34. Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Periodic Table of the Presidents - Dwight D. Eisenhower  Dwight D. Eisenhower Official Portrait - The Periodic Table of the Presidents


“Ike”


Presidential Basics

  • Full name: Dwight David Eisenhower
  • Years in office: 1953–1961
  • Political party: Republican
  • Vice president: Richard Nixon
  • Age at inauguration: 62
  • Nicknames: “Ike”

Random Trivia

  • No combat: Eisenhower never saw active combat.  In WWI he served in training roles.  By WWII he had risen in the ranks to a top general.  He would serve as commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.

Birth & Death

  • Birthday: October 14, 1890
  • Birthplace: Denison, Texas
  • Death: March 28, 1969
  • Place of death: Washington, D.C.
  • Place of burial: Abilene, Kansas
  • Last words: “I want to go, God take me.”

Family

  • Father: David Jacob Eisenhower (1863–1942); Mechanic
  • Mother: Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower (1862–1946)
  • Wife: Mamie Geneva Doud (1896 – 1979)
  • Marriage: July 1, 1916 in Colorado
  • Kids: Two 
    • Doud Dwight (1917–1921)
    • John Sheldon (1922–)
  • Home: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Other Facts

  • Height: 5’10″
  • Eye color: Blue
  • Ancestry: Swiss-German
  • Religion: Presbyterian
  • Born in a log cabin: No
  • Owned enslaved people: No
  • Freemason: No

Education

  • Early education: Public high school
  • College degree: Yes
  • College: U.S. Military Academy, West Point (1915)

Career

  • Military Service: Yes
  • Lawyer: No
  • Officer in U.S. Army (1916–)
  • Lieutenant General, Commander-in-Chief of Allied Expeditionary Forces in North Africa (1942)
  • Commanding General of Allied Powers in Europe (1943–1945)
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (1945–1948)
  • President of Columbia University (1948–1950)
  • Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in Europe (1950–1952)
  • President (1953–1961)
  • Writer

Writings

  • Crusade in Europe
  • The White House Years: Mandate for Change, Waging Peace
  • At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends

Elections

In this first election featuring t.v. commercials for campaigning, General Eisenhower faced Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson.

Ike’s good nature and conversational style was well-received by the voters.  The American people seemingly agreed to the famous slogan, “I Like Ike.”   And, his war record made him a valuable asset for the ongoing Cold War.

It wasn’t all easy for Ike, though.  Eisenhower’s vice presidential pick, Richard Nixon, faced accusations of misusing campaign funds.  Luckily, in a televised speech, Nixon was able to regain the faith of voters, and keep the family dog, Checkers.

In the election of 1956, the question was not if Ike could win a second term – the incumbent was wildly popular.  The question was if the president would run for a second term at all.  President Eisenhower had just suffered a heart attack, and had only recently begun a regular work day and lifestyle.

But Eisenhower did accept the Republican nomination, and again faced Adlai Stevenson of Illinois.  During the election, the volatility of the Cold War surfaced in the Suez Canal crisis and a Soviet invasion of Hungary.  President Eisenhower’s handling of these crises led to even more voter support.  He again defeated Stevenson and held the White House for four more years.

 


Campaign Poster

 

Vote for Peace, Vote for Prosperity, Vote for Ike, lithograph, c. 1956

(Library of Congress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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