Throughout time there has been a transition of power from one individual to
another. This has been a time honored tradition that takes place every four years. This
remarkable tradition is formally known as the United States Presidency.
Every four years there is an election to guarantee that the most fit person is
selected to run our country. There is usually two to four runners for this grand position
but only one is deemed the winner and the American President. So far in our history there
have been forty-two presidents of this great country but there are only the latest ten
outlined here.
The first of these ten specific icons is Harry S. Truman; born in Lamar, Missouri in
1884 and lived his life as a farmer. During his life he served in World War I as a captain in
Field Artillery and then returned and married an Elizabeth Virginia Wallace; living
together and opening a haberdashery in Kansas City. He was then elected as a judge in
the Jackson County Court in 1922 then becoming a senator in 1934. Slightly later he
headed an investigation committee in the Senate war checking waste and corruption
saving large amounts of money even 15 million dollars. Truman was elected vice
president to President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the hardships in Soviet Russia.
Truman was inaugurated on April 12, 1945 taking on the largest burden of his life
and he quoted to one reporter, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen
on me.” Among these weights was the building pressure of Japan’s attack on Pearl
Harbor where Truman had to make the crucial decision to kill millions by dropping two
atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truman witnessed the signing of the United
Nations peace charter established to preserve peace.
After following Roosevelt’s policies Truman decided to enact his own policies of
Social Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices,
public housing and slum clearance. This program was called the “Fair Deal” and Truman
said, “[This program] symbolizes for me my assumption of the office of President in my
own right.” Along with this program, Truman enacted the Truman doctrine whereby he
asked Congress to aid the two countries of Turkey and Greece. He created a massive
airlift whereby food and supplies could be delivered even though the Russians blockaded
the western sectors of Berlin in 1948 and at the same time created NATO (North Atlantic
Treaty Organizations) in 1949.
Truman lived a long and fruitful life but which was cut short on December 26,
1972 when he died.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the thirty-fifth president of the United States. Among
his many accomplishments was his prestige he gained as commanding general in Europe
during World War II where he obtained a truce in Korea and worked to ease tensions of
the Cold War. He followed policies of “Modern Republicanism” stating that “America is
today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world.”
Eisenhower was born in Texas and brought up in Abilene, Kansas. Even though
he was the third of seven sons he excelled in sports and his schooling which credited him
an appointment to West Point. While being stationed in Texas as a second lieutenant, he
met Mamie Geneva Doud to which he married in 1916. During his vast military career
and serving under General John P. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur, he commanded the
Allied Forces landing in North Africa in November 1942. On D-Day, 1944, he was the
Supreme Commander of the invasion force invading France. During peacetime he became
the President of Columbia University and went on to become the leader of the new NATO
forces that were being created in 1951. In 1952, Eisenhower ran for presidency and won
with a sweeping victory with the unforgettable slogan of “I Like Ike.” He tried to ease the
tensions of the cold war and also quieted the rebellion of South Korea with an armed
peace. In July of 1955, Eisenhower along with the leaders of France, Russia, and Britain
met in Geneva to discuss foreign matters. During the convention Eisenhower proposed
that the US and Russia exchange military blueprints and be allowed to photograph each
others countries so as to prolong the peace except that he was met with a cold silence that
heightened the tension.
After suffering a heart attack in September 1955, Eisenhower was returned to
“service” and deemed healthy after seven weeks in the hospital. Returning to duty in time
to win the next election for his second