Steven Ly
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Introduction

Being a five star general in WWII, he is well known in the United States. Dwight D. Eisenhower is also well known because he is the 34th president of the U.S. for two terms in 1952 and 1956 and has served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe (Bacon). Eisenhower is the mastermind behind the successful Invasion of France and Germany in 1944-1945. As General Staff, he devised a plan in Washington to defeat Germany and Japan (Hickman). He also led the greatest sea-borne invasion in history of D-Day (Bacon).


Personal Background

Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. His parents, David Eisenhower and Ida Eisenhower, had seven sons and he is the third of his brothers (Hickman). Dwight David Eisenhower grew up in a poor family and moved back to Abilene, Kanas as an infant (Kelly). Eisenhower’s 10 month old brother, Paul, died when he was four years old. In his childhood, most of his days consisted of playing baseball and football in Abilene High School. He was called by his middle name, David, or “Ike” for most of his life (Hickman). After Eisenhower graduated in 1909, he worked as a fireman for two years to help pay for his younger brother’s college tuition and because he grew up in a poor family, he had no money to go to college. Instead, he joined the military for a free college education (Kelly). Eisenhower was a star athlete in baseball and football which helped him get accepted into the college (Simkin). Because of several knee injuries, he could no longer play. In school, his favorite subject was history (Simkin). Eisenhower graduated in West Point and was promoted to second lieutenant. After he was deployed to Texas, he met and started dating Mamie Doud. After nine months, they became engaged and Eisenhower was promoted to first lieutenant on the same day as their wedding day (Perry). They began raising a family in 1917 beginning with Doud Dwight, their first son. In the same year, the United States joined WWI. Unfortunately, Doud died after three years (Gaddis). Their second son, John Dwight, was born in 1922 (Gaddis).Eisenhower was ranked commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces right before WWII started. On June 6, 1944, Eisenhower led the battle in Normandy invasion and was promoted to the five star rank in December of that year. Because of Germany's surrender in 1945, he was promoted to military governor of the U.S. Occupied Zone. A few months later, Eisenhower was promoted to U.S. Army chief of staff. After winning the election on November 4, 1952, Eisenhower was elected the 34th president of the United States (Bacon). He was also reelected in 1956 for a second term (Bacon). An accomplishment that Eisenhower made was establishing Hawaii and Alaska as states. Another one of his accomplishments included signing the Civil Rights Act. Eisenhower’s term ended in 1961 and he retired to a farmhouse in Gettysburg along with his wife. In the late 1960s, Eisenhower’s health declined because of many heart attacks in 1965 and 1968 (Gaddis). Unfortunately, he died on March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C. because of heart failure (Kelly). His funeral was held in his hometown, Abilene, Kansas.

Personality Traits

Eisenhower was seen as a gifted athlete in football and baseball in high school. He was a very modest and generous person (Hickman). Although Eisenhower had a bad temper, he was strong and tough (Kelly). He had the power hold together an alliance in order to defeat Germany in WWII. Eisenhower was especially committed to his country. Although he was strict, he was strict to discipline his troops (Simkin). He was also quote-Dwight-D.-Eisenhower-leadership-is-the-art-of-getting-someone-490.pnga very smart and strategic man. He was viewed as an inspirational figure as well as a loving person according to Simkin. In school, Eisenhower graduated 61st in a class of 164 (Hickman). He loved history and writing and was a responsible person, accepting his mistakes. Eisenhower was not a forceful man and was actually very patient.

Obstacles

When Eisenhower graduated high school, he couldn't go to college because he had no money. Instead of working for his own college tuition, he worked as a fireman for two years to pay for his brother’s college tuition (Hickman). He also couldn't earn money for his college tuition because he injured his knee which ended his career as a baseball and football athlete (Hickman). Eisenhower and his wife had two children, but one of them died. When running for president his first time, he lost (Kelly). When he was president, he had difficulty enforcing fair treatment for blacks (Gaddis). He did whatever he could to prevent violence. Because of many heart problems, his health declined in the late 1960s (Gaddis). Eisenhower suffered from many heart attacks in 1955, 1965 and another one in 1968 (Bacon).

Historical Significance

Eisenhower graduated at West Point Academy ranking 61st in a class of 164 in 1915 (Hickman). He was promoted to captain just two years into his career in 1917 when the United States entered World War I (Simkin). In addition, he also graduated first in his class at Army War College in 1928. After four years, Eisenhower began working alongside Douglas MacArthur and began rebuilding a Philippines army in Manila. As a five star general and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces of Europe in World War II, Eisenhower led a tremendous invasion on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day (Bacon). He led a seaborne invasion with more than 160,000 troops to victory against Nazi Germany in Normandy, France. During WWI, Eisenhower trained men to use tanks. He was given the Distinguished Service Medal even though he was never in actual combat. Then, he attended Command and General Staff School and ranked 1st in a class of 300 in 1926. After this, MacArthur, who is the Army Chief of Staff, sought out Eisenhower as quickly as possible. In 1952, Eisenhower was convinced to run for president after becoming president of Columbia
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University, which he did and won against Adlai Stevenson (Perry). His first time ended in 1953 and his second term ended in 1961 (Bacon). When he was president, he ended the war in Korea in 1953. After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, Eisenhower attempted to develop better Cold War-era relations with Russia. Any possibility of peace with Russia was gone after Russia shot down a U.S. spy plane in 1960. During Eisenhower’s presidency, he also made Social Security stronger and constructed the new massive Interstate Highway System. In 1954, he tried to protect civil rights for Africans, but failed due to enforcing the Supreme Court’s order for school desegregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Three years after, Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, when crowds of people attempted to prevent desegregation in Central High School (Kelly). Although he did not support integration, he sent troops because he was compelled to enforce the law. Even after his presidency term ended, he still tried to maintain world peace.

References

Bacon, Tom. "Biography for Dwight David Eisenhower." Pennslyvania Center for the Book. 17 Fall 2001. Web. 17 November 2014.

http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/bios/Eisenhower_Dwight_D.html

Gaddis, John Lewis. He Made It Look Easy. Eisenhower in War and Peace. New York Times. 20 April 2012. Web. 8 December 2014.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/books/review/eisenhower-in-war-and-peace-by-jean-edward-smith.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Hickman, Kennedy. "World War II: General Dwight D. Eisenhower- A Military Profile." About.com. Web. 13 October 2014.

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/WorldWarIILeaders/p/World-War-Ii-General-Dwight-D-Eisenhower-A-Military-Profile.htm

Kelly, Martin. "Dwight D. Eisenhower - Thirty-Fourth President of the United States." About.com. Web. 27 September 2014.

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/dwightdeisenhower/p/peisenhower.htm

Perry, Tony. " The Invisible Soldiers' warn warns of private security forces' rise" LATimes. 15 August 2014. Web. 16 September 2014.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-ann-hagedorn-20140817-story.html

Simkin, John. "Dwight D. Eisenhower." Spartacus Educational. September 1997. Web. 3 November 2014.

http://spartacus-educational.com/USAeisenhower.htm