Mamie Eisenhower

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Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Eisenhower color photo portrait, White House, May 1954.jpg
First Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 1953 January 20, 1961
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded by Bess Truman
Succeeded by Jacqueline Kennedy
Personal details
Born
Mamie Geneva Doud

(1896-11-14)November 14, 1896
Boone, Iowa, U.S.
DiedNovember 1, 1979(1979-11-01) (aged 82)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting place Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Abilene, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(m. 1916;died 1969)
Children
Signature Mamie Eisenhower Signature.svg

Mamie Geneva Eisenhower (néeDoud; November 14, 1896 November 1, 1979) was the wife of United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th president of the United States

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

First Lady of the United States wife of the President of the United States

The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is the title held by the hostess of the White House, usually the wife of the President of the United States, concurrent with the President's term in office. Although the First Lady's role has never been codified or officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation. Since the early 20th century, the First Lady has been assisted by official staff, now known as the Office of the First Lady and headquartered in the East Wing of the White House. Melania Trump is the current First Lady of the United States, as wife of 45th president, Donald Trump.

Contents

Mamie married Dwight Eisenhower at age 19 in 1916. The young couple moved frequently between military quarters in many postings, from Panama to the Philippines. As First Lady, she entertained a wide range of foreign dignitaries, who reacted well to her confident style and splendid costumes.

Panama republic in Central America

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people.

Mamie Eisenhower spent her retirement and widowhood at the family farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Gettysburg is a borough and the county seat of Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg (1863) and President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address are named for this town. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Battlefield in the Gettysburg National Military Park. As of the 2010 census, the borough had a population of 7,620 people.

Early life

Birthplace of First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower, 709 (formerly 718) Carroll Street, Boone, Iowa Birthplace.jpg
Birthplace of First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower, 709 (formerly 718) Carroll Street, Boone, Iowa

Born in Boone, Iowa, and named, in part, after the popular song Lovely Lake Geneva, Mamie Geneva Doud was the second child born to John Sheldon Doud (1870–1951), a meatpacking executive, and his wife, Elivera Mathilda Carlson (1878–1960). [1] [2] She grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, and the Doud winter home in San Antonio, Texas. [3] Her father, who retired at age 36, ran a meatpacking company founded by his father, Doud & Montgomery ("Buyers of Live Hogs"), and had investments in Illinois and Iowa stockyards. [1] Her mother was a daughter of Swedish immigrants. [1] She had three sisters: Eleanor Carlson Doud, Eda Mae Doud, and Mabel Frances "Mike" Doud. [1] [2]

Boone, Iowa Place in Iowa, USA

Boone is a city in Des Moines Township, and county seat of Boone County, Iowa, United States. It is the principal city of the Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area comprise the larger Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 12,661 at the 2010 census.

Meat packing industry economic sector

The meat packing industry handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock. Poultry is not included. This greater part of the entire meat industry is primarily focused on producing meat for human consumption, but it also yields a variety of by-products including hides, feathers, dried blood, and, through the process of rendering, fat such as tallow and protein meals such as meat & bone meal.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.

Marriage and family

Mamie at 17 Photograph of Mamie Eisenhower at the age of 17.jpeg
Mamie at 17

Soon after completing her education at Wolcott School for Girls, [4] a finishing school, she met Dwight Eisenhower in San Antonio in October 1915. Introduced by Mrs. Lulu Harris, wife of a fellow officer at Fort Sam Houston, the two hit it off at once, as Eisenhower, officer of the day, invited Miss Doud to accompany him on his rounds. On St. Valentine's Day in 1916, he gave her a miniature of his West Point class ring to seal a formal engagement.

A finishing school is a school for young people that focuses on teaching social graces and upper-class cultural rites as a preparation for entry into society. The name reflects that it follows on from ordinary school and is intended to complete the education, with classes primarily on deportment and etiquette, with academic subjects secondary. It may consist of an intensive course, or a one-year programme. In the United States it is sometimes called a charm school.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

Fort Sam Houston military base

Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas. Known colloquially as "Fort Sam," it is named for the U.S. Senator from Texas, U.S. Representative from Tennessee, Tennessee and Texas Governor, and first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston.

Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, aged 25, married Mamie Doud, aged 19, on July 1, 1916, at the home of the bride's parents in Denver, Colorado. Following the wedding, performed by Reverend Williamson of the Central Presbyterian Church in Denver, the newlyweds honeymooned a few days at Eldorado Springs, Colorado, a resort near Denver, and then visited the groom's parents in Abilene before settling into the lieutenant's living quarters at Fort Sam Houston.

Eldorado Springs, Colorado CDP in Colorado, United States

Eldorado Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The population was 585 at the 2010 census. The Eldorado Springs Post Office has the ZIP Code 80025.

The Eisenhowers had two children (only one lived to adulthood):

For years, Mamie Eisenhower's life followed the pattern of other Army wives: a succession of posts in the United States, in the Panama Canal Zone; duty in France, and in the Philippine Islands. Although accustomed to more creature comforts than those afforded at military posts, Mamie adjusted readily and joined her husband in moving 28 times before their retirement at the end of his term as president. [ citation needed ]

Mamie Eisenhower, with her husband, Dwight, on the steps of St. Mary's College, San Antonio, Texas, in 1916 Eisenhower with Mamie.jpg
Mamie Eisenhower, with her husband, Dwight, on the steps of St. Mary's College, San Antonio, Texas, in 1916

During the Second World War, while promotion and fame came to "Ike", his wife lived in Washington, D.C. After he became president of Columbia University in 1948, the Eisenhowers purchased a farm (now the Eisenhower National Historic Site) at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the first home they had ever owned. His duties as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces—and hers as his hostess at a villa near Paris—delayed work on their dream home, finally completed in 1955. [5]

First Lady of the United States

They celebrated with a housewarming picnic for the staff at what would be their last temporary quarters: the White House. Diplomacy—and air travel—in the postwar world brought changes in their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments.

As First Lady, she was noted for her outgoing manner, her love of pretty clothes, some of them designed by Scaasi, [6] jewelry, and her obvious pride in husband and home.

Mamie Eisenhower in her inaugural gown, painted in 1953 by Thomas Stevens Mamie eisenhower.gif
Mamie Eisenhower in her inaugural gown, painted in 1953 by Thomas Stevens

Eisenhower was named one of the twelve best-dressed women in the country by the New York Dress Institute every year that she was First Lady. The "Mamie Look" involved a full-skirted dress, charm bracelets, pearl, little hats, and bobbed, banged hair. [7] [8] It was a modified version of the Dior's postwar "New Look." [8] Her style included both high-and low-end items. [8] Designers strongly associated with Eisenhower include Mollie Parnis, Trifari, and Sally Victor.

Eisenhower wore a Nettie Rosenstein gown to the 1953 inaugural balls. It was pink peau de soie gown embroidered with more than 2,000 rhinestones. [9] It is one of the most popular in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's collection of inaugural gowns. [10] Eisenhower paired the gown with matching gloves, and jewelry by Trifari. She carried a beaded purse by Judith Leiber (then an employee of Nettie Rosenstein). Her shoes by Delman had her name printed on the left instep. [9]

Eisenhower's fondness for a specific shade of pink, often called "First Lady" or "Mamie" pink, kicked off a national trend for pink clothing, housewares, and bathrooms. [7] [11] [12]

As First Lady, she was a gracious hostess but carefully guarded her privacy. A victim of Ménière's disease, an inner-ear disorder that affects equilibrium, Eisenhower was uneasy on her feet, which fed rumors that she had a drinking problem. [13]

Eisenhower was known as a penny pincher who clipped coupons for the White House staff. Her recipe for "Mamie's million dollar fudge" was reproduced by housewives all over the country after it was printed in many publications. [14]

In 1958, Mrs. Eisenhower was also reported to be the first person to initiate Halloween decorations to be put up in the White House. [15]

As described in multiple biographies, including Upstairs at the White House by J. B. West, Eisenhower was reportedly unhappy[ why? ] with the idea of John F. Kennedy coming into office following her husband's term. Despite new First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy having given birth to her son John Jr. via caesarean section two weeks prior, Eisenhower did not inform Kennedy that there was a wheelchair available for her to use while showing her the various sections of the White House. Seeing Eisenhower's displeasure during the tour, Kennedy kept her composure while in Eisenhower's presence, finally collapsing in private once the new First Lady returned home. When Mamie Eisenhower was later questioned as to why she would do such a thing, the former First Lady simply stated, "Because she never asked." [16] [17]

Later life

Mamie Eisenhower portrait, April 27, 1971 Mamie Eisenhower 1971.jpg
Mamie Eisenhower portrait, April 27, 1971

In 1961, Eisenhower retired with the former president to Gettysburg, their first permanent home. They also had a retirement home in Palm Desert, California. [18] After her husband's death in 1969, she continued to live full-time on the farm until she took an apartment in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s. [19] She appeared in a campaign commercial for her husband's former Vice President Richard Nixon in 1972. [20]

David Eisenhower, her grandson, married Richard Nixon's daughter Julie on December 22, 1968, bringing the two families closer together. The Nixons regularly invited Mamie to the White House, for example, including her in their Christmas dinner.

Eisenhower suffered a stroke on September 25, 1979. She was rushed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where her husband had died a decade before. Eisenhower remained in the hospital, and on October 31, announced to her granddaughter Mary Jean that she would die the next day. She died in her sleep very early the morning of November 1. [21] In 1980, her birthplace in Boone, Iowa, was dedicated as a historic site; Abigail Adams is the only other First Lady to be so honored. One of the east-west streets in Boone (Fourth Street) is now called Mamie Eisenhower Avenue.

Because of her connection with the city of Denver and the area surrounding, a park in southeast Denver was given Mamie's name, as well as a public library in Broomfield, Colorado, a suburb of Denver.

Family tree

Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1890–1969)
Mamie Doud
(1896–1979)
Richard Nixon
(1913–1994)
Pat Ryan
(1912–1993)
Doud Eisenhower
(1917–1921)
John Eisenhower
(1922–2013)
Barbara Thompson
(1926–2014)
Edward Cox
(1946–present)
Tricia Nixon
(1946–present)
Julie Nixon
(1948–present)
David Eisenhower
(1948–present)
Anne Eisenhower
(1949–present)
Susan Eisenhower
(1951–present)
John Mahon Mary Eisenhower
(1955–present)
Ralph Atwater
Andrea Catsimatidis
(1989–present)
Christopher Cox
(1979–present)
Anthony Cheslock
(1977–present)
Jennie Eisenhower
(1978–present)
Alex Eisenhower
(1980–present)
Tara Brennan
(1979–present)
Melanie Eisenhower
(1984–present)
Adriana Echavarria
(1969–present)
Amelia Eisenhower Mahon
(1981/82–present)
Merrill Eisenhower Atwater
(1981–present)
Chloe Cheslock
(2013–present)
Kaia Eisenhower
(2007–present)
Kaeden Eisenhower
(2013–present)

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Susan Eisenhower, "Mrs. Ike: Memories and Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower" (Capitol Books, 2002)
  2. 1 2 Tatanka Historical Associates (February 25, 2005). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form" (PDF). www.coloradohistory-oahp.org. Colorado Historical Society Office of Archeology & Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 16, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  3. "Mamie Eisenhower Biography". National First Ladies Library. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  4. James Bretz (2010). Denver's Early Architecture. Arcadia Publishing. p. 114. ISBN   978-0-7385-8046-3.
  5. Original text from White House biography Archived 2004-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Bissonnette, Anne (June 29, 2001). "Scaasi An American Icon". Curator for The Kent State University Museum. Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2006.
  7. 1 2 Sibley, Katherine A. S. (March 14, 2016). A Companion to First Ladies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN   9781118732182.
  8. 1 2 3 Pous, Terri. "Our Fair Ladies: The 14 Most Fashionable First Ladies". Time. ISSN   0040-781X . Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  9. 1 2 "Mamie Eisenhower". National Museum of American History. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  10. "Mamie Eisenhower". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  11. Jennifer Wright (March 20, 2015). "How Pink Became a Color for Girls". Racked.
  12. Peril, Lynn (October 17, 2002). Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN   9780393349931.
  13. Gould, Louis L. (2001). American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy. Taylor & Francis. p. 315. ISBN   978-0-415-93021-5.
  14. Kantrowitz, Barbara (June 13, 2007). "State of their unions: Candidates' marriages". msnbc.msn.com. Microsoft. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  15. Staff, Country Living (September 29, 2016). "What Halloween Was Like the Year You Were Born". countryliving.com. Country Living. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  16. West, J. B. (1973). Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. p. 192. ISBN   0-698-10546-X.
  17. Haymann, C. David (1989). A Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Carol Communications. p. 251. ISBN   0-8184-0472-8.
  18. Historical Society of Palm Desert; Rover, Hal; Kousken, Kim; Romer, Brett (2009). Palm Desert. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN   978-0-7385-5964-3.
  19. "Mamie Doud Eisenhower chronology". Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  20. "The Living Room Candidate – Commercials – 1972 – Mamie".
  21. "Biography: Mamie Doud Eisenhower". dwightdeisenhower.com. Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2009.

Further reading

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Bess Truman
First Lady of the United States
1953–1961
Succeeded by
Jacqueline Kennedy