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Why. The following program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I am can do I have nothing whatsoever to do with partisan politics. He didn't write. That I made and got a. Lot of credibility when I did say the name my wife. Maybe I did know our. Good grammar and no matter how you rate your
UK did. You know why. I think a. Good number. I will leave me today. The Eisenhower year. Chronicle in sound of the life of Dwight Eisenhower by extension Radio-TV at Kansas State University. This week. I will lead this crusade. By the end of World War Two white Eisenhower had become a public figure of enormous popularity. With that came enormous responsibility and the loss of something I valued a great deal. His privacy and the awareness of that began during the war. Eisenhower aide Terry Butcher. As it dawned on him slowly. He was not going to be
recognized in later life. Wherever he might go as he put it Mamie and I would go to a restaurant for dinner. We're never going to be private. We're always going to be known. And it does take some doing to get accustomed to it. It's one of the newspaper changes that it has to get. A series of stories from my mother. Absolutely. Including boyhood pictures I mean even in his letters that he wanted to sue. This was his private correspondence. Well I told him you're just a public figure you know and you have to expect this there's nothing been disclosed that you should be ashamed of. And well he said I want some privacy. Anyway he began finally to realize that he was a public figure and he had to accept what she did gracefully it seemed inevitable that with his public magnetism his war record and his personal qualities
that political office would catch him sooner or later. In fact he spent a good bit of his time after the war saying no it is my conviction that a man who has spent his life in the professional military service should never enter partisan politics and seek an office generously fucking home. I saw one once but boy right. You're going to. General and one of the nominating convention to put your name up on a plane so you could do it by January. I wrote a letter which I assume most of you here ever read anything I express myself completely in part. On the writing of that letter as occurred to change my mind and with respect to that I intend to have nothing whatsoever to do with partisan politics. I will never seek political office Eisenhower's acquiescence to the race for the office of president was not easily won many years prior to the 1952
campaign. He'd been approached by representatives of both parties anxious to have Ike as their standard bearer. Statesmen politicians old soldiers and ordinary citizen took turns exhorting Ike to heed the call to public office the first time ever proposed to me seriously 43 when I was still in Africa. I had him as he was then I think of you here something of a kind very Pinkly. And he said you know Jones everyone is kind of a campaign is bound to be mentioned as a candidate for president. I said very sure you've been standing out in the sun. Oh you're so crazy. I don't say any more about it. Well he was very insistent that I should think about it some day but that starts Monday and we had a hiatus. Then in 1945 when the president came to Berlin. We were riding in a car with General Bradley and the president. And then he said.
He said I just want you to know that I for one am ready to get you anything that you want and he says it very definitely includes the presidency in 1948. I never worry about that. But he will. From there on it began gradually to grow up this pressure particularly after the president brought me back to be chief of staff and from there on. I never was free of it. Despite his firm denials the requests the sweet reasonings from both parties continued unabated. He was now a military commander of NATO deeply committed to the concept of the collective defense of the West to term and to see it implemented. But the door he had so firmly closed to politics was soon to open to the insertion of the Republican foot. I don't think I really knew any thing that really was a partisan man. He became partisan once he became a president and the leader of his party. But for a long period of time being in the military he had to he wasn't partisan if you had
any leanings you would have thought it would have been to the Democrats because it rose about Truman and their respect for him the fact that they brought him along that George Marshall had such great faith in ice and Howard. But I believe that Dwight Eisenhower had no real desire to be to be political and tell about 951. 952. And he after he had come back to go to Columbia University. He was in that menu of New York. And I think he then the people that he knew and the people that were close to the university and the people he worked with were more of the conservative group and more of the well-to-do. And he became somewhat. Of Republican leaning. So I knew I was a Republican and a few people. For example I am. I first had a chance to vote in 48. And I guess we convinced. They we needed a change and I thought the Republican policies were better than the other and so
away. I mean you know I was a Republican at the beginning of the year and we kept the lodge paid like a visit in September of 1951 and succeeded in convincing Ike that unless there was a Republican victory in the next election the American two party system of government was doomed. The Democrats have been in power for 20 years. What was needed lodge told him was a man at the helm who could steer the party to an assured victory. That man he said was Dwight Eisenhower. Ike again considered finally decided he would not seek the nomination but if nominated would run for president. Author Kenneth S. Davis has written biographies of both Eisenhower and Adley Stevenson. His comments now on why he Thanks Ike finally decided to run. Well I think everybody wanted him to win and he was convinced by all these people that you know really after all he has particular qualities were just what the country needed at that time and nationally as far as you can go be nice from Abilene bright and he always thought of himself as an urban boy to be in the White House.
I don't think I don't think he ever ran because he had a special great thing you want to do. He wanted America to do not like Woodrow Wilson or for Abraham Lincoln who had this conception of the you know what she was going to save or. Or Jefferson who had a conception of democracy which he wanted the country to realize I don't know whether I can tell you that after Ike agreed to run he discovered he would have to make a fight for the nomination after all. Ohio's conservative Senator Robert Taft was determined to have that nomination for himself. On June 1st of 1952 Ike again retired from the Army and four days later opened his campaign is to him the necessity for change in Washington. Let me go help one party by whatever me. Thank you. I could so he would not participate in any vigorous pre-convention activities. Did an about face. He set up a campaign system like a military command. Went on a speaking spree and on the 5th of July arrived in Chicago for the Republican National Convention. Still shy of
enough votes to win. Ike's campaign strategists got to work in a delegate who hadn't met Ike was sent to his hotel suite and there was a steady stream while on the convention floor. Maryland's governor Theodore McCallum did the honors you know the track. From the honor. And glory we were just this man in our generation on. What life on the amount of I think on. 13 more pertinent here and then not from here it was. It is. One.
Of the serious business of voting for the nominee but the procedure was interrupted by the Puerto Rican delegation and an episode in American politics the nation watched on television with a chuckle. How. Could that be.
At the end of the first ballot it stood Eisenhower 595 Taft five hundred. Ike was just nine votes short. Then. You're OK here. You're right. That did it to Eisenhower had been nominated on the first ballot in his acceptance speech. I called it another crusade. For freedom and. Freedom in the world. I know that. Responsibility leading. Into the game. Might be very.
Important. I. Think. We pay for his running mate Joe is California senator Richard Nixon the campaign was now set two weeks earlier in the same Chicago arena the Democrats had nominated another reluctant candidate. Illinois Governor Ed Les Stevenson their styles were considerably different Stevenson was eloquent with the press called him an egghead. His speeches tended to be cerebral Ike was straightforward honest seldom used humor had that famous grin and didn't really like campaigning. This is the kind of thing. Doing this show would you. Undertake the mission. You just do your best and so I did but I didn't fit the traditional campaign. He didn't like barnstorming you had an aversion to personal attack or counterattack and a disdain for the political promise without meaning having been committed to run for the presidency he was determined to win. But on his terms he believed in speaking the truth and nothing more. He insisted that the Republican campaign platform be in agreement with his own
personal views and convictions. And one of his key points was the mess in Washington. This man says. A state of confusion embarrassment a middle aged black gentleman at your political party. I have a monopoly on virtue. There was also the question of communism from within and without. Senator Nixon had won his way into the Senate on a campaign of anti communism Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy was making considerable headlines with the same topic. I can promise you when the Republicans go in there will be no fun in this endeavor. Communism isn't hard. I mean isn't this strangulation for the individual and for the so
among those on the campaign trail for Eisenhower Nixon was John Foster Dulles whom I could already pick to be secretary of state. But some of what Douglas was saying on foreign policy bothered Ike. So says one of the men who covered that campaign. Los Angeles Times syndicated columnist Roscoe Drummond were giving point about how to roll back. And I think Mark became very worried about Dallas's emphasis on the rollback of communist expansion in the portable world and he called Donna's on the telephone and said look we don't want any more of those speeches unless you make it really clear in every instance that the only instrument of rollback will be a peaceful persuasion that if you don't leave any impression that that that that we're going to use that that the instrument of force to rollback communism is open to the Eisenhower
government the corruption issue temporarily backfired on the Republicans in the middle of the campaign controversy struck when Hughes report said Senator Nixon was receiving secret funds from a number of wealthy California businessmen so that Nixon could afford to engage in politics. There was panic within the party. But the issue fizzled and in fact it became an asset when Nixon made a national television address one other thing I probably should tell you because if I don't feel probably beat saying this about you too. We did get something a gift after the election. A man down in Texas heard on the radio mention the fact that the two youngsters would like to have a dog. And believe it or not the day before we left in this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. It went down to get it. You know what it was. It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas black and white spotted.
And I little girl Tricia had a six year old named check. And you know the kids like all kids love the dog. And I just want to say this right now that regardless of what they say about it we're going to keep it. I could watch the TV performance backstage at the Cleveland Public auditorium and then expressed his reaction to the waiting crowd. I don't see many brave man in tough situations. I have never seen any come through in better position than Senator Nixon. Tonight any notion members of the party had had that Eisenhower should drop Nixon were now forgotten. The American public took him to their hearts and the GOP attention was turned once again to the campaign and the race against Adlai Stevenson. The main planks of the Eisenhower platform rested on the themes of honesty and integrity in government the evils of inflation the reduction of taxes balancing the budget curbing federal powers and the war in Korea. Fighting had been going on there for more than two
years. Both candidates had talked about the war but with only about a week to go before the November election. Drop the blockbuster. We are in that war because this administration abandoned China to the Communists. Where will the new administration begin. It will begin with the president taking a simple resolution that resolution will be to forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean War until that job is honorably done. That job requires a personal trip to pick me up in the. Only on that way could I learn how best to study American people in the cause of peace. I shall vote I quote later he'd been considering a trip to Korea if you liked it for some time. But a staff aide talked him into announcing it before the election. His primary purpose he said was not to get votes.
Kenneth S. DAVIS compunction about this I will go to career business which was all he was planning to go to Korea but he would never have said so out loud again because he thought this would undercut undercut our negotiating position when I was in Korea where they are being made there was no news except Again it's obvious the pledge to go to Korea did not win the election for Ike he had it anyway. When the vote was tallied he'd racked up some 34 million votes carried all but nine states had four hundred forty two electoral votes to Stevenson's eighty nine. My fellow citizens have made their choice and I have selected General Eisenhower. Public in part hands the instruments of their will for the next four years. The people have rendered their verdict and I gladly accept it. Someone asked me as I came in down the street how I felt. I was reminded of a story that a fellow townsman of ours
used to tell Abraham Lincoln. I asked him how he felt once after an unsuccessful election. He said he felt like a little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark and he was too old to cry but it hurt too much to laugh. Here I am going to get you one moment. I am not certain my friends whether or not you have read or heard the telegram that Mr. Stevenson just sent to me. It read The people who have made their choice and I congratulate you that you may be the servant and guardian of peace and make the day of trouble. A door of hope is my earnest prayer. Best wishes Adley Stevenson.
Just as I came down to the ball room I replied to that telegram as follows. I thank you for your courteous and generous recognizing the intensity of the difficulties that lie ahead. It is clearly necessary that men and women of goodwill of both parties forget the political strife which we have passed and devote themselves to the single purpose of a better future. This I believe they will do sign with my name. Among the thousands of messages of congratulations one had singular meaning for Ike. It read I send you my sincere and heartfelt congratulations. I look forward to a renewal of our comradeship and of our work together for the same causes of peace and freedom as in the past. It was signed simply Winston Eisenhower's overwhelming victory has been analyzed and debated. The consensus seems to
indicate that the issues had little bearing on the outcome. The American people. We were he of war convinced of corruption and communism in high places anxious to get on with their own private lives and leave the problems and decisions to someone else elected a leader a hero and assurance. Go dormant. Oh I think that it was him. It was this implicit faith and trust in Eisenhower as a man of goodness that made him utterly impossible to defeat. And in many ways it's just too bad that a man of the stature of an ability of Stevenson had to emerge at the time when he had no chance of winning. And of course nobody wanted to be nominated less in nineteen fifty two than at least Amundsen and lots of the so-called unsophisticated people in America they call him on sophisticated they're really that in
many ways the strength of this nation. They just liked him. They didn't know anything about his politics and frankly it's often said that President Eisenhower that really wasn't much of a politician. I well I just depends on what you mean by politician would that I had a political attraction that he had they could call me any kind of a name they want to do it. He was the unbeatable. And I think our fellow or our friend from the opposition the Republican Party made it regretted the time that they sponsored that limitation to two terms for the presidency because he was undoubtedly one of the most popular political figures in American life. Shortly after the election Ike was in Washington to begin the process of the orderly transition of administrations. While there he met for a short time with President Truman. A meeting described as cool and business like due to the bitterness of the campaign. Near the end of November I kept his controversial campaign promise he secretly flew to Korea toured the battlelines visited combat units received briefings then held a press
conference just to be a little bit tired. The worst thing in the security without running a greater risk of the war there is that many limitations on the word climate really prominent. We're all here to see it through. I promise that much could be done and much would be done. President Truman called the trip a piece of demagoguery. I didn't argue ration broke with tradition in two ways. He changed the uniform from top hats to Hamburg's and began his address with a prayer. My friends before I begin the expression. Of those thoughts. That I deem appropriate a to this moment. Would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask you to bow your head.
Almighty God as we stand here at this moment my associates in you my future associates in the executive branch of government join me and beseech you that I will make full and complete. Our dedication to the service of the people in this throng and their fellow citizens everywhere. Give us we pray the power to discern clearly right from wrong and allow. All our words and actions to be governed thereby And by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concerns shall be for all the people regardless of station race or calling may cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who under the concept of our constitution hold two differing political faiths so that all may work for the good of our
beloved country. And I glory m e in his address. Eisenhower again reiterated the principles he felt should guide both individuals and nation the world and we have passed the midway point of a century of continuing challenge. For our own country. It has been a time of recurring trial. We have grown in power. And in responsibility. We have passed through the anxieties of depression and the war. To a summit unmatched in mans history. And the swift rush a great event we find ourselves groping. A To know the whole thing and meaning of these times in which we live. In our quest of understanding we beseech God's guidance. We summon all our knowledge of the past and we stand all signs of the future.
We are not helpless prisoners of history. We are free men. We shall remain free never to be proven guilty of the one capital offense against freedom a lack of staunch faith. We must be ready to dare all for our country for history does not long in trust the care of freedom to the weak are the gimmick. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. The peace we seek then is nothing less than the practice and the fulfilment of our whole faith among ourselves and in our dealings with others. It signifies more than the stealing of guns eating the sorrow of war. More than escape from death. It is a way of life more than a haven for the weary. It is the hope. For the brave. This is the hope that beckons this onward in this century of trial.
This is the work that awaits us all to be done with bravery. With charity and with prayer to Almighty God. The boy from Aberdeen was now the thirty fourth president of the United States. The Eisenhower years bulldozed by extension Radio-TV a Kansas State University on a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The produce or narrator is Ralph Titus script then researched by Anne Frank. Music for the Eisenhower years was composed by Gail Kubrick performed by the Kansas State University Chamber Symphony conducted by Luther Levin but. Our thanks to National Educational Television Metro Media and the Eisenhower Presidential Library. For providing materials used in this week's
broadcasts. Next week. The White House years the first term. This is Poldi weeks. This is the national educational radio network. And CAN DO have nothing whatsoever to do with partisan politics. I will never seek political office. Why doesn't our spend several years turning down politics after the war. But a fine idea even then. We needed a change and
The Eisenhower years
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Chicago: “The Eisenhower years; 9,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 5, 2021,
MLA: “The Eisenhower years; 9.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 5, 2021. <>.
APA: The Eisenhower years; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from