Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today is the 120th birthday of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight David Eisenhower: thank you sir for serving this nation as both a 5 star general in World War II and the nation's 34th president, remembering you today, happy 120th birthday!

President Truman awards Ike with Medal at Ceremony: Eisenhower was awarded not only with army medals, but was named President of Columbia University too.

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was a five-star general in the United States Army and the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961, and the last to be born in the 19th century. During World War II, 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,from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

A Republican, Eisenhower entered the 1952 presidential race to counter the isolationism of Sen. Robert A. Taft, and to crusade against "Communism, Korea and corruption". He won by a landslide, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson and ending two decades of the New Deal Coalition holding the White House. As President, Eisenhower concluded negotiations with China to end the Korean War. He maintained pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, gave priority to inexpensive nuclear weapons and reduced the other forces to save money. He had to play catch-up in the Space Race after the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957.

On the domestic front, he helped remove Joseph McCarthy from power but otherwise left most political actions to his Vice President, Richard Nixon. Eisenhower did not end New Deal policies, and in fact enlarged the Social Security, and signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. He was the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd Amendment. His two terms were peaceful, and generally prosperous except for a sharp economic recession in 1958–59. Historians typically rank Eisenhower among the ten greatest U.S. presidents.

Early life and family
Eisenhower was born David Dwight Eisenhower on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas, the third of seven boys born to David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stover, of German, English and Swiss ancestry. The family moved to Abilene, Kansas, where he grew up.

He was called Dwight so he reversed the order of his given names when he enrolled at West Point Military Academy.

Eisenhower's paternal ancestors can be traced to Hans Nicolas Eisenhauer, whose surname is German for "iron worker"; in his autobiographic book, At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends, Dwight thought the name to mean "iron craftsman". Hans Eisenhauer and his family emigrated from Karlsbrunn (now Saarland), Germany, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1741. Hans's descendants traveled west; Eisenhower's family settled in Abilene, Kansas, in 1892. His father, David Eisenhower, was a college-educated engineer but had trouble making a living and the family was poor. Dwight graduated from Abilene High School in 1909.

Eisenhower with his wife Mamie on the steps of St. Mary's University of San Antonio, Texas, in 1916, where Eisenhower was at the time a football coach.Eisenhower married Mamie Geneva Doud of Boone, Iowa, on July 1, 1916. The couple had two sons. Doud Dwight Eisenhower was born September 24, 1917, and died of scarlet fever on January 2, 1921, at the age of three.Their second son, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, was born on August 3, 1922; John served in the United States Army, retiring as a brigadier general, became an author, and served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium from 1969 to 1971

John, coincidentally, graduated from West Point on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He married Barbara Jean Thompson on June 10, 1947. John and Barbara had four children: Dwight David II "David", Barbara Ann, Susan Elaine and Mary Jean. David, after whom Camp David is named, married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie in 1968.

Death and funeral
Eisenhower died of congestive heart failure on March 28, 1969, at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. The following day his body was moved to the Washington National Cathedral's Bethlehem Chapel where he lay in repose for twenty-eight hours. On March 30, his body was brought by caisson to the United States Capitol where he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. On March 31, Eisenhower's body was returned to the National Cathedral where he was given an Episcopal Church funeral service. That evening, Eisenhower's body was placed onto a train en route to Abilene, Kansas. His body arrived on April 2, and was interred later that day in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Eisenhower is buried alongside his son Doud who died at age 3 in 1921, and his wife, Mamie, who died in 1979.

Richard Nixon, by this time himself President, spoke of Eisenhower's death, "Some men are considered great because they lead great armies or they lead powerful nations. For eight years now, Dwight Eisenhower has neither commanded an army nor led a nation; and yet he remained through his final days the world's most admired and respected man, truly the first citizen of the world."

After Eisenhower left office, his reputation declined and he was seen as having been a "do-nothing" President. This was partly because of the contrast between Eisenhower and his young activist successor, John F. Kennedy. Despite his unprecedented use of Army troops to enforce a federal desegregation order at Central High School in Little Rock, Eisenhower was criticized for his reluctance to support the civil rights movement to the degree which other activists wanted. Eisenhower was also criticized for his handling of the 1960 U-2 incident and the international embarrassment, the Soviet Union's perceived leadership in the Arms race and the Space race, and his failure to publicly oppose McCarthyism. In particular, Eisenhower was criticized for failing to defend George Marshall from attacks by Joseph McCarthy, though he privately deplored McCarthy's tactics and claims.[71] Such omissions were held against him during the liberal climate of the 1960s and 1970s. Since that time, however, Eisenhower's reputation has risen. In recent surveys of historians, Eisenhower often is ranked in the top 10 among all US Presidents.

Although conservatism was riding on the crest of the wave in the 1950s, and Eisenhower shared the sentiment, his administration played a very modest role in shaping the political landscape. "Eisenhower's victories were," according to Hans Morgenthau, "but accidents without consequence in the history of the Republican party."

Eisenhower was the first President to hire a White House Chief of Staff or "gatekeeper" – an idea that he borrowed from the United States Army, and that has been copied by every president after Lyndon Johnson. (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter initially tried to operate without a Chief of Staff but both eventually gave up the effort and hired one.)

Eisenhower founded People to People International in 1956, based on his belief that citizen interaction would promote cultural interaction and world peace. The program includes a student ambassador component which sends American youth on educational trips to other countries.

Eisenhower described his position on space and the need for peace during his General Assembly of the United Nations, New York City, 22 September 1960.

"The emergence of this new world poses a vital issue: will outer space be preserved for peaceful use and developed for the benefit of all mankind? Or will it become another focus for the arms race – and thus an area of dangerous and sterile competition? The choice is urgent. And it is ours to make. The nations of the world have recently united in declaring the continent of Antarctica 'off limits' to military preparations. We could extend this principle to an even more important sphere. National vested interests have not yet been developed in space or in celestial bodies. Barriers to agreement are now lower than they will ever be again." [74]

Eisenhower was the first president to appear on color television. He was videotaped when he spoke at the dedication of WRC-TV's new studios in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1958. The tape has been preserved and is believed to be the oldest surviving color videotape.

In the book Other Losses (1989), the Canadian writer James Bacque controversially claims that Eisenhower deliberately caused the death of 790,000 German captives in internment camps through disease, starvation and cold from 1944 to 1949. In similar French camps some 250,000 more are said to have perished. The International Committee of the Red Cross was refused entry to the camps, Switzerland was deprived of its status as "protecting power" and POWs were reclassified as "Disarmed Enemy Forces" in order to avoid recognition under the Geneva Convention. Bacque argued that this alleged mass murder was a direct result of the policies of the western Allies, who, with the Soviets, ruled as the Military Occupation Government over partitioned Germany from May 1945 until 1949. He laid the blame on Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, saying Germans were kept on starvation rations even though there was enough food in the world to avert the lethal shortage in Germany in 1945–1946.

In 1990, invited historians, including Stephen Ambrose and G√ľnter Bischof, gathered in the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans for an academic conference to examine such charges as Bacque had put forth. The conference concluded that there may have been mistreatment of German prisoners in 1945 but not as a result of any order from Eisenhower. The material that Bacque gathered was said to have been taken out of context and was careless scholarship as such. In 1992 a book with the conference's results was edited by Ambrose and Bischof and published.

Tributes and memorials

Dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978 commemorating EisenhowerEisenhower's picture was on the dollar coin from 1971 to 1978.

Nearly 700 million of the copper-nickel clad coins were minted for general circulation, and nearly 50 million uncirculated and proof issues (in both copper-nickel and 40% silver varieties) were produced for collectors. He reappeared on a commemorative silver dollar issued in 1990, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, which with a double image of him showed his two roles, as both a soldier and a statesman.

The reverse of the commemorative depicted his home in Gettysburg. As part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, Eisenhower will be featured on a gold-colored dollar coin in 2015.

He is remembered for his role in World War II, the creation of the Interstate Highway System and ending the Korean War. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the second Nimitz-class supercarrier, was named in his honor.

The bronze statue of Eisenhower that stands in the rotunda as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. He is depicted wearing an "Ike Jacket".

The Interstate Highway System is officially known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways in his honor. Several highways are also named for him, including the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) near Chicago and the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

The British A4 class steam locomotive No. 4496 (renumbered 60008) Golden Shuttle was renamed Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1946. It is preserved at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Eisenhower College was a small, liberal arts college chartered in Seneca Falls, New York in 1965, with classes beginning in 1968. Financial problems forced the school to fall under the management of the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1979. Its last class graduated in 1983.

Eisenhower Hall, the cadet activities building at West Point, was completed in 1974. In 1983, the Eisenhower Monument was unveiled at West Point.

The Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California was named after the President in 1971.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, located at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia, was named in his honor.

In February 1971, Dwight D. Eisenhower School of Freehold Township, New Jersey was officially opened.

In 1983, The Eisenhower Institute was founded in Washington, D.C., as a policy institute to advance Eisenhower's intellectual and leadership legacies.

In 1989, U.S. Ambassador Charles Price and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dedicated a bronze statue of Eisenhower in Grosvenor Square, London. The statue is located in front of the current US Embassy, London and across from the former command center for the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War II, offices Eisenhower occupied during the war.

In 1999, the United States Congress created the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, to create an enduring national memorial in Washington, D.C. In 2009, the commission chose the architect Frank Gehry to design the memorial. The memorial will stand near the National Mall on Maryland Avenue, SW across the street from the National Air and Space Museum.

On May 7, 2002, the Old Executive Office Building was officially renamed the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. This building is part of the White House Complex, west of the West Wing. It currently houses a number of executive offices, including ones for the Vice President and his or her spouse.

A county park in East Meadow, New York (Long Island) is named in his honor. In addition, Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma near his birthplace of Denison is named in his honor; his actual birthplace is currently operated by the State of Texas as Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site.

Many public high schools and middle schools in the U.S. are named after Eisenhower.

There is a Mount Eisenhower in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

A tree overhanging the 17th hole that always gave him trouble at Augusta National Golf Club, where he was a member, is named the Eisenhower Tree in his honor.

The Eisenhower Golf Club at the United States Air Force Academy, a 36-hole facility featuring the Blue and Silver courses and which is ranked #1 among DoD courses, is named in Eisenhower's honor.

The 18th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club, near Denver, is named in his honor. Eisenhower was a longtime member of the club, one of his favorite courses.

In front of City Hall in Chula Vista, California a tree was dedicated to Eisenhower for the anniversary of his visit to Chula Vista. He is currently the only President to visit Chula Vista. He was at the golf course in Chula Vista.

David and Julie Eisenhower Help Celebrate President Eisenhower's Birthday
ABILENE, Kan. - Dwight D. Eisenhower's 120th birthday will be marked this year with a number of activities at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene.

Chapman and Abilene 7th graders will be immersed in 1950s culture on Oct. 6 and 7 respectively. As part of their day they will meet President Eisenhower as portrayed by Bruce Hoff of the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio. Hoff will also portray General Eisenhower and greet visitors in the Museum on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower will debut their new book "Going Home to Glory" on President Eisenhower's birthday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium. A reception including birthday cake will follow the book talk and signing. The official release date of the book is Oct. 26; however, a small number of advance copies will be available for purchase in the Presidential Gift Shop the night of the program. In partnership with Abilene Public Library, "Going Home to Glory" is the first of this year's Eisenhower Book Talk Series.

Members of the Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts will begin their annual vigil and stand guard over the final resting place of the President at the Place of Meditation. The vigil will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue overnight through the early morning hours.

The Annual Legacy Dinner will be held Friday, Oct. 15 in the Library building beginning with a reception at 6:15 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The featured speaker is Geoff Loftus, author of "Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day." Space is still available for the dinner and costs $60 per person or $75 with a signed copy of "Lead Like Ike." Reservations are required by Oct. 8 and can be made by sending the reservation form and check payable to Eisenhower Foundation, P.O. Box 295, Abilene, Kan. 67410.

A wreath laying ceremony is slated for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16. The Deputy Commanding General Rear BG David Petersen and Division Command Sergeant Major Rear CSM Buddy Wallace will lead a procession and place a wreath at the burial site of President Eisenhower. Following the ceremony, the Kansas American Legion Annual Pilgrimage will be held at the Eisenhower Statue in the center of the campus grounds.

The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Presidential Libraries promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire. The federal government does not provide funding for our museum, education and public programs. The private Eisenhower Foundation is the primary fund raising support for the Library.

Ike turns 120 today


It has been 120 years since the general, who was instrumental in bringing an end to World War II and later became President of the United States, was born in Denison to a humble family.

President Dwight David Eisenhower was born Oct. 14, 1890, in his family's Denison home, where his parents and two older brothers moved earlier.

Sylvia Rushing, the administrator of the Eisenhower Birthplace in Denison, said Eisenhower's father, David Eisenhower, had poured all the family's money into his grocery store in Hope, Kan. Though David Eisenhower had come from a farming family, he thought menial labor was beneath him and wanted a more refined occupation, said Robin Gilliam, the birthplace's site manager. But, he overextended credit to his customers and struggled to pay his suppliers.

The financial troubles put David Eisenhower in need of an immediate job, and he looked to the railroad, a place he knew was always hiring. David moved to Denison before his wife Ida, who was pregnant with the couple's second son, in the late 1880s.

Ten months after Ida Eisenhower and the two eldest boys joined their father in Denison, Ida announced she was pregnant again, Rushing said. It was the boy who would become the five-star general and president.

"From what we gathered, (the Eisenhowers) weren't all that thrilled to be here. They wanted to go back to Kansas," Gilliam said. It was where their families and friends were and where Dwight Eisenhower would spend most of his childhood and teen years.

Eisenhower spent only 18 months of his life in the Denison home and it was assumed he was born in Kansas until he became a war hero, who drew the world's attention. Even Eisenhower didn't know his own birthplace, though he did know he was from Texas.

An early passport of Dwight Eisenhower listed his birthplace as Tyler, Texas, Gilliam said. The confusion probably arose from the fact that his father, in addition to being an engine wiper, would make the round-trip to Tyler as a part of the crew to earn extra money for the family.

While he spent only a short time in Denison -- and likely had no memories of it -- Eisenhower's birthplace and the town in which it is set has become an attraction for those who remember the general and his contribution.

"This has always been meant as a memorial to the general that saved the Western World," Gilliam said. She said his place in history and the site's notoriety was cemented by his two-term presidency, but it was his work as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during WWII that made the world take notice of the Texas-born man.

As the commander, Eisenhower was charged with planning and executing Operation Overlord (better known as D-Day), which helped turn the tide of the war. Eisenhower knew the plan's failure was just as likely as its success. His concern seems evident in a second speech he wrote in case the attempt failed.

"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops," the speech says on a handwritten document in the National Archives' digital collection. "My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone."

He never had to give the speech, however, and the operation's success bolstered his popularity. Ten years later, he became president. His two terms were marked by Civil Rights legislation and the U.S. Interstate system.

"I would say that the presidency is probably the most taxing job, as far as tiring of the mind and spirit; but it also has, as I have said before, its inspirations which tend to counteract each other," Eisenhower said at a news conference on Jan. 8, 1956.

The celebration

"I come from the very heart of America," Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said in a London speech on June 12, 1945. It's those roots and that man Denison residents and visitors will celebrate this week.

The celebration begins Thursday, on the Eisenhower's 120th birthday, with a press conference at the birthplace, 609 South Lamar Ave. in Denison. Postage stamps will be unveiled along with a cancellation to commemorate the event. A special U.S. flag will be flown at the birthplace Thursday. It will later be used at the Eisenhower Monument dedication along with flags flown over the United States Capitol, West Point, the USS Eisenhower and Eisenhower's burial site.

Denison Main Street Director Donna Dow said the monument's dedication, which at one point was scheduled for Thursday, is planned for Presidents Day weekend in February. "Due to overwhelming response to the project, it isn't possible for construction to be completed," she said in an e-mail.

The Texas Military Historical Society will erect a World War II field camp in the 700 block of West Main Street on Saturday and remain until the Sunday's parade. Pup tents, a U.S. field kitchen and a weapons demonstration will be among the features.

During lunch Saturday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars will be serving Ike's Stew at the birthplace from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $4 per person. Proceeds will benefit the organization. From 2 to 4 p.m., birthday cupcakes and cookies will be served in Heritage Park while the Denison Middle School Band plays.

On Sunday, a 2 p.m. parade will march down Main Street.

ABILENE — David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower will be in Abilene next month as part of the celebration of the 120th birthday of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The pair will release and sign advance copies of their new book “Going Home to Glory,” a memoir primarily by David Eisenhower on his grandfather’s life after the presidency.

David Eisenhower is the director of the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

His wife, the daughter of former President Richard Nixon, is an author and is active in civic causes in the Philadelphia area.

The couple are scheduled to attend a book talk, signing and reception at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 — President Eisenhower’s birthday — in the visitors center at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, 200 SE 4th St., Abilene.

Although the book is not scheduled for release to bookstores until Oct. 26, a limited number of copies will be available for purchase at the museum gift shop, officials said.

The book signing will be one of several events marking the birthday celebration, including:

Wednesday — Bruce Hoff of the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio will portray Eisenhower as he was during his time as a World War II general and greet visitors to the museum.

Oct. 14 — Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars will stand vigil at Eisenhower’s gravesite at the library complex. The vigil will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue overnight.

Oct. 15 — The annual Legacy Dinner will be held in the Library building, with reception at 6:15 p.m. and dinner at 7. The featured speaker is author Geoff Loftus. Cost is $60, or $75 including a copy of Loftus’ book, “Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day.” Reservations are required by Oct. 8.

Oct. 16 — Brig. Gen. David Petersen and Command Sgt. Major Darrell “Buddy” Wallace, of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, will participate in a 10:30 a.m. procession and wreath-laying ceremony at Eisenhower’s burial site. The ceremony will be followed by the Kansas American Legion Annual Pilgrimage at the Eisenhower statue in the center of the complex.

Denison to Celebrate President Eisenhower's Birthday

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 120th birthday will be celebrated this year with a number of activities at the Eisenhower Birthplace and in Downtown Denison, Texas. The events will begin on October 14, his birthday, and conclude on Sunday, October 17 with a parade.

Denison recently broke ground on a monument at Loy Lake Park to commemorate Ike's birth city. The project comes out of a strategic planning process in 2009, and the birthday celebrations will occur annually in the city.

On Thursday, October 14, at 9 a.m., a press conference at Eisenhower's Birthplace will kick off the weekend. Postage stamps will be unveiled along with a cancellation to commemorate the event. A special United States flag will be flown at the birthplace on this day. It will later be used at the monument dedication along with flags flown over the United States Capitol, West Point, the USS Eisenhower, and Eisenhower's Burial site.

A World War II reenactment group will set up in the 700 block of W. Main on Saturday and remain until the parade on Sunday. Visitors will be able to observe an encampment resembling that of wartime courtesy of the Texas Military Historical Society. Pup tents, a US Field Kitchen, and a weapons demonstration will be among the features.

During lunch Saturday, the VFW will be serving Ike's Stew at the Birthplace from 11a.m. until 1 p.m. for only $4 per person. The special recipe comes from Ike the Cook (Russoli) and is based upon 60 pounds of beef. The recipe encouraged the use of beef and was later modified so that homemakers could prepare in smaller, family-sized increments.

Also on Saturday, from 2-4 p.m., birthday cupcakes and cookies will be served in Heritage Park while the Denison Middle School Band plays. Those joining the festivities at 2 p.m. can join in the happy birthday song.

On Sunday, Downtown Denison businesses are being asked to open from 12-4. A special brochure on Eisenhower the Artist is being prepared for distribution. The Denison High School Band will play in Heritage Park before and after a 2 p.m. parade beginning in the 700 block of Main.

Eisenhower's Birthplace, located at 609 S. Lamar Avenue in Denison, Texas, is open Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Tour admission is $4 for adults and $3 for students ages 6-18 with ID. Children 5 and under are free.

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