Eisenhower’s Achievements


World War II General

1942
Eisenhower promoted to chief of War Plans Division, War Department, Washington, D.C.; then Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, London; then Supreme Commander, Allied Force, North African Theater of Operations. As Supreme Commander Eisenhower planned and executed Operation Torch, to land English, American, and Canadian troops in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. This was the first serious fighting for U.S. Army and Marine Corps troops in World War II and the first Allied victory in Europe.
1943
Eisenhower planned and executed invasions of Sicily and mainland Italy which secured unconditional Italian surrender. Named Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe.
1944
Eisenhower planned and executed Operation Overlord, to invade Normandy with American, English, and Canadian forces. This largest amphibious landing in history secured an Allied beachhead in Northern Europe and led to the liberation of France and the conquest of Germany.
1945
Eisenhower commanded the American occupation zone in Germany.

 

University President

1948 - 1953
As president of Columbia University, Eisenhower reformed the university budget and increased its enrollment and endowment. He organized the Institute of War and Peace Studies and the American Assembly, “to protect democracy from its enemies.”

 

NATO Commander

1951 – 1952
As the first Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Eisenhower coordinated responsibilities among European member nations and lobbied successfully for American support of NATO through Congress.

 

President of the United States

1953 – 1961
Eisenhower’s election in 1952 gave his party both houses of Congress for the first time since 1930. As president he focused on keeping the peace abroad and building prosperity at home. In Europe he supported German rearmament and eased tensions with the Soviet Union over Western access to Berlin. In Asia he brokered a long-lasting truce in Korea and stayed out of Vietnam. In the Middle East he supported Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal, against European plans to retake it.

In the United States Eisenhower presided over a decade of stability and prosperity. His administration kept inflation low and the federal budget largely in balance to promote steady economic growth, with high levels of home ownership and low unemployment levels. Eisenhower made long-term strategic investments in national infrastructure through the creation of the Interstate Highway System and formation of the National Air and Space Administration. In 1957 Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce federal-court-ordered desegregation.

In his farewell address of 1961 Eisenhower warned of the “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought” of a powerful military-industrial complex produced by a vast and permanent armaments industry. Eisenhower feared that abuse of power in the name of security could endanger American democracy.
  • Significant Quotes

    • peace

      Remarks at the Department of State 1954 Honor Awards Ceremony, 10/19/54
      "Since the advent of nuclear weapons, it seems clear that there is no longer any alternative to peace, if there is to be a happy and well world."
    • war

      Guildhall Address, London, 6/12/45

      "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."

    • government

      Address at a Rally in the Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio, 10/1/56
      "A sound nation is built of individuals sound in body and mind and spirit. Government dares not ignore the individual citizen.
    • Leadership

      Remarks to the Leaders of the United Defense Fund, 4/29/54
      "You have got to have something in which to believe. You have got to have leaders, organization, friendships, and contacts that help you to believe that, and help you to put out your best."
    • civil rights

      Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 2/2/53
      "I propose to use whatever authority exists in the office of the President to end segregation in the District of Columbia, including the Federal Government, and any segregation in the Armed Forces."

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