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Fun Facts on Eisenhower

A young Dwight Eisenhower. Courtesy: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library

Did You Know?

Always the General
One of John F. Kennedy's first official acts as president was to restore Eisenhower to the rank of general of the army, which Ike had given up when he retired to run for president.

Hail Columbia
In 1949, Eisenhower became president for the first time -- of Columbia University. However, he was unhappy in the position and left in 1950 to become supreme commander of the newly formed NATO.

Grant and Eisenhower
Until Ronald Reagan, the only Republican presidents who served out two complete terms were also both generals and West Point graduates — Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant.

A Question of the Succession
After Eisenhower survived a heart attack, stroke, and an operation for ileitis in his first term, doubts began to arise about his ability to survive a second term. This concern generated a short-lived movement to remove Richard Nixon from the 1956 ticket, but since Eisenhower remained silent on the issue, the movement lost steam and Nixon remained.

The name Game
Ike changed the name of FDR's Maryland retreat from Shangri-la to Camp David. Eisenhower thought Shangri-la was "just a little too fancy for a Kansas farm boy."

Wedding Bells
Two major political families were united when Eisenhower's grandson, David, married Richard Nixon's daughter, Julie.

West Point Days
One of the greatest generals in American history, Eisenhower was only an average student at West Point, and in 1915 graduated 61st in a class of 164.

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