On today in 1916, a 25-year-old Army lieutenant named Dwight D. Eisenhower marries 19-year-old Mamie Geneva Doud at her parents home in Denver, Colorado. He would continue to show out to function as nation’s 34th president.
Dwight and Mamie had a brief courtship. They met in 1915 whilst he was stationed near San Antonio, Texas, where her parents were wintering from the Colorado snow and cold. She was vibrant, thrifty and a talented pianist. He was a West Point graduate on a lifetime career military track-he would eventually grow to be the supreme Allied commander of the European Front in World War II and the first choice of the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. During the war, Mamie and “Ike,” as he was known as, were apart for 3 years. Rumors abounded throughout that time that Eisenhower was obtaining an affair along with his Jeep driver, Kay Summersby. Eisenhower by no means publicly admitted to an inappropriate partnership with Summersby, but a book of tellingly intimate correspondence among Kay and Ike was published following his death in 1969. Mamie remained silent on the problem till her death.
After the war, Eisenhower served as president of Columbia University from 1948 to 1950 and Mamie create home in New York. When he returned to military service as commander of NATO in December 1959, Mamie gamely moved to Paris with him. It wouldn’t normally function as only move of these marriage: based on the National First Ladies Library, the couple lived in 33 properties throughout Eisenhower’s 37-year military profession. Mamie also toured the united states extensively with him in help of his presidential campaign in 1952, throughout which, at every single stop, he’d introduce her to the crowd as “my Mamie.” By enough time Mamie moved in to the White House as 1st lady in 1953, she had of knowledge adapting to new situations plenty.
During Ike’s presidency, Mamie played the part of the consummate 1950s wife and hostess. Eisenhower deferred to her plans to redecorate the White House and gave her complete rein in organizing White House social functions. Mamie exerted her influence quietly but clearly: in 1953, for instance, she refused to send the controversial Senator Joseph McCarthy an invitation to the annual vice president’s dinner.
During his tenure in the White House, Eisenhower suffered 3 wellness-associated episodes that took him out of commission for weeks at the same time: a coronary attack in September 1955, a gallstone operation in 1956 and a mild stroke in November 1957. At every of the instances, Mamie acted as a buffer amongst her husband and the each day demands of the presidency. While she didn’t make selections for him, she screened guests, managed his diet and healthcare regime, answered his mail and attended public functions in his absence.
Dwight named Mamie “my invaluable, my indispensable, but publicly inarticulate lifelong partner. She is a very shrewd observer. I got it into my head that I’d better listen when she talked about someone brought in close to me.”
After leaving the White House, Mamie and Dwight traveled and remained active in public areas life and in the Republican Party. Their grandson, David, married President Richard Nixon’s daughter Julie in 1968. The next year, Eisenhower died of heart failure at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. with Mamie at his side. She passed on in 1979 at age 82.