Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, was born 125 years ago in Denison, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1890.
The Eisenhower family moved to Abilene, Kan., in 1892, where Dwight Eisenhower, known by the nickname “Ike,” graduated from Abilene High School in 1909. Two years later, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1915.
The following year, Eisenhower married Mamie Doud. Their first son, Doud Dwight, was born in 1917, but died at age three of scarlet fever. A second son, John Sheldon Doud, was born Aug. 3, 1922.
Though he aspired to serve in the cavalry corps and actively sought an overseas assignment before and during World War I, Eisenhower was stationed in Texas, training infantry troops.
As America entered World War II, Eisenhower was promoted to brigadier general and commanded America’s war efforts in the Far East before leading a campaign in North Africa. By 1943 Eisenhower was named supreme commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces, and he led the June 6, 1944, Normandy invasion.
Despite never holding public office, the widely admired war hero was nominated as the Republican candidate for president in the 1952 election, which he won by defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson in a landslide.
Eisenhower served two full terms as president. His first term saw the signing of the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War. Efforts by Eisenhower to contain a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union were largely unsuccessful, however, and the ensuing Cold War between the two superpowers would drag on for decades.
Eisenhower furthered efforts to extend civil rights to black Americans by enforcing school integration and through civil rights acts proposed to Congress and signed into law. A major accomplishment was Eisenhower’s push to develop the nation’s interstate highway system.
Eisenhower’s second term ended Jan. 20, 1961. He died of congestive heart failure eight years later at age 78.
A 6¢ memorial stamp for Eisenhower was issued Oct. 14, 1969, in Abeline (Scott 1383). Eisenhower definitive stamps were issued with a 6¢ denomination in 1970 (Scott 1393 sheet, 1395 booklet, 1401 coil), and an 8¢ denomination in 1971 (1394 sheet, 1402 coil).
A 22¢ Eisenhower stamp was issued in 1986 as part of the Ameripex Presidential issue (Scott 2219g).
In 1990, a 25¢ commemorative stamp marking Eisenhower’s birth centenary was issued Oct. 13 (Scott 2513).