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President Eisenhower
34th U.S. President
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961, and the last U.S. President to have been born in the 19th century. Wikipedia
Born: October 14, 1890, Denison, TX
Died: March 28, 1969, Washington, D.C.
Predecessor: Harry S. Truman
Successor: John F. Kennedy
As supreme commander of Allied forces in Western Europe during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower led the massive invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe that began on D-Day (June 6, 1944). In 1952, leading Republicans convinced Eisenhower (then in command of NATO forces in Europe) to run for president; he won a convincing victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson and would serve two terms in the White House (1953-1961). During his presidency, Eisenhower managed Cold War-era tensions with the Soviet Union under the looming threat of nuclear weapons, ended the war in Korea in 1953 and authorized some covert anti-communist operations by the CIA around the world. On the home front, where America was enjoying a period of relative prosperity, Eisenhower strengthened Social Security, created the massive new Interstate Highway System and maneuvered behind the scenes to discredit the rabid anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy. Though popular throughout his administration, he faltered in the protection of civil rights for African-Americans by failing to enforce fully the Supreme Court’s mandate for the desegregation of schools in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
Born in Denison, Texas, on October 14, 1890, Dwight David Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, Kansas, as the third of seven sons in a poor family. To the distress of his mother, a devout Mennonite, and pacifist, young Ike (as he was known) won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and graduated in the middle of his class in 1915. While stationed as a second lieutenant in San Antonio, Texas, Eisenhower met Mamie Geneva Doud. The couple married in 1916 and had two sons, Doud Dwight (who died of scarlet fever as a small child) and John. Made a full general in early 1943, Eisenhower was appointed the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in December of that year and given the responsibility of spearheading the planned Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. On D-Day (June 6, 1944), more than 150,000 Allied forces crossed the English Channel and stormed the beaches of Normandy; the invasion led to the liberation of Paris on August 25 and turned the tide of the war in Europe decisively in the Allied direction. Having risen from lieutenant colonel in the Philippines to supreme commander of the victorious forces in Europe in only five years, Eisenhower returned home to a hero’s welcome in 1945 to serve as chief of staff of the U.S. Army. n 1952, with Truman’s popularity sagging during the ongoing war in Korea, leading Republicans approached Eisenhower and persuaded him to make a run for president. After mixed results in primary elections against the Republican front-runner, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, Eisenhower resigned his commission in the Army and returned from his NATO base in Paris in June 1952. At the party’s national convention that July, he won the Republican nomination on the first ballot. Under the slogan “I Like Ike” and with Senator Richard M. Nixon of California as his running mate, Eisenhower then defeated Adlai Stevenson to become the 34th president of the United States. (Eisenhower would beat Stevenson again four years later in a landslide to win reelection, despite health concerns after suffering a heart attack in 1955.) While weathering criticism from both left and right, Eisenhower enjoyed high approval ratings throughout his administration. After leaving office in January 1961, he retired to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He worked largely on his memoirs, and would publish several books over the following years. He died on March 28, 1969, after a long illness