Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ike’s son, historian John Eisenhower, recalls attending meetings with the British wartime leader and reflects on his character and accomplishments.

Eisenhower's call to proceed with D-Day was anything but inevitable

It has been 65 years since D-Day—the early June day when the United States and its allies launched a massive attack on the shores of Normandy in a bid to liberate western Europe from the Nazis. Read more >>

More than a million children participated in the Salk poliomyelitis vaccine trials of 1954, the largest public health experiment in American History

On April 26, 1954, six-year-old Randy Kerr stood first in line at his elementary school gymnasium in McLean, Virginia, sporting a crew cut and a smile. Read more >>

The book that taught GI’s how to behave in England

The United States Military Academy turns 200 this year. West Point has
grown with the nation—and, more than once, saved it.

In his last speech as President, he inaugurated the spirit of the 1960s

Whatever the calendars say, in some figurative sense America’s 1950s ended, and the 1960s began, on January 17, 1961, when President Dwight D. Read more >>

Nikita Khrushchev’s son remembers a great turning point of the Cold War, as seen from behind the Iron Curtain

Nikita Khrushchev’s son recalls a world where the United States was the Evil Empire—and Soviet superpower a carefully maintained illusion

SIXTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH the Soviet Union orbited a “man-made moon” whose derisive chirp persuaded Americans they’d already lost a race that had barely begun

On the morning of August 6, 1945, the American B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later another B-29, Bock’s Car , released one over Nagasaki. Read more >>

America looked good to a high school senior then, and that year looks wonderfully safe to us now, but it was a time of tumult for all that, and there were plenty of shadows along with the sunshine

It was a very good year. Certainly it was if you were seventeen. I was a senior in high school in 1954, a member of the class of January 1955, at Lincoln High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. Read more >>

Jack Kennedy came into the White House determined to dismantle his Republican predecessor’s rigid, formal staff organization in favor of a spontaneous, flexible, hands-on management style. Thirty years Bill Clinton seems determined to do the same thing. He would do well to remember that what it got JFK was the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War.

In early October of 1963, Rep. Clement Zablocki, a Wisconsin Democrat, led a House Foreign Affairs Committee fact-finding delegation to South Vietnam. Invited to the White House when he returned, Zablocki told President John F. Read more >>

We owe the greatest infrastructure project in the history of the world to the fact that in 1919 a young U.S. Army captain named Eisenhower was bored.

As every historian knows, great events are often determined by trivial ones. Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard’s Almanack , noted that for want of a single horseshoe nail an entire war could be lost. Read more >>

They’ve all had things to say about their fellow Executives. Once in a great while one was even flattering.

John Adams said Thomas Jefferson’s mind was “eaten to a honeycomb with ambition, yet weak, confused, uninformed, and ignorant.” Ulysses S. Read more >>

The American army that beat Hitler was thoroughly professional, but it didn’t start out that way. North Africa was where it learned the hard lessons—none harder than the disaster at Kasserine. This was the campaign that taught us how to fight a war.

There was no light. Most of the soldiers in the boats couldn’t see anything, but they knew they must be close because the wind offshore brought the smell of charcoal smoke and dry grass. The first assault troops landed sometime after eight bells. Read more >>

Within the city’s best-known landmarks and down its least-visited lanes stand surprisingly vivid mementos of our own national history

On a recent pilgrimage to Abilene—that epic little town on the Kansas plains that briefly marked the uttermost frontier of the Western world —I stepped into the old timber-frame homestead of the Eisenhowers and felt that part of my life had completed a circle Read more >>
To one who lived through the Eisenhower era and worked close to certain large issues in the nation’s capital, Steve Neal’s apologia for this President is pretty weak. He raised more questions than he answered. Read more >>

Forty years ago, a tangle of chaotic events led to the death of Hitler, the surrender of the Nazis, and the end of World War II in Europe

The last time Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz saw his Führer was on April 20, 1945, Adolf Hitler’s fifty-sixth birthday. Read more >>

Thirty years after judging Eisenhower to be among our worst Presidents, historians have now come around to the opinion most of their fellow Americans held right along.

Critics charged that Ike was spineless in his refusal to openly fight Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Read more >>

Here is how political cartoonists have sized up the candidates over a tumultuous half-century.

AMERICANS HAVE BEEN turning out political cartoons since the dawn of the Republic, but in the nineteenth century the drawings tended to be verbose and cluttered, their characters trailing long ribbons of speech balloons as they stumbled ov Read more >>

A noted historian argues that television, a relative newcomer, has nearly destroyed old—and valuable—political traditions

TELEVISION HAS BEEN accused of many things: vulgarizing tastes; trivializing public affairs; sensationalizing news; corrupting the young; pandering to profits; undermining traditional values. Read more >>

A quarter-century of judicial history, as seen—and made—by our only retired Supreme Court justice, a man whose allegiance to the Constitution often forced him to act against his personal preferences.

POTTER STEWART CAME TO the Supreme Court in 1958, appointed by President Eisenhower at the age of forty-three. Read more >>

Coming on Line

From the beginning it was clear—in this case the beginning was December 2, 1942, the day the first man-made nuclear reactor was nudged to criticality in a squash court beneath the west stands of the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field and incidentally the first day of wartime g Read more >>

An insider’s account of a startling— and still controversial—investigation of the Allied bombing of Germany

The ex-Presidency now carries perquisites and powers that would have amazed all but the last few who have held that office

“My room mate (tent mate, rather) is Dwight Eisenhower of Abilene, Kansas.…” On JuIy 30, 1911, Paul A. Read more >>

Operation Market-Garden promised to lay an airborne red carpet to victory.

It would have taken considerable effort to locate an Allied fighting man on the battle line in Western Europe on September 10, 1944, who doubted that the end of the war was just around the corner. Read more >>

The job ran in the family; both his uncle and grandfather were Secretaries of State. Home life in a parsonage taught him piety, and the law precision. The rigid views of a world divided between good and evil he worked out, apparently, himself. Private letters and new taped recollections help explain the shaping of the man who set our Cold War foreign policy

About a dozen years ago Carol Burnett’s nightclub repertoire included a number, “I Made a Fool of Myself over John Foster Dulles.” In 1971, in an era of massive discontent with American foreign policy, Miss Burnett would be unwise to restore it to her program Read more >>

Discreet helpers have worked on the speeches and papers of many Presidents, but a nation in a time of trial will respond best “to the Great Man himself, standing alone”

What with all this democracy things will never be the same

In 1936 in New York City there occured the 100th anniversary of the Union Club, oldest and most socially sacrosanct of New York’s gentlemen’s clubs. From all parts of this country and even from abroad there arrived, from lesser clubs, congratulatory messages, impressive gifts and particularly large offerings of floral tributes. Read more >>