Early Life of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Texas in 1890. The third of seven sons in the Eisenhower family, Dwight was raised in Abilene, Kansas. As a young student, he showed a promising potential in high school sports. This resulted in an appointment to the West Point that assigned him as a second lieutenant in Texas. It was also in this period that he met Mamie Geneva Doud; they married in 1916.
Eisenhower’s Military Prowess
As a loyal member of the military, he undertook several assignments and missions under the leadership of General John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, and Walter Krueger. When the Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese air forces, Dwight Eisenhower was assigned by General George C. Marshall to devise a war plan. In November 1942, he commanded the landing of Allied Forces in North Africa. Two years after, on D- Day, he headed the invasion of French as Supreme Commander.
The success of American military forces in the Second World War allowed him to explore other fields such as the academe. He then assumed presidency in Columbia University, only to take leave in 1951 when he was assigned to command the new NATO militaries. In 1952, he was persuaded by the Republican Party to run for president. His campaign team gave him a catchy slogan, ‘I like Ike’, that also contributed to his landslide victory.
From General Eisenhower to President Eisenhower
President Eisenhower served for two terms, from 1953 to 1961. Even during his stay at the White House, he remained loyal to the principles of the military. His policies and plans of action focused on strengthening security measures, as well as keeping peace within the global political landscape. To demonstrate, Eisenhower facilitated a truce between North and South Korea and initiated various mechanisms to boil down the tensions produced by the Cold War headed by America and Soviet Union.
Indeed, the death of popular USSR leader Stalin prompted dramatic changes in the relationship of the two leading nations. It was also through his efforts that emerging Russian leaders agreed to a peace treaty that resulted in the neutralization of the Austrian state.
When it has come to public attention that both Russia and America had developed hydrogen bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, Eisenhower convened the national leaders of Britain, France, and Russia. This meeting was held in July 1955 at the neutral grounds of Geneva, Switzerland. At the said convention, the United States proposed that both Russia and America exchange comprehensive existing military plans and operations to stale possible attacks against each other.
Quoting Eisenhower, “ [we must] “provide within our countries facilities for aerial photography to the other country.” This was, of course, not agreed upon by Russia. Nonetheless, this signaled the start of constant communication between the two and eventually led to the deterioration of conflict.
In his efforts to maintain peace, Eisenhower also pioneered the loaning of uranium atoms to other nations for economic development.
Eisenhower’s Domestic Policies
Eisenhower continued to implement programs of past presidents such as the New Deal and the Fair Deal. He also focused his efforts in balancing the federal budget. He also ordered the desegregation of schools where he even deployed military forces to Arkansas to ensure that this policy is strictly observed. Eisenhower went as far as revising military protocols and ordered that segregation within military must also be stopped. Eisenhower took it upon himself to ensure that all American people will be treated equally and fairly, and that no notion of second class citizens within the nation must emerge.
Eisenhower’s Legacy at the White House
At the end of his first term, Eisenhower suffered from a heart attack while he was in Denver, Colorado. He underwent extensive medical supervision for seven weeks. He successfully recovered, ran for another term, and actually won.
Generally, throughout his term, Eisenhower pursued moderate policies. He always resonated the importance of military expertise in leading the world’s ‘strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world.’ He urged future administrations to always support the military, and ensure that they are given utmost priority and attention. Their strength and prowess must be maintained, but at the same time limited to avoid igniting potential conflicts in the international community.
Dwight Eisenhower retired to his Gettysburg farm and peacefully died, after a long, war-born life, on March 28, 1969: