Eisenhower was one of two Presidents born in Texas. He was born in Denison, Texas on October 14, 1890. He was the first President born in Texas. However, he lived in Abilene, Kansas most of his life.
He was the last president to be born in the nineteenth century.
Dwight Eisenhower was a Presbyterian.
He was admitted to West Point. When he went to West Point it was first time he ever traveled east of the Mississippi River
He played football in college and was injured trying to tackle Jim Thorpe. He was on West Point's team but was forced to quit the team due to a knee injury.
After he hurt his knee he became a cheer leader for the football team. He studied football so much that the coach asked him to coach the junior varsity team. His team won most of their games.
His class at West Point was referred to as "the class the stars fell on." Of the 164 students in his class 59 rose to the rank of brigadier general or higher, Three men in his class reached the rank of full general and two the rank of general of the army.
Even though he was an athlete he smoked a lot of cigarettes. He smoked four packs of cigarettes a day. The doctors told him to cut back. So he quit smoking completely.
Dwight was 5' 10" tall and weighed 180 pounds.
In October 1915, he met Mamie Geneva Doud at the Sam Houston Army base. He proposed to her on Valentine's Day, 1916.
They were married on July 1, 1916. Mamie was only 19 and Ike was twenty-five. Eisenhower was very disappointed that he was not sent to France during World I.
He spent nearly 9 years working for General McCarther. He also worked with General Marshall and General Perishing. All of these men are famous American Generals.
General Eisenhower was in charge of the D-Day invasion during World War II. He was made a 5-star general after the war.
When Eisenhower returned to the United States after WWII he gave a speech to Congress. He received the a standing ovation that was the longest ovation ever given by Congress.
He served as President of Columbia University. He didn't like the job, because it took to much discussion to get anything done.
In 1947, Truman offered to run for vice president if Eisenhower would run for president. Eisenhower turned him down because he had always been a Republican. Truman was a Democrat. Both the Democrats and the Republicans asked Eisenhower to run for President.
Dwight Eisenhower was the first Presidential nominee to travel by airplane while campaigning.
For his inauguration on January 20, 1953, he had thirty-six relatives attend the event. Truman, unknown to Ike, ordered Ike's son home from the Korean War for the inauguration. His son did return to the war and was on the front lines.
He seldom wore a suit more than twice.
Ike heard that Truman and his wife Bess were going to take the train home to Missouri after the ceremony. He offered to have them fly home on the presidential plane. Truman took the train.
Eisenhower was the first president who was a licensed pilot, and he initiated the use of Air Force One. (Both George H. and George W. were pilots also.)
President Eisenhower signed the bill creating NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Dwight Eisenhower was the only President who served in WWI and WWII.
President Eisenhower belonged to the Republican Party.
Dwight Eisenhower was the first President to serve under a constitutionally limit to the presidential term of eight years.(22nd Amendment.)
While he was campaigning for President he said he would visit Korea. The U.S. was involved in Korean War at that time. He kept his pledge and went to the front lines to visit with the troops and see what the conditions were like. At with the men and talked to soldiers fighting the war. Bringing the Korean War to an end after six months in office was one or his greatest successes.
Dwight Eisenhower was the first president to be baptized after taking office.
Eisenhower was the only bald president in the 21st century.
Ike was the first President over 49 and later 50 states. Alaska and Hawaii were admitted during his time in office.
A special golf putting green was installed on the White House lawn for him to practice his golf shots. He loved to play golf and once played at Augusta with Bobby Jones and famous golfer. In 1961, he had a whole in one.
Besides golf, he enjoyed playing bridge and fly fishing.
Ike's favorite books were Western action stories.
He enjoyed cooking. You can view his family cookbook online.
When the Eisenhower bought a farm in Gettysburg in 1950, it was the first permanent home they owned.
Dwight Eisenhower was elected President in 1952 and 1956. Dwight Eisenhower's Vice President was Richard Nixon (1953-1961).
There were several pressing issues at this time:
- The Korean War
- Senator McCarthy's on going witch hunt for communist in the government.
- The cold war with Russia/Soviet Union.
- Reducing government spending
- Providing aid to Europe to rebuild after the war.
- Civil Rights
- The Middle East
Eisenhower wrote a book that earned $475,00, the Crusade in Europe.
Dwight Eisenhower was the first President to have his news conference recorded by both newsreels and television. (January 19, 1955)
He held more news conferences (193) than any other president.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite. It was called Sputnik. It sent out a "beeb" via a radio signal. I remember listening to the beep on my friends "ham radio." Eisenhower was critiqued for letting the Russians beat us into space.
In April of 1958, Eisenhower asked congress to establish the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Eisenhower was the first president to have three successive Congresses controlled by the opposition party. (die The Democrats held the majority in the House and Senate.)
He was the first President to fly in a helicopter. He was also the first president to have an exclusive jet. His first flight in a jet airplane was in 1959. He flew to Europe aboard "Air Force One."
In 1971, a dollar coin was minted showing Eisenhower on the front and the moon landing on the back.
Dwight had a Wiemaraners named Heidi and Spunky.
On June 29, 1956, Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act which helped build highways stretching the length and width of our country. No other country has a highway system that can match the ones in the United States.
Ike was the first President to submerged in an atomic-powered submarine. (Sept. 26, 1957)
In 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and Dwight Eisenhower opened the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Both Truman and Eisenhower had fought to have the seaway controlled by both Canada and the United States.
He suffered at least two heart attacks while he was president, but recovered quickly.
President Eisenhower signed the first Civil Rights legislation in 1960. The bill addressed the rights of black Americans to vote. In 1957+ he had sent troops to Arkansas to protect black students trying to enroll in Little Rock High School.
Dwight Eisenhower liked to eat TV dinners while watching westerns.
He was the first President to appear on color television.
Eisenhower was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1944 and 1959.
At the time of his retirement he was the oldest man to be president in the history of the US. Reagan later became the oldest president.
When he retired there were several things he didn't know how to do. Since 1940, the people that worked for him took care of all of his needs so he didn't have to do some task. For example he didn't know how to make a phone call. He would just tell and aid to get someone on the line. The last time he made a call (in the early 40's) he picked up the phone and told them the number he wanted. He didn't know what to do when he heard a dial tone.
He also didn't know how to mix frozen orange juice, he forgot how to type, buy tickets, pay tolls on the highway, or adjust a television.
He enjoyed painting pictures but wasn't able to draw, so he had someone else draw the pictures he painted. Winston Churchill the Prime Minister of England got him started in painting.
He was the first retired president to have Secret Service Agents assigned to him. He was happy that this service was expanded to cover his wife when he died.
Ike had several heart attacks and had been in the hospital for some time. His last words were "I want to go; God take me."
Dwight Eisenhower died in Washington, D.C. on March 28, 1969. He as 78.
His funeral on March 30, brought 75 world leaders to Washington. The eulogy was delivered by President Richard Nixon
"I just don't believe we should amend ...the Constitution every time we think a new law ought to be passed." May 13, 1959; Press Conference.
"Well the fact is, of course, I've watch Dick (Nixon) a long time, and he just hasn't grown. So I just haven't honestly been able to believe that he is presidential timber." Eisenhower in discussing if Nixon should run for Vice President during Ike's second term.