs) in U.S. custody as Disarmed Enemy Forces (DEFs), thus depriving them of the protection of the Geneva convention. As DEFs, their food rations could be lowered and they could be compelled to serve as unfree labor (see Rheinwiesenlager). Eisenhower was an early supporter of the Morgenthau Plan to permanently remove Germany's industrial capacity to wage future wars. In November 1945 he approved the distribution of 1000 free copies of Morgenthau's book Germany is Our Problem, which promoted and described the plan in detail, to American military officials in occupied Germany. Historian Stephen Ambrose draws the conclusion that, despite Eisenhower's later claims the act was not an endorsement of the Morgenthau plan, Eisenhower both approved of the plan and had previously given Morgenthau at least some of his ideas about how Germany should be treated.[35] He also incorporated officials from Morgenthau's Treasury into the army of occupation. These were commonly called "Morgenthau boys" for their zeal in interpreting the occupation directive JCS 1067, which had been heavily influenced by Morgenthau and his plan, as strictly as possible.[36]

Columbia University and NATO

In 1948, Eisenhower became President of Columbia University.[37] In December 1950, he took leave from the university when he became the Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and given operational command of NATO forces in Europe. Eisenhower retired from active service on May 31, 1952, and resumed the university presidency, which he held until January 1953.

1948 also was the year that Eisenhower's memoir, Crusade in Europe, was published.[38] It is widely regarded as one of the finest U.S. military memoirs.

Entry into politics

After his many wartime successes, Eisenhower was a great hero in the U.S. He was unusual for a military hero as he never saw the front line in his life. The nearest he came to being under enemy fire was in 1944 when a German fighter strafed the ground while he was inspecting troops in Normandy. Eisenhower dove for cover like everyone else and after the plane flew off, a British brigadier helped him up and seemed very relieved he was not hurt. When Eisenhower thanked him for his solicitude, the brigadier deflated him by explaining "my concern was that you should not be injured in my sector."[citation needed]

Not long after his return in 1952, a "Draft Eisenhower" movement in the Republican party persuaded him to declare his candidacy in the 1952 presidential election to counter the candidacy of non-interventionist Senator Robert Taft. (Eisenhower had been courted by both parties in 1948 and had declined to run then.) Eisenhower defeated Taft for the nomination but came to an agreement that Taft would stay out of foreign affairs while Eisenhower followed a conservative domestic policy. Eisenhower's campaign was noted for the simple but effective slogan "I Like Ike" and was a crusade against the Truman administration's policies regarding "Korea, Communism and Corruption."[39] Truman, formerly a friend of Eisenhower's, never forgave him for not denouncing Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1952 campaign.[39] Truman said he had previously thought Eisenhower would be a great President, but "he has betrayed almost everything I thought he stood for."[39]

Eisenhower promised during his campaign to go to Korea himself and end the war there. He also promised to maintain both a strong NATO commitment against Communism and a corruption-free frugal administration at home. He and his running mate Richard Nixon, whose daughter later married Eisenhower's grandson David, defeated Democrats Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman in a landslide, marking the first Republican return to the White House in 20 years,[39] with Eisenhower becoming the last President born in the 19th century. Eisenhower, at 62, was the oldest man to be elected President since James Buchanan in 1856.[40] Eisenhower was the only general to serve as President in the 20th century, and the most recent President to have never held elected office prior to the Presidency. The other Presidents not to have sought prior elected office were Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, William Taft, and Herbert Hoover.

Presidency 1953–1961

From left to right: Nina Kukharchuk, Mamie Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower at a state dinner in 1959
Francisco Franco and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Madrid in 1959
Wernher von Braun briefs President Eisenhower in front of a Saturn 1 vehicle at the Marshall Space Flight Center dedication on September 8, 1960.

Throughout his presidency, Eisenhower preached a doctrine of dynamic conservatism.[citation needed] He continued all the major New Deal programs still in operation, especially Social Security. He expanded its programs and rolled them into a new cabinet-level agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, while extending benefits to an additional ten million workers. His cabinet, consisting of several corporate executives and one labor leader, was dubbed by one journalist, "Eight millionaires and a plumber."[41]

Eisenhower won his second term in 1956 with 457 of 531 votes in the Electoral College, and 57.6% of the popular vote.

Interstate Highway System

One of Eisenhower's enduring achievements was championing and signing the bill that authorized the Interstate Highway System in 1956.[42] He justified the project through the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 as essential to American security during the Cold War. It was believed that large cities would be targets in a possible future war, and the highways were designed to evacuate them and allow the military to move in.

Eisenhower's goal to create improved highways was influenced by his involvement in the U.S. Army's 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy. He was assigned as an observer for the mission, which involved sending a convoy of U.S. Army vehicles coast to coast.[43][44] His subsequent experience with German autobahns during World War II convinced him of the benefits of an Interstate Highway System. Noticing the improved ability to move logistics throughout the country, he thought an Interstate Highway System in the U.S. would not only be beneficial for military operations, but be the building block for continued economic growth.[45]

Eisenhower Doctrine

After the Suez Crisis, the United States became the protector of most Western interests in the Middle East. As a result, Eisenhower proclaimed the "Eisenhower Doctrine" in January 1957. In relation to the Middle East, the U.S. would be "prepared to use armed force...[to counter] aggression from any country controlled by international communism." On July 15, 1958, he sent just under 15,000 soldiers to Lebanon (a combined force of Army and Marine Corps) as part of Operation Blue Bat, a non-combat peace keeping mission to stabilize the pro-Western government. They left in October of the same year.

In addition, Eisenhower explored the option of supporting the French colonial forces in Vietnam who were fighting an independence insurrection there. However, Chief of Staff Matthew Ridgway dissuaded the President from intervening by presenting a comprehensive estimate of the massive military deployment that would be necessary.

Civil rights

Eisenhower supported the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka U.S. Supreme Court decision, in which segregated ("separate but equal") schools were ruled to be unconstitutional. The very next day he told District of Columbia officials to make Washington a model for the rest of the country in integrating black and white public school children.[46][47] He proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. Although both Acts were weaker than subsequent civil rights legislation, they constituted the first significant civil rights acts since the 1870s. The "Little Rock Nine" incident of 1957 involved the refusal by Arkansas to honor a Federal court order to integrate the schools. Under Executive Order 10730, Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent Army troops to escort nine black students into an all-white public school. The integration did not occur without violence. Eisenhower and Arkansas governor Orval Faubus engaged in tense arguments.

Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Eisenhower appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Other courts

In addition to his five Supreme Court appointments, Eisenhower appointed 45 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 129 judges to the United States district courts.

States admitted to the Union

  • Alaska – January 3, 1959 49th state
  • Hawaii – August 21, 1959 50th state

End of presidency

Eisenhower with President Kennedy on retreat in 1962
Official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1961, Eisenhower became the first U.S. president to be "constitutionally forced" from office, having served the maximum two terms allowed by the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment was ratified in 1951, during Harry S. Truman's term, but it stipulated that Truman would not be affected by the amendment.

Eisenhower was also the first outgoing President to come under the protection of the Former Presidents Act (two then living former Presidents, Herbert Hoover and Harry S. Truman, left office before the Act was passed). Under the act, Eisenhower was entitled to receive a lifetime pension, state-provided staff and a Secret Service detail.[48]

In the 1960 election to choose his successor, Eisenhower endorsed his own Vice-President, Republican Richard Nixon against Democrat John F. Kennedy. He thoroughly supported Nixon over Kennedy, telling friends: "I will do almost anything to avoid turning my chair and country over to Kennedy."[39] However, he only campaigned for Nixon in the campaign's final days and even did Nixon some harm. When asked by reporters at the end of a televised press conference to list one of Nixon's policy ideas he had adopted, he joked, "If you give me a week, I might think of one." Kennedy's campaign used the quote in one of its campaign commercials. Nixon lost narrowly to Kennedy. Eisenhower, who was the oldest elected President in history at that time, thus handed power over to the youngest elected President.[39]

On January 17, 1961, Eisenhower gave his final televised Address to the Nation from the Oval Office.[49] In his farewell speech to the nation, Eisenhower raised the issue of the Cold War and role of the U.S. armed forces. He described the Cold War saying: "We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Because of legal issues related to holding a military rank while in a civilian office, Eisenhower 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 on the retired list was reactivated and Eisenhower again was commissioned a five-star general in the United States Army.[50]


Eisenhower retired to the place where he and Mamie had spent much of their post-war time, a working farm adjacent to the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1967, the Eisenhowers donated the farm to the National Park Service and since 1980 it has been open to the public as the Eisenhower National Historic Site[51]. In retirement, he did not completely retreat from political life; he spoke at the 1964 Republican National Convention and appeared with Barry Goldwater in a Republican campaign commercial from Gettysburg.[52]

Eisenhower leaving the White House after a visit with President Johnson in 1967

Death and funeral

Eisenhower died of congestive heart failure on March 28, 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. The following day his body was moved to the Washington National Cathedral's Bethlehem Chapel where he lay in repose for twenty-eight hours. On March 30, his body was brought by caisson to the United States Capitol where he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. On March 31, Eisenhower's body was returned to the National Cathedral where he was given an Episcopal Church funeral service. That evening, Eisenhower's body was placed onto a train en route to Abilene, Kansas. His body arrived on April 2, and was interred later that day in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Eisenhower is buried alongside his son Doud who died at age 3 in 1921, and his wife, Mamie, who died in 1979.[53]


After Eisenhower left office, his reputation declined and he was seen as having been a "do-nothing" President. This was partly because of the contrast between Eisenhower and his young activist successor, John F. Kennedy. He was criticized for his reluctance to support the civil rights movement to the degree which activists wanted, his handling of the 1960 U-2 incident and the international embarrassment,[54][55] the Soviet Union's perceived leadership in the Arms race and the Space race, and his failure publicly to oppose McCarthyism. In particular, Eisenhower was criticized for failing to defend George Marshall from attacks by Joseph McCarthy, though he privately deplored McCarthy's tactics and claims.[56] Such omissions were held against him during the liberal climate of the 1960s and 1970s. Since that time, however, Eisenhower's reputation has risen. In recent surveys of historians, Eisenhower often is ranked in the top 10 among all US Presidents.

Eisenhower was the first President to hire a White House Chief of Staff or "gatekeeper" - an idea that he borrowed from the United States Army, and that has been copied by every president after Lyndon Johnson. (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter initially tried to operate without a Chief of Staff but both eventually gave up the effort and hired one.)

Tributes and memorials

The bronze statue of Eisenhower that stands in the rotunda as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection[57]

Eisenhower's picture was on the dollar coin from 1971 to 1978.[58] Nearly 700 million of the copper-nickel clad coins were minted for general circulation, and far smaller numbers of uncirculated and proof issues (in both copper-nickel and 40% silver varieties) were produced for collectors.[58] He reappeared on a commemorative silver dollar issued in 1990, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, which with a double image of him showed his two roles, as both a soldier and a statesman.[58] The reverse of the commemorative depicted his home in Gettysburg.[58] As part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, Eisenhower will be featured on a gold-colored dollar coin in 2015.[59]

He is remembered for ending the Korean War. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the second Nimitz-class supercarrier, was named in his honor.

The Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290), a 30-mile (48 km) long expressway in the Chicago area, was renamed after him.

The British A4 class steam locomotive No. 4496 (renumbered 60008) Golden Shuttle was renamed Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1946. It is preserved at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Eisenhower College was a small, liberal arts college chartered in Seneca Falls, New York in 1965, with classes beginning in 1968. Financial problems forced the school to fall under the management of the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1979. Its last class graduated in 1983.

The Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California was named after the President in 1971.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, located at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia, was named in his honor.[60]

In February 1971, Dwight D. Eisenhower School of Freehold Township, New Jersey was officially opened.[61]

The Eisenhower Tunnel was completed in 1979; it conveys westbound traffic on I-70 through the Continental Divide, 60 miles (97 km) west of Denver, Colorado.

In 1983, The Eisenhower Institute was founded in Washington, D.C., as a policy institute to advance Eisenhower's intellectual and leadership legacies.

In 1989, U.S. Ambassador Charles Price and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dedicated a bronze statue of Eisenhower in Grosvenor Square, London. The statue is located in front of the current US Embassy, London and across from the former command center for the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War II, offices Eisenhower occupied during the war. [62]

In 1999, the United States Congress created the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which is in the planning stages of creating an enduring national memorial in Washington, D.C., across the street from the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

On May 7, 2002, the Old Executive Office Building was officially renamed the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. This building is part of the White House Complex, west of the West Wing. It currently houses a number of executive offices, including ones for the Vice President and his or her spouse.[63]

In 2009, Frank Gehry was commissioned to design a memorial to Eisenhower to stand near the National Mall.[64][65]

A county park in East Meadow, New York (Long Island) is named in his honor.[66] In addition, Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma near his birthplace of Denison is named in his honor; his actual birthplace is currently operated by the State of Texas as Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site.

Many public high schools and middle schools in the U.S. are named after Eisenhower.

There is a Mount Eisenhower in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

A tree overhanging the 17th hole that always gave him trouble at Augusta National, where he was a member, is named in his honor.

The Eisenhower Golf Club at the United States Air Force Academy, a 36-hole facility featuring the Blue and Silver courses and which is ranked #1 among DoD courses, is named in Eisenhower's honor.

Awards and decorations

United States awards

Stamp issued by the USPS in 1969 commemorating Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971–78 commemorating Eisenhower
Eisenhower receiving the Civitan International World Citizenship Award in 1966

In Order of Precedence

He was offered the Medal of Honor, but turned it down.[citation needed] He was also an honorary member of the Boy Scouts of America's Tom Kita Chara Lodge #96.

International awards

List of citations bestowed by other countries.[67]

Other honors

See also


Specific references:

  1. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-2057/Dwight-D-Eisenhower. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  2. ^ "Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower". Eisenhower Presidential Center. http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/quick_links/DDE_Mamie_general_bio.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower". whitehouse.gov. The White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/de34.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-06. 
  4. ^ Eisenhower, David (May 2007). "World War II and Its Meaning for Americans". www.pfri.org. Foreign Policy Research Institute. http://www.fpri.org/footnotes/129.200705.eisenhower.ww2meaningamericans.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-06. 
  5. ^ Dwight D. Eisenhower from the website of the National Portrait Gallery
  6. ^ "EISENHOWER - Name Meaning & Origin". The New York Times Company. geneaology.about.com. http://genealogy.about.com/library/surnames/e/bl_name-EISENHOWER.htm. Retrieved on 2008-09-06. 
  7. ^ Ambrose 1983, pp. 13–14
  8. ^ a b "Public School Products". Time. 1959-09-14. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,865992,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-09-06. 
  9. ^ Berger-Knorr, Lawrence. The Pennsylvania Relations of Dwight D. Eisenhower. p. 8. 
  10. ^ Smith, Gary Scott, (2006). - Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush. - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. - ISBN 0-19-530060-2. - Retrieved: 2008-05-24
  11. ^ The Watchtower-2002, p.159 | "They Are No Part of the World" Worship the Only True God | © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
  12. ^ Reasoning From the Scriptures –1985, p. 138 | “Neutrality” | © Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
  13. ^ Bergman, Jerry (December 1999). "Why President Eisenhower Hid His Jehovah's Witness Upbringing". JW Research Journal 6 (2). http://www.seanet.com/~raines/eisenhower.html. 
  14. ^ Jehovah Witnesses Abilene Congregation. - Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. - Eisenhower Presidential Center. - (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document). - Retrieved: 2008-05-23
  15. ^ Eisenhower Presidential Trivia. - (c/o Archive.org. - Archive Date: 2007-06-12). - Eisenhower Presidential Center. - Retrieved: 2008-05-24
  16. ^ "Gettysburg Presbyterian Church". Gettysburg. http://www.gettysburg.com/communit/gpc.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  17. ^ Gibbs, Nancy; and Michael Duffy. - "Billy Graham, Pastor In Chief". - TIME. - August 9, 2007. - Retrieved: 2008-06-07
  18. ^ President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953. - Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. - U.S. Senate.
  19. ^ President Dwight David Eisenhower, 1957. - Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. - U.S. Senate.
  20. ^ "Eisenhower: Soldier of Peace". TIME. 1969-04-04. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,839998-3,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  21. ^ a b "Biography: Dwight David Eisenhower". Eisenhower Foundation. http://www.dwightdeisenhower.com/biodde.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  22. ^ "Dwight David Eisenhower". Internet Public Library. http://www.ipl.org/div/potus/ddeisenhower.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  23. ^ a b "President Dwight D. Eisenhower Baseball Related Quotations". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/prz_qde.shtml. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  24. ^ Botelho, Greg (1912-07-15). "Roller-coaster life of Indian icon, sports' first star". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/07/09/jim.thorpe/. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  25. ^ "Ike and the Team". Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/Ike-and-team.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  26. ^ "Eisenhower BOQ 1915". Fort Sam Houston. http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil/fshmuse/tour8.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-24. 
  27. ^ "Lt Eisenhower and Football Team". Fort Sam Houston. http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil/fshmuse/eisen_football.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-24. 
  28. ^ Sixsmith 1973, p. 6
  29. ^ Bender, Mark C. (1990). "Watershed at Leavenworth". U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/bender/bender.asp. Retrieved on 2008-09-06. 
  30. ^ The Eisenhowers: The General
  31. ^ Hakim, Joy (1995). A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509514-6. 
  32. ^ Memoir of Eisenhower's translator for the Potsdam Conference meetings with Zhukov Paul P. Roudakoff (1955-07-22). "Ike and Zhukov". Collier's Magazine. 
  33. ^ D'Este 2002, pp. 694–96
  34. ^ Ambrose, Stephen E. (2000). Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe. 
  35. ^ Ambrose, Stephen (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect (1893–1952). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 422. 
  36. ^ Petrov, Vladimir (1967). Money and conquest; allied occupation currencies in World War II.. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 228–229. 
  37. ^ Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower, New York, Touchstone Books, 1990, pp 234–235, ISBN 0-671-70107-X
  38. ^ Crusade in Europe, Doubleday; 1st edition (1948), 559 pages, ISBN 1-125-30091-4
  39. ^ a b c d e f Gibbs, Nancy (November 10, 2008). "When New President Meets Old, It's Not Always Pretty". TIME. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1857862,00.html. 
  40. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 7. ISBN 0465041957. 
  41. ^ "The Flavor of the New". Time. 1969-01-24. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,900543-1,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  42. ^ "The cracks are showing". The Economist. 2008-06-26. http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8447241. Retrieved on 2008-10-23. 
  43. ^ "The Last Week - The Road to War". USS Washington (BB-56). http://www.usswashington.com/dl30au39h1.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  44. ^ "About the Author". USS Washington (BB-56). http://usswashington.com/worldwar2plus55/index.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  45. ^ "“Interstate Highway System”". Eisenhower Presidential Center. http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/dl/InterstateHighways/InterstateHighwaysdocuments.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  46. ^ Eisenhower 1963, p. 230
  47. ^ Parmet 1972, pp. 438–439
  48. ^ "Former Presidents Act". National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.archives.gov/about/laws/former-presidents.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  49. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower Farewell Address". USA Presidents. http://www.usa-presidents.info/speeches/eisenhower-farewell.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  50. ^ Eisenhower Archives. Post Presidential Years. Quote: "President Kennedy reactivated his commission as a five star general in the United States Army. With the exception of George Washington, Eisenhower is the only United States President with military service to reenter the Armed Forces after leaving the office of President."
  51. ^ Eisenhower National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)
  52. ^ "Johnson vs. Goldwater". The Living Room Candidate. http://livingroomcandidate.movingimage.us/election/index.php?nav_action=election&nav_subaction=overview&campaign_id=168. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  53. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower". Eisenhower Presidential Center. http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/quick_links/funeral/DDE_funeral.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  54. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 27. ISBN 0465041957. 
  55. ^ Walsh, Kenneth T. (2008-06-06). "Presidential Lies and Deceptions". US News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2008/06/06/presidential-lies-and-deceptions.html. 
  56. ^ "Presidential Politics". Public Broadcasting Service. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/34_eisenhower/eisenhower_politics.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  57. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower". www.aoc.gov. Architect of the Capitol. http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/nsh/eisenhower.cfm. Retrieved on November 29, 2008. 
  58. ^ a b c d Yeoman, R.S. (2007). Kenneth Bressett. ed. 2008 Guide Book of United States Coins (61st ed.). Atlanta: Whitman Publishing. pp. 218, 294. ISBN 0794822673. 
  59. ^ "Presidential Dollar Coin Release Schedule". United States Mint. http://usmint.gov/mint_programs/$1coin/index.cfm?action=schedule. Retrieved on 2008-05-24. 
  60. ^ "History of Eisenhower Army Medical Center". Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20070203232831/http://www.ddeamc.amedd.army.mil/Visitor/history.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  61. ^ "Eisenhower Middle School History". Freehold Township Elementary and Middle Schools. http://www.freeholdtwp.k12.nj.us/eisenhower/history.htm. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  62. ^ "Statue of President Eisenhower in Grosvenor Square". www.usembassy.org.uk. US Embassy. http://www.usembassy.org.uk/grsvnrsq/eisen.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  63. ^ The White House. Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Construction Chronology & Historical Events for the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
  64. ^ "Frank Gehry to design Eisenhower Memorial". bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. April 1, 2009. http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2009/03/30/daily41.html. Retrieved on 2009-04-03. 
  65. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline (2009-04-02). "Architect Gehry Gets Design Gig For Ike Memorial". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/01/AR2009040101880.html. 
  66. ^ "Eisenhower Park". Nassau County, New York. http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Parks/WhereToGo/active/eisenhower.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  67. ^ "Eisenhower Decorations and Awards". Eisenhower Presidential Center. http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/quick_links/military/decorations_awards_medals/Eisenhower_decorations_awards.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-23. 
  68. ^ Eisenhower, John S. D.. Allies. 
  69. ^ Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. pp. 97. 

General references:

  • Ambrose, Stephen (1983), Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect (1893–1952), New York: Simon & Schuster .
  • D'Este, Carlo (2002), Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life .
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (1963), Mandate for Change, 1953–1956 .
  • Parmet, Herbert S. (1972), Eisenhower and the American Crusades .
  • Sixsmith, E. K. G. (1973), Eisenhower, His Life and Campaigns .

Further reading

Military career

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890–1952 (1983);'
  • Bacque, James. Other Losses (2d. rev. ed., 1999)
  • Eisenhower, David. Eisenhower at War 1943–1945 (1986), detailed study by his grandson
  • Irish, Kerry E. "Apt Pupil: Dwight Eisenhower and the 1930 Industrial Mobilization Plan", The Journal of Military History 70.1 (2006) 31–61 online in Project Muse.
  • Pogue, Forrest C. The Supreme Command (1996) official Army history of SHAEF
  • Weigley, Russell. Eisenhower's Lieutenants. Indiana University Press, 1981. Ike's dealings with his key generals in WW2

Civilian career

  • Albertson, Dean, ed. Eisenhower as President (1963).
  • Alexander, Charles C. Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952–1961 (1975).
  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890–1952 (1983); Eisenhower. The President (1984); one volume edition titled Eisenhower: Soldier and President (2003). Standard biography.
  • Bowie, Robert R. and Richard H. Immerman; Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy, Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Damms, Richard V. The Eisenhower Presidency, 1953–1961 (2002).
  • David Paul T. (ed.), Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952. 5 vols., Johns Hopkins Press, 1954.
  • Divine, Robert A. Eisenhower and the Cold War (1981).
  • Greenstein, Fred I. The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader (1991).
  • Harris, Douglas B. "Dwight Eisenhower and the New Deal: The Politics of Preemption" Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27, 1997.
  • Harris, Seymour E. The Economics of the Political Parties, with Special Attention to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy (1962).
  • Krieg, Joann P. ed. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soldier, President, Statesman (1987). 24 essays by scholars.
  • McAuliffe, Mary S. "Eisenhower, the President", Journal of American History 68 (1981), pp. 625–632.
  • Medhurst, Martin J. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Strategic Communicator Greenwood Press, 1993.
  • Pach, Chester J. and Elmo Richardson. Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1991). Standard scholarly survey.

Primary sources

  • Boyle, Peter G., ed. The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1953–1955 University of North Carolina Press, 1990.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe (1948), his war memoirs.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. The White House Years: Waging Peace 1956-1961, Doubleday and Co., 1965.
  • Eisenhower Papers 21 volume scholarly edition; complete for 1940–1961.
  • Summersby, Kay. Eisenhower was my boss (1948) New York: Prentice Hall; (1949) Dell paperback.

External links

Find more about Dwight D. Eisenhower on Wikipedia's sister projects:
Definitions from Wiktionary

Textbooks from Wikibooks
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews

Learning resources from Wikiversity
Military offices
Preceded by
Maj. Gen. James E. Chaney
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
1942 – 1943
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews
Preceded by
Gen. Jacob L. Devers
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
1944 – 1945
Succeeded by
Gen. Joseph T. McNarney
New title Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany
Succeeded by
Gen. George S. Patton
Preceded by
Gen. George Marshall
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1945 – 1948
Succeeded by
Gen. Omar Bradley
New title Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
1949 – 1952
Succeeded by
Gen. Matthew Ridgway
Academic offices
Preceded by
Frank D. Fackenthal¹
President of Columbia University
1948 – 1953
Succeeded by
Grayson L. Kirk
Political offices
Preceded by
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
Succeeded by
John F. Kennedy
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Dewey
Republican Party presidential candidate
1952, 1956
Succeeded by
Richard Nixon
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Herbert Hoover
People who have lain in state or honor
in the United States Capitol rotunda

March 30, 1969 – March 31, 1969
Succeeded by
Everett Dirksen
Notes and references
1. www.encyclopedia.com
NAME Eisenhower, Dwight David
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Ike (common referent)
SHORT DESCRIPTION United States general and President
DATE OF BIRTH October 14, 1890(1890-10-14)
PLACE OF BIRTH Denison, Texas
DATE OF DEATH March 28, 1969
PLACE OF DEATH Washington, D.C.

Personal tools