Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

Dwight D. EisenhowerBorn David Dwight Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969), nicknamed "Ike", Eisenhower was a five-star General in the United States Army and U.S. politician, who served as the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961). During the Second World War, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, with responsibility for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-45. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

Eisenhower was elected the 34th President as a Republican, serving for two terms. As President, he oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, kept up the pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, launched the Space Race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began the Interstate Highway System.

After the Suez Crisis, the United States became the protector of most Western interests in the Middle East. As a result, Eisenhower proclaimed the "Eisenhower Doctrine" in January 1957. In relation to the Middle East, the U.S. would be "prepared to use armed force...[to counter] aggression from any country controlled by international communism." On July 15, 1958, he sent just under 15,000 soldiers to Lebanon (a combined force of Army and Marine Corps) as part of Operation Blue Bat, a non-combat peace keeping mission to stabilize the pro-Western government. They left in the following October.

In addition, Eisenhower explored the option of supporting the French colonial forces in Vietnam who were fighting an independence insurrection there. However, Chief of Staff Matthew Ridgway dissuaded the President from intervening by presenting a comprehensive estimate of the massive military deployment that would be necessary.¹

Quotes

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."

"Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed."

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

"I deplore the need or the use of troops anywhere to get American citizens to obey the orders of constituted courts."

"I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem - and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?"

"The people of the world genuinely want peace. Someday the leaders of the world are going to have to give in and give, it to them."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Dwight D. Eisenhower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Books on Dwight D. Eisenhower
Biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Essays on Dwight David Eisenhower and His Administration
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library

 


 
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