Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Dwight Eisenhower was born in Texas and raised in Kansas. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point.
• After Pearl Harbor, Gen. George C. Marshall called Eisenhower to Washington for a war plans assignment. He commanded the Allied Forces landing in North Africa in November 1942; on D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France.
• After the war, he became president of Columbia University, then took leave to assume supreme command over the new NATO forces being assembled in 1951.
• Republican emissaries to his headquarters near Paris persuaded him to run for president in 1952. “I Like Ike” was an irresistible slogan; Eisenhower won a sweeping victory.
How he defined the office
• Eisenhower worked incessantly during his two terms to ease the tensions of the Cold War.
• In domestic policy the president pursued a middle course, continuing most of the New Deal and Fair Deal programs, emphasizing a balanced budget.
Successes and failures
• In 1953, the signing of a truce brought an armed peace along the border of South Korea. The death of Russian dictator Josef Stalin the same year caused shifts in relations with Russia. New Soviet leaders consented to a peace treaty neutralizing Austria.
• Meanwhile, both Russia and the United States had developed hydrogen bombs. With the threat of such destructive force hanging over the world, Eisenhower, with the leaders of the British, French and Russian governments, met at Geneva in July 1955.
• In September 1955, Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. After seven weeks he left the hospital, and in February 1956 doctors reported his recovery. In November that year he was elected for his second term.
• As desegregation of schools began, he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to assure compliance with the orders of a federal court; he also ordered the complete desegregation of the Armed Forces.
• Eisenhower concentrated on maintaining world peace. He watched with pleasure the development of his “atoms for peace” program — the loan of American uranium to “have not” nations for peaceful purposes.
• On desegregation: “There must be no second-class citizens in this country.”