Dwight D. Eisenhower –
In 1945 he was made U.S. Army chief of staff. He became the very first Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1951. In 1952 he was elected U.S. president. He served two terms before retiring to Gettysburg in 1961.
Dwight was the third of his parents’ seven sons. In Denison, the family lived in a small house close to the railroad tracks while David cleaned train engines to get an income. When Dwight was a year plus a half old, his family moved back to Abilene so David could take a better job at his brother in law’s creamery. In Abilene, Dwight’s 10-month old brother Paul died of diphtheria when Dwight was 4 years old. Despite the disaster, Dwight formed joyful childhood memories in Abilene that he’d cherish throughout his life.
After Eisenhower graduated from high school in 1909, he joined his dad and uncle in the Belle Springs Creamery while at the same time moonlighting as a fireman. Eisenhower used the cash he brought in to pay his smaller brother Edgar’s tuition in the University of Michigan. The brothers had a deal: After a couple of years, they had change locations with Edgar subsequently working to support Eisenhower’s school instruction. Fortunately for Edgar, he never had to meet his end of the offer.
In 1911, Dwight landed an appointment in the United States Military Academy in West Point, Ny, where presence was free of charge. Once again he was a star on the football field, until a number of knee injuries forced him to quit playing. After graduation, Eisenhower was stationed in Texas, where he met and began dating 18-year old Mamie Geneva Doud from Denver, Colorado. The couple married nine months later, on July 1, 1916. Eisenhower was promoted to first lieutenant on his wedding.
For the initial couple of years of Eisenhower’s military career, he and Mamie transferred from place to post throughout Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The exact same year, America entered WWI. Although Eisenhower expected to be commissioned abroad, he was instead made to run a tank training facility at Camp Colt in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Through the war and later, Eisenhower continued to climb through the rankings. By 1920, he was promoted to leading, after having volunteered for the Tank Corps, in the War Department’s first transcontinental motor convoy, the last year.
In 1921, disaster hit at home, when the Eisenhowers’ firstborn son, Doud Dwight, died of scarlet fever in the age of 3. Mamie gave birth to another son, John Sheldon Doud, in 1922. In 1924, at Conner’s urging, Eisenhower applied to the Army’s esteemed graduate school, the Command and General Staff School at Garrison Leavenworth, Kansas, and was taken. He graduated first in his class of 245 in 1926, using a firm reputation for his military art. After completing his tour in 1929, Eisenhower was named chief military aide under General Douglas MacArthur. Eisenhower returned to America in early 1940.
Within the following two years he was stationed in California and Washington state. In 1941, following a transport to Fort Sam Houston, Eisenhower became chief of staff for the Third Army. Eisenhower was shortly promoted to brigadier general because of his leadership of the Louisiana Maneuvers. In 1942, he was promoted to major general. Just months after, he became commander in chief of the Allied Forces and directed Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa.
On D Day, June 6, 1944, Eisenhower commanded the Allied forces in the Normandy invasion. In December of this year he was promoted to five star status. Eisenhower subsequently returned home to Abilene and received a hero’s welcome. Several months after, he was named U.S. Army chief of staff. While in Paris with NATO, Eisenhower was motivated by Republican emissaries to run for president of America.
In 1952 Eisenhower retired from active service and returned to Abilene to declare his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination. On November 4, 1952, after winning the election with a landslide, Eisenhower was elected the United States’ 34th president. His national policy picked up where Roosevelt’s New Deal and Fair Deal programs left off. In foreign policy, Eisenhower made reducing Cold War tensions through military dialogue a primary focus of his management.
In 1953 he orchestrated an armistice that brought peace to South Korea’s edge. Also that year, Eisenhower made his famous “Atoms for Peace” address in the United Nations General Assembly. America and Russia had both recently developed atomic bombs, as well as the address encouraged utilizing atomic energy to peaceful uses, as opposed to using it for weapons and war. In 1955, Eisenhower met with Russian, British and French leaders at Geneva to further quell the danger of atomic war.
In 1956 Eisenhower was a reelected to a second term, winning by an even greater margin than in his first election, regardless of the truth that he’d just recently recovered from a heart attack. Within the span of his second period, Eisenhower continued to encourage his Atoms for Peace plan. In his second period, he also grappled with disasters in Lebanon as well as the Suez.
Achievements during his two periods contain creating the U.S. Information Agency, and establishing Alaska and Hawaii as states. Eisenhower also supported the development of the Interstate Highway System during his time in office. His other distinctions include signing the 1957 Civil Rights Act and setting up a long-lasting Civil Rights Commission. Eisenhower was also accountable for signing the bill to form the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Poised to leave office in January of 1961, Eisenhower gave a televised farewell address where he warned the country from the risks of the Cold War “military-industrial complex.” Following his presidency, Eisenhower retired into a farmhouse in Gettysburg along with his own wife, Mamie. He also retained an office at Gettysburg College for the rest of his life, where he held meetings and composed his memoirs. Along with a state funeral in the country’s capital, a military funeral was held in Eisenhower’s beloved hometown of Abilene, Kansas.