The Eisenhower years; 8; #8 The Transition
The following program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I am not a hero. I am nothing at all of a heroic man you people I don't know you might have faith. I think that our leader who often talked about what we would do after the war we talked about the island of Tahiti. And Tahiti always seemed fine I could least want to go someplace where he could fish. You know he was one to watch him operate on the peace and quiet running in the Baltic Sea and in the Adriatic and ion couldn't hand it tended to ground it on members and friends of Columbia University. I feel a sense of high personal distinction that I am privileged to participate in this ceremony. President Truman had asked him to come back too. With the thought of his taking on the responsibilities of NATO. I am here this time helping to build up an
organization for peace and security of the Western democracies and we can't do it without fighting. The Eisenhower years a chronicle in the life of white Eisenhower by extension Radio-TV at Kansas State University this week. The transmission of the post-war years. I only wish that Frank and Dave us felt at live to witness this day. General Eisenhower in far dismay at the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flanks of freedom fly over your victory in Europe the oficial word came from the capitals of the world.
Yet today more only because it would be general Woodward signed YAG the end a war he and yeah both he believed had I been gave you reborn and didn't know what the gammon war example read in the surrender had taken place in a red brick school building in Reims early in the morning of May 7th. But the official announcements were withheld until similar ceremonies were held in Berlin for the Russians. That ceremony held the next day. And General I need to hear about your Got the job of going with a second sighting in Berlin came about because the Russians were miffed that they had not had a well they had it.
They wanted to surrender in their own territory they were thinking of their psychological benefits. And yes we had I was assigned to go on that mission and I was taken up with vodka for others and it turned out that the Russians were not good at drinking our martinis and we were not good on their body. But we managed to get the surrender scientists asked by the Russians. The embargo on the news stories of the surrender was ordered by the combined chiefs of staff to General Ike. It didn't work before the official announcements were made. The story was leaked by Ed Kennedy of The Associated Press and what has become one of the classic journalistic examples of the century illustrating the futility of trying to control the flow of legitimate news in a free society. Kennedy was chief of the AP staff in Europe several hours after the signing of the surrender. He was told that the Germans themselves were broadcasting
news of the surrender ordering their soldiers to surrender. Kennedy thus felt no longer bound by the embargo and using our military phone from Paris to London sent the story. General Eisenhower's Public Relations Officer Thor Smith was caught in the middle there was a telephone hook up military telephone hook up they cut between Paris military and London military. And you can pick up any one of the phones and ask for paramilitary and when you've got Paris military say London military and when you've got a little military you could give her give her a number of any place in England and get it puts a lot of the lot of them were doing they were phoning their families and their girlfriends and everybody else. The funny part about it was that pretty censors assume that anything that had come that was routed through them. I mean the London censors that have been cleared by by censors at the Paris level. So when when the story came through by this telephone hookup and was
written in the London office the censors are clear that they still have been cleared at the front. That's how it got out. And then all hell broke loose. I was immediately appointed one of a three man board of investigating officers to find out how it happened. I stayed up practically all night that night in my office writing up a report because I had to fly up the next day to Reims and see General Smith and General Eisenhower and said What are we going to do. Well General. General Eisenhower and General Smith want to throw the book. They were still incensed at the idea. This is this was the only real breach of security and and Chief took the position that it was a breach of security. Kennedy and and some others said well it was a it was political censorship but it really wasn't they pointed out because of the delay that it mean that it
was in danger of the troops until such time it was really official. Well I want to throw the book at the ones that were involved in the in the incident. And General Betts who was the. Judge Advocate General of Schaffer cautioned against it he said. Figure out some way of having a punishment. But but no court martial because you know the war is almost over. Associated Press is with us forever. And you know they might take it all the way to the Supreme Court and no good no good would come to anybody so he cautioned against doing it and so it ended up that all happen was that they a couple of them were discredited and then sent out of the theater and that was that was the end of it into the incident.
Why now Dwight Eisenhower was a world hero. His face and the ground were trademarks in June of 1945. General I began to feel and accept public acclaim. On June 12th he was given the greatest welcome London has ever recorded one not of English birth. White horses carried his open carriage past millions of cheering Londoners to Guildhall where he was honored by being given freedom of the city. His speech there was widely printed and greatly praised throughout the world. In it he spoke of principles and themes he would reiterate many times in the future. The only attitude in which a commander may with satisfaction receive the tributes of his friends is in the humble acknowledgement that no matter how unworthy he may be his position is the symbol of great human forces that have labored. I just Li and successfully for a righteous cause. Unless you feel is a symbolism and this rightness in what he has tried to do
then he has disregard for love courage of fortitude and devotion of the vast multitude he has been honored to command. If all allied men and women that have served with me in this war can only know. That it is they who in this august body is really honoring today then indeed I will be content. This feeling of humility cannot erase of course my great pride in being tendered the freedom of London. I am not a native of this land. I come from the value part of America in the superficial aspects by which we ordinarily recognize family relationships. The town where I was born and the one where I was reared are farce. Separated from this great City Abilene Kansas and Denison Texas with together equal in size possibly one five hundred part of Greater London yet kinship among nations is not determined in such measurements as proximity
of size and age. Rather we should turn to those inner things. Call him what you will. I mean those intangibles that are the real treasures freemen possess to preserve his freedom of worship is equality before the law. His liberty to speak and act as he sees fit subject only to provisions that he trespassed not upon similar rights of others. A Londoner will fight so will a citizen of Abilene. My most cherished hope is that after Japan joins the Nazis in utter defeat neither my country nor yours need ever again summon its sons and daughters from their peaceful pursuits to face the tragedies of battle. But a fact important for both of us to remember. Neither London nor I believe sisters under the skin will sell her breast right for our physical safety but liberty for mere existence. No petty differences in the world of trade. Additions or national pride
should never blind us to our identities in Priceless values. If we keep our eyes on this guy post then no difficulties along our path of mutual cooperation can't ever be insurmountable. Moreover when this truth has permeated to the remotest Hamlet and heart of all peoples then indeed may we beat our swords into plowshares and all nations can enjoy the fruitfulness of the earth on June 18th Ike flew to Washington hundreds of thousands lined the route of his caravan from National Airport to the capital. There he addressed a joint session of Congress the next day New York four million people cheered him and Mayor LaGuardia gave him a gold medal and made him an honorary citizen. Four days later he returned to his hometown of Abilene to the greatest celebration in the town's history. Some 20000 people four times a population jammed the city park to hear their hometown hero. It was worth it at the end. My fortune or
misfortune to wander at considerable distance never found been outside my heart and my memory. Here are some of my older and dearest friends here are a man that helped me start my own career and help my son die here. Here are people that are lifelong friends of my mother and my late father. The really great individuals of the Eisenhower family. One more where there was one thing in the parade today that there are a number of giants. I always find Welcome to our hero as I before mentioned I am not the hero. I am a symbol of a heroic man you people and all United States. I've spent the war that too was a theme general I would repeat many times that year
if you remember Gen.. Clear from the US to our general Ike return to Europe to have the occupation forces in Germany but he has immense popularity during the visit to the US did not go unnoticed. In fact the possibility of his running for president was mentioned more than once enough. But he had publicly stressed he would have nothing to do with politics. Still the pressures persisted. Actually his old friend an aide Harry but yours says he first talked to Ike about that possibility early in the war. We were in London. Listen before want to North Africa. This isn't the way early or late Summer of 42 and we were I was living with Jenna like in a three room apartment in a Dorchester Hotel and we were on our way from the headquarters at 20
Grosvenor Square in the old limousine and something had come up in the office said they and I said the general likes of you ever give any thought to the fact that. Certain older man became president. I've stated that he did. I said their Washington grab. He says Don't you ever mention that. Don't you ever mention that I would want the slightest indication around my head cause anybody was even thinking that way certainly I am not. And it did come up subsequently and in North Africa after the victory there. His oldest tank corps buddies started a movement and he got a letter from them and he wrote back he said I ain't and I won't. But during that time Ike seemed more interested in getting out of public life in retiring after the war. The meeting we often talked about what we would do after the war there was a time when I thought he was going to be fired at Churchill and Roosevelt would would the heads of
state couldn't be wrong he said. For recognizing Dharan they could just as well sack a field commander. And when we decided we'd go to war we go to the well we talked about the I went to Tahiti. He always seemed fine I could least want to go someplace where he could fish. You know he was one to watch a barber on the peace and quiet. That's when the war was over and so on he was chief of staff of the planet seem to be in Washington. He was half angry with me because I got to fire Santa Barbara which was my Tahiti in an interview years later. Ike said he and Mamie had decided they'd like to return to small town life in the West. What we want where we want to really go for a living was out in the southwest in the summer and we thought it looked right. But I wanted to do and when she agreed with me was to go some rural. Area where there was a cottage.
I've always felt that under-graduate work if you possibly could do it ought to be in the rural areas and all of your graduate work in the cities. So that's what I was looking for. And matter of fact I had one or two suggestions about that history of course had other plans for Dwight Eisenhower. On August 7th President Truman announced the use of the weapon I could hope would not be used a weapon he called a hellish contrivance. The world will know that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. We won the race of discovery against the Germans. We had used it in order to sharpen the agony of war in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war our atomic weapons and atomic energy would be very much on the mind of Dwight Eisenhower. Later is chief of staff and later still as president on August
14th Japan surrendered and Ike's old boss General Douglas MacArthur accepted that surrender on the Battleship Missouri. Great story. The war was over and ober of 1945 General Eisenhower was called to Washington to replace General Marshall as chief of staff a job he later admitted he didn't like. In the months following the war there was a call for massive disarmament. Ike feared an isolationist policy in the U.S. in March of 1946. His old friend once Don Churchill sounded a warning and coined a phrase that was to become symbolic of the years ahead. Churchill spoke at Westminster College in Fulton Missouri in the Baltic in the Adriatic.
Behind that line I wore the capital of the state of central and eastern New York was off early in Prague. Vienna Budapest Belgrade Bucharest and talk to the former lead payment. It is and the populations around them lie you up that I must go or they will get back and all out of here in one form or another. Not only did I get into it but to a very high and in some gait increasing measure of going to gravel from from the Cold War was beginning. They were trying times for General Eisenhower as chief of staff. He had to preside over the dismantling of the US war machine and saw his plan for universal military training turned down. But while he was chief of staff he was instrumental in setting US policy regarding atomic energy. President Truman and the Congress were embroiled in controversy
over the new Atomic Energy Act and the Atomic Energy Commission and who was to control it. Syndicated columnist Roscoe Drummond. Many of the conservatives many of those who you describe as the hawks in those days without doubt it was absolutely mandatory that the development of atomic weapons should be in the hands of the military and they were certain that they had an easy ally in Eisenhower he was there and he said no he was the one that made it at least made certain it did not indeed he made it possible. For Truman to get the legislation through that put the development of atomic weapons in civilian hands and removed it from the military. And this to me is an illustration of the kind of man he was and his awareness long before he probably even thought about the White House and
the propriety in their Saturday of civilian control. Hi policy. But if I wasn't thinking of the white house them plenty of politicians were 948 was a presidential election year and factions of both major parties wanted Eisenhower as their presidential candidate former Vice President Hubert Humphrey. You know that a number of Democrats flirted with the idea of having Eisenhower as their nominee in 1948. I was involved in that at one stage but not not up at the convention time of Jimmy Roosevelt had come out to talk to us about it. There was something in the paper about it but I always did feel that President Truman who was the incumbent president if he wanted the nomination would get it. I don't I think there's no doubt about the fact that President Truman wanted Eisenhower to be the Democratic nominee and was disappointed because he didn't accept it. There was even more pressure for Ike to run as the Republican candidate for president in 48.
Eisenhower again considered again declined in February. Ike left the office of Chief of Staff General Bradley succeeded him. Ike retired from the Army announced he would become president of Columbia University in June when he came back from war the president neatly put me was chief of staff. And while I was there is when. Tom Watson Sr.. He began to talk to me about it and he did it for it was went on for. 18 months or two years and then he had a couple of pals came with him. And they argued and they finally. Got me one day to say come on up and visit the place and I said Well. I succumbed But I tell you this there's a long ways from what I thought I was going to do it. He has many and gone off to Columbia University where I have to live in a great big mansion. Well I said why don't you turn the mansion over the G is for housing facility you know maybe a little apartment. Well he said that would be fine except I am the pushover thought I got to find money had entertained for Columbia University.
Between the time he resigned from the Army and became president of Columbia he wrote a book on his experiences in war crusade in Europe received rave notices earned him about half a million dollars and set him up as more than just a general to the academic community he was about to join. Ike became president of Columbia University on June 8th of 1948 and its Installation ceremonies were held the following October. Its chairman. Members and friends of Columbia University I feel a sense of high personal distinction that I am privileged to participate in this ceremony. If this were a land where the military profession is a weapon of tyranny or aggression its members any elite caste dedicated to its own perpetuation a lifelong soldier could hardly assume my present role buddy in our nation the Army of the servant of the people designed and trained exclusively to protect our way of life
duty in its ranks is an exercise of citizenship and among us the soldier who becomes an educator or the teacher who becomes a soldier enters no foreign field but finds himself instead he engages in a new phase of his fundamental life purpose. The protection and perpetuation of basic human freedom democratic citizenship. Certainly with the sum total of human relations here at home this includes the recognition of mutual dependence for liberty livelihood and existence of more than 140 million human beings. Moreover since we cannot use the late ourselves as a nation from the world citizenship must be considered too with the ceaseless impact of that bloats to MIT billion human upon one another manifested in all the multitudinous acts and hopes and fears of humanity.
The educational system therefore can scarcely impose any logical limit upon its functions and responsibility in preparing students for a life of social usefulness and individual satisfaction. Whether Eisenhower was a successful university president is still a question. He was an excellent fundraiser. His name and character gave the university international prominence. But money in the intellectual community scoffed that Ike considered him little more than a country bumpkin taken to reading Western novels and playing golf. That's an unfair assessment Ike was not an intellectual. He was the first to admit that but he had a first rate mind and an appreciation of history and culture. Biographer and author Kenneth S. Davis who fucked up facts like a blotter. You know you have a very tiny memory about things that interested him in a lot of things that interest you. When I say he was not stupid at all it's just that he didn't he never related these facts as he knew the central coordinating principal of consistencies.
He was kind of a Marine. He could but he sure had collections of facts and great many of them. Davis concludes that Ike was never a whole heartedly accepted by a majority of Columbia's faculty or student body. He was criticized for aloofness from them for inaccessibility. But while President at Columbia he instituted a study of the conservation of human resources created a nutrition center and established a chair for peace. And while that was happening war returned to the world. June 25th 1950 the Communist North Koreans crossed the 30th parallel into South Korea. President Truman ordered U.S. troops to meet the threat. The situation in Europe had already grown tense with the Berlin blockade and Berlin Airlift and constant communist harassment. On the evening of December 18th General Eisenhower received a call from President Truman would ike again put on his uniform and return to Europe as Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I said yes. His first move was to
spend three weeks traveling through Europe to see the many facets of NATO he concluded Europe must unite. Said so in a report to President Truman upon his return to Washington. Three days later addressed a group of senators and representatives in the Library of Congress. Among those there then Senator Hubert Humphrey. I can remember when he spoke in public this term Coolidge auditorium at the Library of Congress. President Truman had asked him to come back too. With the thought of his taking on the responsibilities of NATO. And. He readily accepted that challenge and I remember that speech that he gave to try and I was a freshman senator. And they it was so obvious that he had that the respect and the affection and more importantly the trust. Have the members of Congress and obviously have the American people.
I want to make quite clear that I am here that time you're helping to build up an organization for peace and security of the Western democracies. And we can't do it without fighting. I like a general once again move to Paris headquarters of shape Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe the military arm of NATO. The job was made for him. His finance and fusing Allied armies gained in World War 2 stood him in good stead. They allied military force was quickly and efficiently organized and Ike became an unflinching spokesman for a United States of Europe under the tutelage of John Monet. And all the while his rejection of politics became less in phatic and by the end of 1951 few could doubt his availability for the presidential nomination. Dwight Eisenhower was about to embark upon his second great crusade.
The Eisenhower years produce by extension Radio-TV at Kansas State University on a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The produce or narrator is Ralph Titus research buy and write. Music for the Eisenhower years was composed by Gail Kubrick performed by the Kansas State University Chamber Symphony conducted by Luther Levin good. Our thanks to Metro Media Radio National Educational Television and the Eisenhower Presidential Library for providing material support this week's broadcast. Next week. I will lead this crusade. The 1952 presidential campaign. This is Paul the week.
- The Eisenhower years
- Episode Number
- #8 The Transition
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Politics and Government
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 71-6-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The Eisenhower years; 8; #8 The Transition,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m03xxr52.
- MLA: “The Eisenhower years; 8; #8 The Transition.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m03xxr52>.
- APA: The Eisenhower years; 8; #8 The Transition. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m03xxr52