Welcome to our collection of quotes by Dwight D. Eisenhower. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower GCS CCLH KC NPk (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American military officer and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, and achieved the rare five-star rank of General of the Army. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–1943 and the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944–1945 from the Western Front.
Eisenhower, born David Dwight Eisenhower, was raised in Abilene, Kansas, in a large family of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. His family had a strong religious background. His mother became a Jehovah's Witness. Eisenhower, however, did not belong to any organized church until 1952. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and later married Mamie Doud, with whom he had two sons. During World War I, he was denied a request to serve in Europe and instead commanded a unit that trained tank crews. Following the war, he served under various generals and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1941. After the United States entered World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the invasions of North Africa and Sicily before supervising the invasions of France and Germany. After the war, he served as Army Chief of Staff (1945–1948), as president of Columbia University (1948–1953) and as the first Supreme Commander of NATO (1951–1952).
In 1952, Eisenhower entered the presidential race as a Republican to block the isolationist foreign policies of Senator Robert A. Taft; Taft opposed NATO and wanted no foreign entanglements. Eisenhower won that election and the 1956 election in landslides, both times defeating Adlai Stevenson II. Eisenhower's main goals in office were to contain the spread of communism and reduce federal deficits. In 1953, he threatened to use nuclear weapons until China agreed to peace terms in the Korean War. China did agree and an armistice resulted which remains in effect. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing funding for expensive Army divisions. He continued Harry S. Truman's policy of recognizing Taiwan as the legitimate government of China, and he won congressional approval of the Formosa Resolution. His administration provided major aid to help the French fight off Vietnamese Communists in the First Indochina War. After the French left, he gave strong financial support to the new state of South Vietnam. He supported regime-changing military coups in Iran and Guatemala orchestrated by his own administration. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, he condemned the Israeli, British, and French invasion of Egypt, and he forced them to withdraw. He also condemned the Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but took no action. After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the Space Race. He deployed 15,000 soldiers during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. Near the end of his term, he failed to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets when a U.S. spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. He approved the Bay of Pigs invasion, which was left to John F. Kennedy to carry out.
On the domestic front, Eisenhower was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking executive privilege. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders which integrated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. His largest program was the Interstate Highway System. He promoted the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act. His two terms saw unprecedented economic prosperity except for a minor recession in 1958. In his farewell address to the nation, he expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers, which he dubbed "the military–industrial complex". Historical evaluations of his presidency place him among the upper tier of American presidents.
Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all. Dwight D.
Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. Dwight D.
Pessimism never won any battle. Dwight D.
Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg. Dwight D.
To be true to one's own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others. Dwight D.
Never waste a minute thinking about people you don't like. Dwight D.
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed -- else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. Dwight D.
No other man contributed so much to the vast expansion of 20th century knowledge. Yet no other man was more modest in the possession of the power that is knowledge, more sure that power without wisdom is deadly. Dwight D.
I never worry about what I did the day before. Dwight D.
Character in many ways is everything in leadership. It is made up of many things but I would say character is really integrity. Dwight D.
Things have never been more like the way they are today in history. Dwight D.
The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice! Dwight D.
Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. Dwight D.
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. Dwight D.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom.
This world of ours must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
May the light of freedom, coming to all darkened lands, flame brightly until at last the darkness is no more.
The final battle against intolerance is to be fought--not in the chambers of any legislature--but in the hearts of men.
The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the.
The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.
The supreme quality of leadership is integrity.
It is not enough to take this weapon out of the hands of soldiers. It must be put into the hands of those who will know how to strip its military casing and adapt it to the arts of peace.
Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace.
A voter without a ballot is like a soldier without a bullet.
We cannot risk living all our lives under emergency measures.
The national government was itself the creature of the States...Yet today it is often made to appear that the creature, Frankenstein-like, is determined to destroy the creators.
Our economy is the result of millions of decisions we all make every day about producing, earning, saving, investing, and spending.
One day the people of the world will want peace
so much that the governments will have to get out
of their way and give it to them.
But all history has taught us the grim lesson that no nation has ever been successful in avoiding the terrors of war by refusing to defend its rights -- by attempting to placate aggression.
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.
You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.
We must be strong at home if we are going to be strong abroad. We understand that. So we want to be strong at home in our morale or in our spirit, we want to be strong intellectually, in our education, in our economy and, where necessary, militarily.
We have heard much of the phrase, peace and friendship. This phrase, in expressing the aspiration of America, is not complete. We should say instead, peace and friendship, in freedom. This, I think, is America's real message to the rest of the world.
How far have we come in man's long pilgrimage from darkness toward light? Are we nearing the light-a day of freedom and of peace for all mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us?
Every gathering of Americans-whether a few on the porch of a crossroads store or massed thousands in a great stadium-is the possessor of a potentially immeasurable influence on the future.
Freedom bestows on us the priceless gift of opportunity -- if we neglect our opportunities we shall certainly lose our freedom.
No easy problems ever come to the President of the United States. If they are easy to solve, someone else has solved them.
Public opinion wins wars.
No one should be appointed to political office if he is a seeker after it.
The world no longer has a choice between force and law; if civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.
Guns and tanks and planes are nothing unless there is a solid spirit, a solid heart, and great productiveness behind it.
Firmness in support of fundamentals, with flexibility in tactics and methods, is the key to any hope of progress in negotiation.
First, separate ground, sea and air warfare is gone forever. This lesson we learned in World War II. I lived that lesson in Europe. Others lived it in the Pacific. Millions of American veterans learned it well.
Plans are useless, but planning is essential.
Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.
The speed, accuracy and devastating power of American Artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in their enemy.
The right of the individual to elect freely the manner of his care in illness must be preserved.
Among these treasures of our land is water-fast becoming our most valuable, most prized, most critical resource. A blessing where properly used-but it can bring devastation and ruin when left uncontrolled.
As it is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence.
Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.
I have said time and again there is no place on this earth to which I would not travel, there is no chore I would not undertake if I had any faintest hope that, by so doing, I would promote the general cause of world peace.
Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them.
The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law, and the fostering of justice, in all the world.
To blend, without coercion, the individual good and the common good is the essence of citizenship in a free country.
I believe that without free enterprise there can be no democracy.
In this hope, among the things we teach to the young are such truths as the transcendent value of the individual and the dignity of all people, the futility and stupidity of war, its destructiveness of life and its degradation of human values.
If people get together, so eventually will nations.
No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.
The problem is not merely man against man or nation against nation. It is man against war.
The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength -- and strength alone.
We have won an armistice on a single battlefield, not peace in our world. We may not now relax our guard nor cease our quest.
Legislation to apply the principle of equal pay for equal work without discrimination because of sex is a matter of simple justice.
One of the things that I noticed in war was how difficult it was for our soldiers, at first, to realize that there are no rules to war. Our men were raised in sports, where a referee runs a football game, or an umpire a baseball game, and so forth.
I am inclined by nature to be optimistic about the capacity of a person to rise higher than he or she has thought possible once interest and ambition are aroused.
Innovations and discoveries have created new industries giving more and more Americans better jobs and adding greatly to the prosperity and well being of all.
You can't have this kind of war. There just aren't enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.
There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home.
This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that's the way it's going to be. We're going down there, and we're throwing everything we have into it, and we're going to make it a success.
Peace is more the product of our day-to-day living than of a spectacular program, intermittently executed.
Organizations cannot make a genius out of an incompetent. On the other hand, disorganization can scarcely fail to result in efficiency.
Disorganization can scarcely fail to result in efficiency.
Each and all of us must summon to mind the words of Him whom we honor this Easter time: 'When a strong man, armed, keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.'
How has retirement affected my golf game? A lot more people beat me now.
Any nations right to a form of government and economic system of its own choosing is inalienable. Any nations attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.
In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with the people's money or their economy or their form of government, be conservative.
Why don't you lay the footpaths where the students want to walk?
To be true to one's own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.
I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender, and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.
Civilization owes to the Islamic world some of its most important tools and achievements...the Muslim genius has added much to the culture of all peoples.
Change is the law of life and of relations between nations. When two great peoples such as ours, energetic and optimistic, live side by side in all the diversity that freedom offers, change is rapid and brings in its wake problems, sometimes frictions.
I despise all adjectives that try to describe people as liberal or conservative, rightist or leftist, as long as they stay in the useful part of the road.
I call upon those who love freedom to stand with us now. Together we shall achieve victory.
Beware the influence of the military-industrial complex.
Our arms must be mighty ... ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
Nothing is easy in war. Mistakes are always paid for in casualties and troops are quick to sense any blunder made by their commanders.
If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.