Known as "Ike,” Eisenhower was born prior to the Spanish American War on October 14, 1890. Graduating from West Point Military Academy in 1915, he served under a number of talented generals including John J. “Blackjack” Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and George Marshall. Although for the greatest time he held the rank of Major, he was quickly promoted to the rank of a five star general during World War II. During this war he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Eisenhower was responsible for organizing the invasion of North Africa and later in 1944, the invasion of Normandy, France and Germany.
Following World War II, influential citizens and politicians from both political parties urged Eisenhower to run for president. Becoming a Republican, the popular general was elected and became the 34th President of the United States. Using the slogan “I like Ike!” he served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Having witnessed the construction of the German Autobahn, one of lasting achievements we still use is the Interstate Highway System, authorized in 1956. ] He reasoned that our cities would be targets in a future war; therefore the Interstate highways would help evacuate them and allow the military greater flexibility in their maneuvers. Along with many other accomplishments during his administration, on January 3, 1959 Alaska became the 49th state and on August 21, 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state.
On March 28, 1969, at 79 years of age, Eisenhower died of congestive heart failure at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. He was laid to rest on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas. Eisenhower is buried alongside his son Doud, who died at age 3 in 1921. His wife Mamie was later buried next to him after her death on November 1, 1979.