Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States.
He was elected for two consecutive terms and remained in the office from 1953 to 1961. During his presidential terms, the Cold War between U.S. and Soviet Union was in full swing. Much of his time in office was spent in countering Soviet expansion.
Before he became President, Dwight D. Eisenhower served in the U.S. army. He became an army general and played an instrumental role during World War II that was fought from 1939 to 1945. During the war, he led the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe as the Supreme Commander.
His leadership and strategic vision were very important in securing a victory for the Allied forces against Germany. He also planned and oversaw the invasion of German-held France as well as German mainland during the final stages of the war. He also served as the Army Chief of Staff. Later on, he went on to become the first Supreme Commander of NATO as well.
Eisenhower’s presidency was marked by a number of important events. Most of these concerned with confronting the rise of socialism and communism as a part of the Cold War. One of the first important events of his presidency was the Korean War. Other events included the Vietnam war, the Suez Crisis of 1957, the Syrian Crisis of 1957, and the establishment of NASA.
During the Korean War, China backed the North Korean forces and encouraged them to invade South Korea. Eisenhower forced China to stop intervening South Korea while threatening to use nuclear weapons. China agreed and this proved very important in securing freedom for South Korea. It also helped United States block further expansion of the communist regimes.
In 1956, Israel, United Kingdom and France launched an invasion of Egypt. Their aim was to take forceful control of the Suez canal which controlled a bulk of the international trade through the region. The Egyptian President, Jamal Abdul Nasser, had nationalized the canal. When the three nations launched their invasion, Eisenhower administration was swift in opposing them. He threatened Britain with serious financial pressures while also condemning France and Israel. In doing so, he played an important role alongside Soviet Union in ending the invasion of Egypt.
Following the Suez Crisis of 1957, President Eisenhower formulated a policy for Middle East. This became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. According to this doctrine, Middle Eastern nations could seek financial or military help of the United States when faced with armed aggression by another nation. The policy was meant to prevent the Soviet allies from invading any of the Middle Eastern nations.
In 1957, Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite into the Earth’s orbit, known as Sputnik I. Fearing a Soviet Union domination of the Space, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. This ushered in an age of Space Race between the two nations, ultimately contributing significantly to the development of space technologies.