Long before Facebook introduced the trend of “Liking” people and things, a presidential candidate’s campaign planners distributed pins reading “I Like Ike.” Ike was actually the nickname of former U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was liked and was voted in as the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961).
President Eisenhower is MY FAVORITE historical U.S. President!
“I Like Ike button, 1952” by Tyrol5 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Highlights of Eisenhower’s Presidency
Strong Foreign Policy: decisive stand against Communism, introduces the “domino theory” (says if one nation in a region falls to Communism others will quickly follow), 1953 Iranian coup, end of the Korean War, increases U.S. nuclear weapon power, ends Suez Canal crisis of 1956, the U-2 incident, the beginning of the space race.
Strengthening America’s Foundations: introduces the interstate highway system, encourages the founding of NASA, strongly supports civil rights, oversees the desegregation of American public schools, opposes the McCarthy hearings, encourages American patriotism.
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Legacy
Eisenhower was president during one of America’s strongest periods. Fully recovered from the Great Depression and with a sense of national pride still running strong from the victory of World War II, America was prospering at home and expanding global influence.
With military training and service in both world wars, ending World War II as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, Eisenhower understand military power. He also understood the Soviets. While taking a strong stand against Communism and its spread, Eisenhower played a careful chess-game of diplomacy, both building and expanding the American military power and attempting to reach out to the Soviet Union to break through the Iron Curtain. Eisenhower’s views and actions in these early years of the Cold War set important precedent for American policies with the Soviet Union.
Eisenhower understood the importance of America’s founding dreams. He valued a high-moral standard and acknowledge a religious/moral code as essential to the well-being of a nation. His domestic policies were sometimes controversial at the time, but he supported the belief that people’s freedoms must be safeguarded and citizens have a patriotic duty to see that their freedoms are upheld.
In a more “concrete” example of Eisenhower strengthening the infrastructure of our nation, he began the interstate highway system…so every time you drive on a nicely paved highway here in the U.S. remember Eisenhower!
Inspiration Quotes by Eisenhower
“The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength – and strength alone.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1951)
“Neither a wise man or a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952)
“The true purpose of education is to prepare young men and women for effective citizenship in a free form of government.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953)
“I believe the only way to protect my own rights is to protect the rights of others.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953)
“Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
“We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid… A people that values its privileges about its principles soon loses both…” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, 1953)
Why Eisenhower Is My Favorite President
Dwight D. Eisenhower was first and foremost a military commander. That is not to say he was “military dictator.” No, he held his elected office and responsibility to the American people very seriously. The man who defended liberty through landings in Normandy and battles in France was the same man who defended freedom in the schoolrooms of America.
He showed us what a “peaceful” presidency looks like. With a strong foreign policy backed by military power, he kept the peace and kept America safe. He encouraged education, showed support for the beginnings of the civil rights movement, expanded America’s transportation system, and paved the way American space exploration.
His military background brought strength and influence to his views on America’s role in the world and justice at home. The American hero of World War II led the nation through policy-forming years and constantly reminded the American people that they defended their own freedoms. They were the patriotic men, women, and children. They were America.
Happy Very Belated Presidents’ Day to my favorite president, Dwight D. Eisenhower!
P.S. Did you have a favorite of the 4 U.S. presidents discussed this month? (James Monroe, William H. Taft, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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