Dwight D. Eisenhower

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States. He served from 1953-1961. He was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. He attended West Point Military Academy, graduating in 1915.

Eisenhower was one of the greatest military commanders in American history. As a military aide to General John Pershing, and then aiding General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines, Eisenhower was able to prove his abilities. Eisenhower received his first start with a promotion to brigadier general right before World War II.

After World War II started, Eisenhower took a position as a planning officer in Washington D.C. He performed so well that he quickly got promotions and important assignments. He was appointed the Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe in 1943. In just five years, he had come from a lieutenant colonel (Philippines) to the commander of the greatest invasion group in history.

When Eisenhower came back home in 1945, he served as the Army’s Chief of Staff from 1945-1948. Eisenhower was loved by the American people and was considered a hero. With all the popularity of Eisenhower, President Truman, a Democrat, approached Eisenhower and proposed to Eisenhower that they run together in 1948. But Eisenhower refused not seeing himself as a Democrat and not wanting to be second to Truman.

Eisenhower instead took a position as the President of Columbia University from 1948-1950. After the Korean War broke out, he became the Supreme Commander of NATO forces in1951-52. In 1952, Eisenhower declared he was a Republican. He returned home to win the presidential nomination for the Republican Party. He chose Richard Nixon as his running mate.

The American people seemed enthralled with Eisenhower. He had simple, plain communication skills, a great smile and a real confidence. Eisenhower easily defeated Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate, both in 1952 and in 1956.

Eisenhower married Mary “Mamie” Geneva Doud on July 1, 1916. They had two children together, Doud, who died at the age of four and John. Eisenhower was a staunch but moderate Republican and was known by his nickname “Ike”.

Eisenhower’s moderate Republican stances worked to his advantage while in the White House. He was able to get much of his legislative agenda through the Congress even though the Democrats had the majority of seats in 6 of the 8 years that Eisenhower was President. He was able to work on Social Security and pass the Interstate Highway system in 1956.

Eisenhower also had some failures as well. He signed civil rights bills but he disliked dealing with racial issues. He refused to endorse the Supreme Court’s ruling in 1954 that stated that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Eisenhower failed to use his position to force compliance with the decision.

In Little Rock Arkansas, mobs were trying to block desegregation at Central High School, Eisenhower did send in federal troops. Eisenhower sent in the troops because he had an obligation to uphold the constitution and not because he supported integration.

Eisenhower also received criticism for not publicly confronting Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy abused the civil liberties of those he accused of anti-American activities. Eisenhower did work behind closed doors which eventually was effective, but took more time and people assumed that Eisenhower would not stand up against McCarthy.

Shortly after Eisenhower took office he agreed to end the three years of fighting that was taking place in Korea. During his administration he sends troops into Lebanon in 1958. The defense spending during his administration continued to remain high.

Eisenhower focused on the Cold War. He was devoted to keeping up with new technology especially with nuclear technology. Eisenhower also initiated many covert activities with the Central Intelligence Agency.

During the Eisenhower administration, the CIA was able to help bring down the governments of Iran and Guatemala. However, in 1958, they failed when intervening in Indonesia. Back in 1954, Eisenhower avoided war in Indochina by not authorizing an air strike to rescue French soldiers at the battle of Dienbienphu. Later after the French granted independence to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Eisenhower was able to use his influence to create a non-Communist government in South Vietnam.

Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C. and is buried in Abilene, Kansas. Eisenhower who often gave garbled speeches really was a strong leader and considered a “great” President even with his limitations especially with regard to civil rights.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Facts

  • President No.: 34th
  • When did Dwight D. Eisenhower serve? 1953-1961
  • What was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s party? Republican
  • Where was Dwight D. Eisenhower from? New York
  • Who was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s wife? Mamie Eisenhower
  • When was Dwight D. Eisenhower born? October 14, 1890
  • When did Dwight D. Eisenhower die? March 28, 1969
  • Which college did Dwight D. Eisenhower attend? United States Military Academy, West Point, Command and General Staff School, Army War College
  • What was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Jobs Before President? Army Officer, Five Star General in World War II, Supreme Allied Commander
  • What was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s height? 5 feet, 10.5 inches
  • What was the population when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president? 151,325,798
  • What hobbies did Dwight D. Eisenhower have? Bridge, fishing, golf, painting
  • What transportation did Dwight D. Eisenhower use? Helicopter, airplane, car
  • How did Dwight D. Eisenhower communicate? Telephone, typed letter

Speeches

Dwight D. Eisenhower State of the Union Addresses

Dwight D. Eisenhower Speeches


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