The American Dream: Dwight D Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a great, living, breathing representation of the American Dream. “What is the American Dream”, you may ask? My depiction of the American Dream is represented by a prospering life full of wonderful people, great relationships, and overall love for the country that helped you get there. Dwight had all of these virtues, and that leads me to believe that he was a perfect example of the American Dream.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in the small town of Denison, Texas and was the third of seven boys his mother, Ida Elizabeth Eisenhower would have. When Dwight was only two, his family moved from Texas to Abilene, Kansas. As a boy, Eisenhower loved camping and other outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, cooking and card playing as well as various sports. Eisenhower also loved to read, especially about war history. Life in the 1890’s was difficult particularly for the Eisenhower family. Dwight's mother was very strict and the hard family chores just added to the chaos of the young boys’ early years. In addition, the Eisenhower family was not very wealthy which also made life tougher on Dwight.
Dwight had quite an education throughout his life that all started as a boy. Dwight started Abilene high school with his class and in 1909 graduated with his class. At the time high school was considered a luxury to people and Dwight enjoyed it very much, standing out in football and baseball. As Dwight’s high school year came to an end, his parents encouraged him to think of college, though their budget was tight. Eisenhower was motivated. He worked shifts at the Belle Springs Creamery to earn some money toward college. He applied to both West Point and the naval academy in Annapolis. He passed both tests but then had a choice on his hands. Should he go to the renowned West Point or the friend recommended Naval Academy in Annapolis. As usual, time picked for him and he had to attend West Point because he was over the age limit for the Naval Academy. The Kansas senator was the one to recommend him to West Point. At West Point, Dwight played football very well, even tackling the great Jim Thorpe in a game he played against the Carlisle Indians.
After graduating West Point, and being a newly appointed second lieutenant, Eisenhower was posted in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. During that time period Dwight met his wife, Mamie. She was a great supporter of Eisenhower during his later life. When WWI broke out in 1914, Eisenhower was posted in America to train troops that would be deployed to Europe. Of course, Eisenhower was just itching to deploy out with the men he trained and so he applied and reapplied. Dwight then volunteered to be the observer of the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy. From 1922 to 1924 Eisenhower served under General Fox Connor as his executive officer in the Panama Canal Zone. Connor took it upon himself to mentor the young Eisenhower during his year with him. Back home, Dwight’s father died, taking a big toll on him and his wife as they were very close. With Connors help, Eisenhower moved on to another chapter of his life by being accepted to the Command and General staff school at Ft. Leavensworth, Kansas. This opened the doors to being the great leader that Dwight D Eisenhower was. Now Eisenhower had quite a distinct reputation that helped him get the positions he obtained in the future of his career. Later Eisenhower went on to write for the American Battle Monuments Commission. This introduced him to many more topics, including geography, cultures, and people of Europe.
When his tour completed, Eisenhower reported to the War Department. His assignments included having to come up with a plan to mobilize manpower should there be another war to break out. He was also made to write speeches as well as report and policy papers. Much to his surprise, another war did break out, WWII. In 1942 Eisenhower was posted to the War Plans Division where he impressed the Army Chief of Staff and was then promoted to Major General in March of 1942. Still on the rise in ranks, Dwight went overseas to England to be Commanding General. Then, by November of 1943, Dwight was upgraded to the Commander In Chief. His will to impress never seemed to quit, because not much later, in December, Eisenhower was appointed as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. Dwight was now in charge of the famous but gruesome D-Day as well as the bloody landings on the beaches of Normandy. After D-Day Eisenhower was appointed General of the Army (five stars) in December of 1944. Germany surrendered in May of 1945 and this helped Eisenhower to progress to the rank of Military Governor. Now Dwight was very well known and an international celebrity and was part of many parades and other big events, which would later help him in his Career.
Months later, Dwight was promoted to US Army Chief of staff and nearly three years later ended his Military Career when he was inaugurated President of Colombia University. This, as well as his entire military career, was a huge accomplishment but these were certainly not his last accomplishments. Another of his accomplishments was to become the first Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Eisenhower, retired back to his hometown only to announce that he was a candidate for presidency for the Republican Party.
On November 4, 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed the 34th President of the United States of America. This was one of the biggest accomplishments of his life and he and his wife were very proud of how far they had come. During his two terms of presidency, Eisenhower worked hard to contain and control the spread of communism. He also worked hard to lead the US to achieve its goals in both the Korean and Vietnam war, as well as the Cold war. Another one of his main goals was to keep peace with the Soviet Union, but his hope was crushed when the U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.
Eisenhower, was a man of great integrity and a man of greater respect. He worked very hard to achieve his goals and that brought him very far along. His wife, Marmie was very loyal to him and he was also just as loyal to her. Without her support he may have never gotten to the position he was in. All in all Eisenhower was a hard working Gentleman that strived to make peace with most. But what Eisenhower really excelled at was being a perfect example for everyone to follow. He really displayed the American Dream in a great way by taking all the opportunities given to him even when he was just a poor farm boy. That is what the American Dream is all about after all, beating the odds against you by taking the great opportunities this country gives you each and every day.
In conclusion, Eisenhower was a very influential man full of the American Dream and the idea that you can always have opportunities to get to the top, just as he did. He displayed the meaning to be a true proud American through his career in the military and how he ran for presidency. He could have settled into one of the many military jobs he had, but he decided to go above and beyond the call of duty.