Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Forty six years ago today, March 28 1969, Dwight David Eisenhower*, the 34th President of the United States, passed away at the age of 78 at Walter Reed Army Hospital here in the Nation's Capital. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.
General Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Operation Overlord in World War II by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and successfully led allied armies in landing at Normandy in France. After the war, Ike served as president of Columbia University and was appointed Supreme Commander of NATO forces by President Harry S Truman in 1951.
General Eisenhower, elected President of the United States in 1952, was re-elected in 1956 and retired to his home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania one of the most popular chief executives in our history.
The Republican campaign slogan, "We Like Ike," was not only catchy, it was true for the vast majority of Americans during the 1950s.
President John F. Kennedy conferred with former President Eisenhower several times during his tenure in the White House. JFK visited personally with Ike at his Gettysburg farm in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs and called him during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
*Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) was born in Denison, Texas but grew up in Abilene, Kansas. Dwight, who became known as Ike, graduated from West Point in 1915 and served in both world wars. He married Mamie Geneva Doud of Boone, Iowa.
Ike was the first POTUS to fall under the provisions of the Former Presidents Act which entitled him to a lifetime pension as well as secret service protection.
The General was buried in an $80 standard soldier's casket at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.
President Richard M. Nixon eulogized the General by saying...
"For eight years now, Dwight Eisenhower has neither commanded an army nor led a nation and yet he remain(s) the world's most admired and respected man..."