It is feeling more and more like fall by the day here in New York. I do miss Governors Island but at the same time I must say I have been enjoying these Sundays off. This past week marked the 125th anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower’s birth. Many forget that he was born in Texas and not Kansas. One thing that is so fascinating about that generation is the way it spanned most of the major events of the 20th century. And they did not just witness such events as the Great War, the Russian Revolution, the Depression, rises of Hitler, Stalin, & Mussolini, FDR’s New Deal, the Second World War, and Cold War, they were active participants. Ike was born during the Benjamin Harrison Administration and lived long enough to see the Beatles conquer America.
Eisenhower was in the West Point Class of 1915, known as the class “the stars fell on” because nearly five dozen graduates went on to become generals. Most of them first put what they learned in class to use on the battlefields of France. The lieutenants and captains of 1917 were the major generals of 1942. Ike of course did not go to France; he was too valuable as a trainer and organizer. He spent a great deal of time at Camp Colt in Gettysburg. That is why he and Mamie eventually bought their first and only home there. They were part of the fabric of the local community for decades, and entertained world visitors frequently as well. If you have never been to the Eisenhower Farm, make sure to visit on your next trip to Gettysburg.
Check out these great photos that Penn Live has posted in tribute. One of my favorites is the one with him and the 101 Airborne just prior to the Normandy Invasion. It is almost an outtake of the more famous image one sees all the time. It is amazing how many of photographs, especially the color photographs, appear modern. The cut and styling in the suits were timeless.
(image/Library of Congress byJack E. Boucher via Wikimedia Commons)