Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States born in 1890 in Denison, Texas. Eisenhower was born to a mechanic father, a deeply religious pacifist mother, and had six siblings. He was nicknamed Ike. As a small boy, Eisenhower developed a keen interest in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, playing cards, and camping among others (Eisenhower, 2011).
In one of his outdoor activities, Eisenhower was involved in an accident that resulted in one of his younger siblings losing an eye. The accident taught him a valuable lesson of always protecting those who looked up to him. Eisenhower also developed a keen interest in a military career from reading his mother’s collection of history books. The knowledge acquired helped him a lot in leading the country during World War II.
Eisenhower served as the president of the United States from 20 January 1953 to 20 January 1961. Harry Truman preceded Dwight Eisenhower, while John Kennedy succeeded him. Eisenhower died in 1969 in Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington after a series of heart attacks (Thomas, 2012).
Election into office
Dwight Eisenhower belonged to the Republican Party. However, before running for the presidency in 1952 on this party’s ticket, Harry Truman who was president at the time had unsuccessfully tried to convince him to vie on a Democratic Party ticket. During the campaigns, the Republican Party chose Richard Nixon as Eisenhower’s running mate. Dwight Eisenhower was running against Adlai Stevenson of the Democratic Party.
The most notable feature of the 1952 presidential campaigns that helped Eisenhower to win was its “I like Ike” slogan. The slogan was simple and very effective because people could easily remember it. Eisenhower’s campaign also concentrated on three crucial concerns voiced by people, which the previous administrations had neglected. The three issues were corruption, Korea, and Marxism (Eisenhower, 2011).
Contributions while in office
Eisenhower’s biggest contribution during his presidency was improving the overall outlook of the United States national security policy. He also helped to maintain good relations between the United States and the Soviet Union following the death of Stalin in 1953. Eisenhower also concentrated on filling crucial economic gaps that included achieving prosperity, promoting innovation, and balancing the national budget among others (Brenner, 2002).
His nuclear diplomacy during the Korean War also helped in improving America’s foreign policy, as the country aimed at creating good relations with some of the leading global economies at the time. Another contribution by Dwight Eisenhower was his ability to maintain the vigor of America’s economy, while at the same time gathering enough resources to deal with the cold war (Thomas, 2012).
Challenges while in office
Dwight Eisenhower served as the president of the United States at a time when achieving tranquility and affluence was a huge defy. One of the biggest challenges he dealt with was the Korean War. This conflict had created a stalemate between the military and the political class. Eisenhower dealt with this challenge by declaring that if the stalemate were not resolved in time, he would resort to nuclear force as a solution.
Another challenge that Eisenhower faced during his presidency was constant criticism for his style of leadership. Americans held Eisenhower in low esteem throughout his term in office, mainly because he did not make enough effort to spearhead the growth of the civil rights movement (Brenner, 2002).
Historians in the United States have described the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower as unique very crucial to the country’s history. Most historians describe him as a leader who demonstrated a lot of thoughtfulness on key issues affecting people, as he always set time to go through them with his cabinet. He was a president who preferred to conduct his state duties behind the scenes (Thomas, 2012).
Eisenhower was very straightforward in his work and preferred his subordinates to take their due credit whenever they achieved it through their work. Although most critics accused him of taking a back seat, modern historians have applauded his impressive personality that guided him to avoid taking unnecessary actions. Eisenhower removed America from the famous Korean conflict.
Brenner, S. (2002). Dwight D. Eisenhower. New Jersey: Green Haven Press.
Eisenhower, D. (2011). Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight Eisenhower. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Thomas, E. (2012). The Brilliant Prudence of Dwight Eisenhower. Web.