U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower Election and First Term

About the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a brief history of his election and first term.

34th President



In order to save himself, Nixon appeared on a $75,000 coast-to-coast TV hookup. With his wife, Pat, at his side, he told his story to the American people, starting from the beginning: "I was born in 1913 in modest circumstances. Most of my early life was spent in a store...." While admitting the existence of the Nixon Fund, the candidate denied any impropriety. All the money, he said, went for "necessary political expenses" and "exposing Communism." In fact, Nixon himself never handled the money. The checks were all drawn and signed by a Pasadena lawyer, so naturally there was no need to mention the fund in Dick's income tax returns. And--oh, yes--the Nixons had received another gift from a political admirer: "a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that was sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl--Tricia, the six-year-old--named it Checkers. And you know, the kids love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it!"

By the time Nixon had finished, he was blinking back the tears, and millions of Americans had a similar reaction to the speech. As the telegrams of support poured in, Eisenhower embraced his running mate, declaring, "You're my boy." He later told the public that Nixon was "completely vindicated as a man of honor."

Nov. 4, 1952 ...

The Republican drive against "Korea, Communism, and Corruption" won a smashing victory over Stevenson's announced intention to "talk sense to the American people...." Eisenhower and Nixon polled 33,937,252 votes to 27,314,992 for their Democratic opponents. In the electoral college, Stevenson carried only the traditionally Democratic states of the "Solid South" (though he lost Texas and Virginia) and wound up with 89 electoral votes against Eisenhower's 442.

First Term: Jan. 20, 1953 ...

Eisenhower took the oath of office, as administered by Chief Justice Fred Vinson. The 2 1/2-hour inaugural parade which accompanied the ceremonies was the most elaborate ever held. It featured 50 state and organization floats costing $100,000. There were also 65 musical units, 350 horses, 3 elephants, an Alaskan dog team, and a 280-mm. atomic cannon.

At the inaugural ball that evening, Mamie wore a peau-de-soie ball gown in "Renoir pink," with more than 2,000 rhinestones stitched onto the fabric. Later she told the press that pink had always been her favorite color.

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