126 years ago today, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th US President and Commander of the European Allied Forces in WWII, was born. Nicknamed “Ike”, he grew up in Kansas, where he learned to take responsibility for the safety of those around him after his brother lost an eye in an accident involving the two. Voted Gallup’s most admired man twelve times, he achieved widespread popular esteem both in and out of office as one of the greatest US presidents. Here are some of the reasons… (1890)
He was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He launched the Interstate Highway System and sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce an order that allowed blacks to attend public schools. He also signed voting rights legislation and desegregated the armed forces.
In his farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed concern about the dangers of corporate control of Congress and massive military spending with government contracts to private military manufacturers, coining the term “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex”.
More Good News from this day in History:
- The children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, was published (1926)
- 300 escaped Germany’s Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland during a revolt that killed eleven SS guards (1943)
- District of Columbia Bar Association voted to accept black members (1958)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. became youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1964)
- The first Gay Rights March on Washington, D.C., drew 200,000 people (1979)
- Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize (1991)
- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Israelis, Rabin and Peres (1994)
And, American runner Jim Hines became the first person to finish a 100-meter race in under 10 seconds — 9.95. What once was thought impossible suddenly became possible– and soon routine– after the psychological and physical barrier was broken. (1968)