tv The Presidency Dwight D. Eisenhower - Champion of Peace CSPAN April 24, 2021 12:39pm-1:26pm EDT
past september how would a person that spent a majority of their life studying war? learning head how apply not just manpower but technology industry and everything towards fighting major battles it's it's weird. it seems weird that the man that studied all this who ended up leading an allied army of multiple nations of over five million men. would be the person who would. be such a large advocate for pete. and that was just a few decades later.
well his foundations for this is starts in abilene and actually for the majority of his life. he was always reading observing listening and learning from other people and those around him. and late the lessons he gained over time they built and compounded on each other. and they created a person who understood that peace. is not a lasting piece is not the normal state of humanity yet is the most desirable. i learned several lessons about diplomacy from his boyhood time in in abilene. his first lesson in a lot of these stories she can read about them in his book at ease which gives some of the best detail of his life as a young boy growing up up and up until he was a president.
he mentioned that allies are always needed. and he learned this lesson one when it was very first days at school. he is being chased around the playground by a larger bully. and paid ran around a couple of times trying to avoid this guy and finally his. older brother basically said that's enough. and came in and i can and stopped. um another story is that sometimes strength is required and sometimes peace is not advantageous. both i can david. eisenhower's parents were pretty much pacifist and would not a but not accept too much fight. one day i came running home from school being chased by another boy and his dad david's
standing. there's like why are you being why are you letting this boy chase you around? mike said well. if i fight him you're going to give me a looking if i don't fight him. you're gonna give me like i'm i'm losing either way his dad's like no you turn around you take care of this. and i proceeded to show quite a bit of strength by knocking another boy down say if you come at me again, we're gonna have a very long year because every day i'm gonna be on and third story which growing up in a rural community and and having some farmland for a time. i can definitely associate with was he went and spent some time with his aunt and uncle and north of topeka and they had a gander that really did not like i can use about five or six years old this time. and would chase like all around the yard? well one eventually ike's uncle got upset and tired of him doing that.
of running away, so i handed him a broom handle that he cut the broom off of and he said next time that gander comes at you you even more whack. well sure enough, the gander comes at him and ike takes a swing at him and lands us hit on him. and he says that kind of instigated an uneasy piece between the two the ender would stay out of his way but something honk at the entire time. so there's there's some there's the groundwork for what would become ike's ideas on on peace and how to foster peace or being born here his mom taught him less than the hatred is futile. the angers is futile. and this this comes from when he got and i get so mad that his brothers were being allowed to something that he wasn't. that he beat his hands against the tree until they were really tore up bleeding. and after he calm down and
everything his mom has stressing his wounds and she was talking to him about some scripture and also about hatred. and saying that this is you have to control this. and if you have i mean too much hatred or even hatred itself becomes true style and all it is is destruct. and probably the last lesson he demonstrates coming out of abilene. it's the small town community. being tied in so closely with others, but there is a built-in concern for your neighbor. and that it was this concern that should be fostered and grow between more than just your local neighbors. it should be spread out over communities. as a child he notes that he loved reading historical fiction or historical. books to the point his mom actually locked the books up and
and told him hey, you cannot read this you have to you got to do your other school work. and he found that he always cheered for the underdogs and one of his favorite historical. persons personas was hannibal and how he pursued this the fight against rome. and and against overwhelming odds and was able to keep rome at bay from carthage for so many years. this idea of always being for the underdog. well, we'll come back into play here in a little while in a little bit. when i graduate high school, he finally ends up at west point. and he's immediately introduced to. boys that are of the same roughly the same age. he's a little bit older. but of different brings up different education and parts of different parts of the united
states. so he's well, he's learning from these other cadets. is learning about you know their traditions where they're from their lifestyle and while there's a lot of commonalities between them for each region and they're each rate each region. there's there's a little bit of difference. and during after he gets out of west point he goes into the army the early army days. he's bounced around from he starts out at fort sam houston and then world war i starts and he's bounced around for posting the posting it lot of training. and now he's exposed to not only men that were educated. as we're most of these most of the students at west point. he's entered to uneducated. he's an introduced to all all and social aspects. of the young men age group of
the early manhood age group the guys that were volunteering and and being drafted for the war after the war he experiences. the same thing but what the convoy across the united states 1919 he experiences. finding a whole new regions of the us that he had been to and he's not talking to boys that are men that are in his same age group that had the same military background or anything like that. these are the common people that are coming out to meet this impressive convoy to the united states, and it's not that he just drives why in waves he does stop he does talk to them. a you know, so they can have the speed of the convoy was such in the mechanical problems on the conway as such that they stop pretty often and had to do repairs and stuff in these towns like the photo here is of a woman bringing out a big wash tub full of lemonade to give to
the soldiers as they're driving through. so while he's doing this he's at is he's acting as an ambassador for the army at the same time. he is he's learning about regions and people of the us that had not been exposed to previously. this comes down to wanting to understand the hopes and the fears of people in 1956. he'll make a quote. it says people are what count a sympathetic understanding of the aspirations the hopes and fears to the traditions and prides of other people's nations is essential to the promotion of mutual prosperity and peace. so while he's doing these travels, he's learning about these traditions what what these people take pride? and yes, they're americans and they all have a basic similar background, but they're also a major regional differences and you're also talking at the turn of the century when you still had. solid immigrant enclaves even in
the in the midwest and the west he's encountering and learning more from each one of these moments has exposed eisenhower's to aspirations and traditions of these people. when it comes to the hopes and fears he had. an introduction himself to these and the first his first hope of being sent over to france to fight world war. i his dashed. he's so important with training. that they will not let him label. he finally do have him signed up to leave. the war ends, so to be spent the last five or six years of his life learning and praying for warren and being left out. it did affect and probably the worst is worse fear became realized when after the war he stationed in camp meade and his
son dialed dwight. his nickname is icky dies of scarlet fever. this creates this devastating. he right you write 60 years later. there's never been a point in my life worse for me than that day. and this creates a sympathy that maybe a synthetic empathy. that everybody has hopes and dreams. everybody has hopes and fears and we all have to respect that and understand that if we want to get along. so also during the inner war ike was doing. uh what the army stuff you do he was serving with different commands he actually managed to get himself some prime spots for education in the command in general staff school and the army war college, but he also was able to encounter in and
travel and finally meet people from over to people overseas on their own territory. this exposure started out in panama and then a france in the philippines and each place. he was exposed to the people and learned on their traditions and how they acted while he was in france and he was working for the battle monuments commission writing or revising a battlefield guide for us soldiers that had fought in world war one he gives the habit of when he goes out and tours his battlefields. he puts a lunch in the trunk of this car. and that's usually wine and some canned meat some other stuff and anytime he sees and when he's driving around for lunch anytime he sees french locals setting on the side of the road having lunch. he pulls over and shares his lunch with and he's doing this
because he wants to talk to the people and learn from them and also just kind of share the good will. and this is really a his exposure to of one on one. that this was not something he had to do he could have taken lunches on his own and not been. worried about trying to translate what was being said everything but instead he's reaching out to people to get to know them and learn what the their lives are about. in the philippines is diplomacy gets a lot more important because while he's working on macarthur's staff, he basically becomes the point of contact for the philippine president quiz on. and anytime there's a he actually has a office right next to the president. so that anytime there's a question or issue that he can go and really work between
macarthur and and kazan and help. build up the philippine army as they're trying to prepare to become an independent nation. and frankly his skills of diplomacy are honed quite well while serving under macarthur who was probably not the easiest of bosses to work with. world war ii rolls around it's already been by the time the united states invades north africa on november 8th 1942. it's already been a roller coaster for fried. he's gone from being a colonel just two years prior to being in a general in charge of a major offensive. and the difficulties are set right off. when they land they're not landing as an army of occupation. they're landing saying as once
who are trying to free. the french people in colonies so that they can join the allied effort. and this difficult is it arises from the military head of the vichy french government? that's admiral. gene. francis are long. every eisenhower's had brought a french general general girod. they removed it had him removed from france and put him with the invasion fleet and he was to talk to all of the french soldiers that were in north africa and have them surrender and join the allies and start fighting for the allies. well, none of these french soldiers would do that. they totally ignored gerard. they thought he had no authority and they would only surrender and join the allies if darlan told them to so i guess facing a quandary here.
he's got still in 1942 a very limited pool of resources to fight. he knows he's got a german army. that's eventually going to be coming where he's for his truths. and now he's got to worry about whether he has to fight the french forces in north africa. and knowing that he does not have resources to make an army of occupation out of what he has. and continue to fight the french and germans at the same time. he cuts to deal with caroline says if you'll get the french forces and surrender and fight for us. then we will you will be named head of the french military and you will also be you can have your title of ahead of the french government in north africa and west africa that on surface is a very satisfactory
deal with the problem as far as getting. troops on to our side and preventing unnecessary bloodshot. however, darlena is a well-known collaborator with the nazi government and it raises all kinds of ruffles all kinds of feathers both in london and the us eventually both roosevelt and in churchill when they're a price of the situation agree that he made the same he made eisenhower's decision that to save lives and and to foster the peace and get going after our common enemy that the nazis. you made the right decision. however this was a tough diplomatic his first eisenhower's first real diplomatic choice, and it was a tough one and it left a bad taste in his mouth. he was pretty sure he was going to get fired over. and in the end it worked out.
so the alliance was not easy in itself, and there's diplomacy going on and if you look at the the first picture on the left you have montgomery and patton standing there looking at a map to get it is my opinion and if you can get those two guys to fight on the same side and agree long enough. to conduct operations then you're pretty good at diplomacy. because those it was not easy for those two to work together. each nation has its individual political ideas. and how things should be wrong. this was a contest wills between the us and the great britain even as their alliance as they're trying to attack next. what's the best strategy? we go on a narrow front do we go on a broad front do we go for the underbelly, we go for needing? this is a constant.
discussion the a lot of these are diplomatic discussions that eisenhower cannot escape though he has there they become political political and he has to jog that line between the political and in the military. but the thing is is both sides are every part of the allies are wanting the same thing to defeat of germany and into the nazi ring. this keeps them focused on winning the peace and how to get to that piece. the common goals of each nation have to be found. you don't look at the differences you look at the common goals and you go with that. that's how you end conflict. that's how you go to build. peace. at the end of the war ike learns. comes back to the lesson that i had taught him years ago that hatred is futile. in the cost of hatred itself
when here the discover the concentration camps. this is perhaps a watershed front. he's walking through the odor of concentration camp. his witnessing the culminating effects of all this hatred and if you look at the photo on the left if you look at the face ike's face. i am hard-pressed if you'll ever find another picture of him being so angry. that is you know, we've always grown up seeing the photos and smiling or having a serious look that is look of ultimate anger right there and rightfully, so this is what happens when the commonalities of men are ignored. um when people disparage the customs and traditions of one another and when they fell to even try to understand one another that you have the
holocaust as world war ii is closing out. the two new two atomic bombs dropped on japan ike sees another issue with that. you know have not only people who could come up with the same hatred that the nazis did. but if they got weapons modern weapons how easy it would be to cause every town to look like this to suffer such losses this this is this moment this the you know should be a joyous time. the war is over. everyone's gonna coming home and it was to but there's also realization that if we if if they don't get a control on this that the live loss the hatred will will kill everybody.
so i called. three three major stations after the war. he's the chief of staff of the army. he ends up being president of columbia university. and then just as he's really getting full stride enjoying that job. truman calls him back and makes him the supreme allied commander of european forces for the northland tree. he was really enjoying what he was doing at columbia because he felt like he was working to better the lives of people through education in pushing for. peace. and each post he did that was kind of his thing was start looking for the way for a lasting. peace. this lasting piece he's said can't be built slowly on military strength. we have to we have to put the full mind of the nation behind
us the education the science. the sacrifice to bank a common gift the role of supreme allied commander. i probably viewed as one of his greatest. as far as driving for peace it was the most important his goal. in the goal of nato at the time was just to provide. western europe with enough protection that the people could become confident themself as i dug out from the from the debris of world war ii. and become start producing a fulfilling life. that's peaceful. he wanted them to have the confidence to thrive. so i cast.
in a selection of speeches that he's made from world war ii design inauguration eisenhower's library has about 300 pages digitized. almost 300 pages the word piece or peaceful is he's 703 times. the majority of that is between the end of the war. and while he's a nato these are all different speeches. he gave speeches the american legion for the army day at universities. and each speech of course is tailored to the audience. he was having at that time. but the principles that he that he posted about peace were the same. a lasting piece must be accomplished. there's no doubt about that. or the cost of war is far too high. with nuclear weapons now the cost of war is so high that humanity will not survive.
despite all of the time all the all of the hours all of the blood all the effort put into winning world war ii. he believes the work of a lasting peace is much more difficult than that of winning the war. pieces the underdog it is not the de facto state of humanity. it is the desired state. the only way to get to that is through education. understanding man your fellow humans learning the commonalities and focusing on in respecting the differences of each other. and with that alternative over to jeff, so he can talk about how that's applied. thank you. thank you, troy. on on january 20th 1953 dwight
eisenhower's inaugurated as the 34th president of the united states. he entered office with a deeply developed sense of duty to serve his nation that sense of duty was developed during his years in the military where he did nothing but serve the united states. his duty as president though was was a little bit different than his duty. as general he no longer was there to simply seek victory over enemies. um, he was there to make sure that the nation as whole thrived and survived. he also felt an obligation to work for a lasting global peace in a world that was severely divided by ideology. as troy mentioned earlier. he used the word. peace. hundreds of times in his
speeches up until the presidency. he concluded his inaugural address by highlighting the importance of cooperation in a world that was ever more closely bound economically and politically he said the peace we seek then. is nothing less than the practice and fulfillment of our whole faith among ourselves? and in our dealings with others. one of eisenhower's greatest tools in his effort to create a more equitable world community. was his vision of personal diplomacy and the value he placed on face-to-face communication with other national leaders. there were many. there were many hurdles ahead of eisenhower's during his administration. the cold war with the soviet
union, which was basically a bilateral division of much of the world. based on competing and conflicting ideology. was probably the single greatest impediment to peace that ike faced. that ideological division was basically came down to the individual freedoms cherished by the western nations and the collective socialist beliefs held in the eastern block. this division would color how ike. reacted to international crisis throughout his administration. of nearly as great import. to ike's foreign policy and peace initiatives was the decline of colonialism and the rise of nationalist movements in newly independent nations around the world. these two nations were often rich in resources, but lacking
in infrastructure. they struggled to gain a foothold in the global economy. they became fertile ground for the superpowers. in their efforts to spread their chosen ideology. so basically ike's duty and mission in trying to create global peace was to limit the spread of communism and to promote the development of a lot of new nations that were created with the decline of colonialism in the 1950s. next. thank you. cold war issues dominated the the foreign of eisenhower's administration um the nuclear arms race which realistically made war a fatal prospect and made going to war and insane prospect.
highlighted that cold war division other agreements seem smaller with with the lens of time, but they were major disagreements during ike's administration. disagreement over the allied occupation of berlin was a major issue during most of his administration. as were uprising uprisings against communist governments in poland and hungary. are ultimately ike's primary goal was to contain the spread of communist ideology. it's beginning beginning of his first term eisenhower's a press conference on february 25th in 1953 and one of the reporters asked if he would consider meeting with soviet premiere joseph stalin and more importantly if he would consider traveling outside the united
states to meet with joseph stalin. um presidents by and large did not many foreign trips. for any reason prior to the mid 20th century partly it was due to difficulties in getting overseas. it took a long time to take students. eisenhower's reply to this question about whether he would meet stalin who was at the time. probably america's staunchest enemy was quote. i would meet anybody anywhere where i thought there was the slightest chance of doing any good. so despite the heavy chill in diplomatic relations between the us and the soviet union. eisenhower's willing to use any personal means to reduce tensions between the two nations. joseph stalin died of a stroke just 10 days after that press conference. in which ike opened the door to
a possible meeting between the two superpowers. it would be two more years before he was able to meet. with the new soviet leadership that meeting happened at the geneva conference in 1955. this big four conference consisted of the leaders of the soviet union the united states the united kingdom and france. they attended this conference to discuss. general disarmament proposals and the disposition of allied forces in berlin the soviets were particularly upset that western powers is still maintained troops in west berlin, which surrounded by east german. eisenhower's chosen to be chairman of the first of this conference's meetings. and he opened opened the conference by saying the following.
we meet here for a simple purpose. we have come to find a basis for accommodation, which will make life safer and happier. not only for the nations we represent. but for people everywhere. so already in specifically dealing with the soviet leadership. he's implying that everything they do will have an impact on people around the world. eisenhower's little in the way of concrete accomplishments relating to major issues he did use the conference as a chance to create and strengthen personal relations. relationships with leaders of the most powerful nations in the northern hemisphere he held personal meetings with each government leader, and he was able to to learn their strengths and weaknesses. um when he returned from geneva,
he wrote a letter to his brother milton. and in that letter he discusses the results of the geneva conference. he said at the moment. i can't possibly make an objective appraisal of the final results of geneva. there is no doubt in my mind that in the few days. we were there. i personally gained insight and understanding that i could never have achieved otherwise the results of the geneva conference was was popularly termed the spirit of geneva it resulted in a in a slight thawing of relations between east and west. the major points of contention still divided the us and the soviet union the geneva spirit did allow for a rise in diplomatic cultural and economic exchanges. which peaked with the 1959 of
soviet premiere nikita khrushchev to the united states? eisenhower and khrushchev were never close. um, but they did engage in many private conversations that were attended by only one translator. i preferred the style of meeting i preferred to have as few people as possible when discussing. relations with world leaders because he felt that it allowed the leaders to be more honest and open if there was less ears listening to them. um the meetings that i can khrushchev held in at camp david and in washington, dc did further saw us relations with the soviet union they brought them closer to an agreement on the disposition of west berlin. and when chris jeff finally departed washington dc from
moscow, he implied to eisenhower's personal relationship between the two would prove helpful and approaching their mutual disagreements. now eisenhower also had to deal with the rest of the world. his personal diplomacy did not solely focus on the soviet union. he was already quite friendly and knew most of the leaders of western europe. england and france were we're and very strong allies. um near the end of his presidency. he started meeting with more leaders outside of the northern hemisphere. and he met with lots of leaders throughout his administration. on september 28th 1953 president ramon cantera of panama became the first world head of head of
state to visit the white house during the eisenhower presidency. this was the first of 37 official head of state visits to the white house in the eight years that eisenhower's was president. in october of 1953 eisenhower's first international goodwill visit visiting with mexican president cortinas at the opening of the falcon dam on the rio grande river. um all in all eisenhower held 210 meetings with heads of state both at home and abroad. he summed up his beliefs regarding personal diplomacy as follows. for special purposes i strongly believe that in the conduct of foreign relations personal discussions between heads of government can be helpful. and even imperative for most of
his administration eisenhower's spent time building or renewing relationships with leaders around the world. is most ambitious goodwill trips happened near the end of his second term as president. now unlike a lot of the world leaders who dealt with the united states with some what unique in that the presidency is limited to two terms and and at the end of his second term ike is what in american collects would be called a lambdaq. so he he in actuality or maybe just in people's minds loses some of his power because other politicians know he cannot be reelected. um, and so especially domestically presidents start to lose what power they had eisenhower's idea and and he understood that it would be harder to work with congress.
his idea was instead of wasting lame time sitting at home. he wanted to make several goodwill trips and and he he had his staff plan and organized three major goodwill trips to 1959 and 1960. he visited the near east latin america and the far east. these goodwill trips resulted in eisenhower's visits to only over 20 different nations and allowed him to meet with the leaders of all those nations on this particular slide. the the photograph is of president eisenhower and pakistan president ayub khan on eisenhower's arrival in karachi in 1959. now most of these countries he visited were not the normal countries that in american president would visit they were not the staunchest allies. they were not the strongest enemies. they were emerging nations.
that were trying to sort out their place in global politics pakistan india afghanistan. iran turkey tunisia morocco places such as this um eisenhower's was very impressed. by how all his meetings with these leaders went. for example, um since his photograph is up there. i'll use the example of pakistan president ayub khan eisenhower's with his bearing and and how he discussed developing. an emerging democracy in the nation of pakistan from the very beginning i conceived for president ayub a warm affection which still endures endures? i have more than once disagreed
with his views, but i had no reason to doubt his sincerity. and eisenhower's meetings with leaders throughout these trips. i'm mostly resulted in in similar feelings. it was equally impressed with prime minister nehru of india. private discussions with the charismatic leader led ike to write understanding between our two governments had been deepened. i felt and our ease of communication improved. basically these visits were designed to exposed to a world that had never met americans what america was about? and to also counter some of the communist propaganda about america and proved to the rest of the world that america was not trying to gain any imperial powers was not trying to dominate any other countries.
we were offering friendship. as a means in and of itself there was no ulterior motive. the president summed up his overall view of the goodwill trips. uh in his memoir waging peace. he said i believe that our talks formal and informal. helped to persuade national leaders and millions of people that the united states had no selfish purpose in cooperating with them. and believed in freely chosen governments for people and nations everywhere. next slide please. and then finally eisenhower's diplomatic efforts and ideas stretched to everyone to every individual the ideology of the west that eisenhower's duty bound to defend was one of individual freedoms. and so was designed to get every
individual to play a role in creating a more peaceful world. now with this idea in mind the president was instrumental in the founding of of two organizations in 1956. these organizations both exist to this day and still fulfill eisenhower's idea of individual diplomacy. people to people international and sister cities international at the first people to people conference in 1956. like pointed up that a group controlled by the people and not the government. could be effective in reaching out globally. with educational cultural and humanitarian activities at the third conference in 1959. he spoke to the delegates saying
we need more individual diplomats from main street. from our farms schools laboratories from every walk of life people to people diplomacy means thousands of part-time ambassadors all working for better relationships among all peoples both people to people and sister cities international still seek to promote the peaceful exchange of ideas on a global basis to this day. these organizations have been practicing and spreading individual diplomacy for over 65 years. as an example the city of abilene which hosts the eisenhower presidential library participates in the sister cities program as a sister city in japan. and they engage in a personal or did it until covid personal exchanges between the countries sending young people from abilene to learn about japan and hosting young people from to
learn about abilene. and outside eisenhower's particular brand of personal diplomacy was overall very effective. during his years as president from 1953 to 1961. the united states was able to navigate. many foreign policy storms in large part due to eisenhower's personal meetings with national leaders of all stripes. at the end of his administration relations with our european allies were quite strong. as strong as they had ever been. despite several difficulties in the middle east us soviet relations on the whole were slightly friendlier at the end of eight years than they were at the beginning. and goodwill tours created time new times with nations in the near east far east in latin america that would help determine how the united states
dealt with foreign policy for decades to come. personal diplomacy the way i practice it fra as i would say worked. good evening, my fellow americans. over the past several weeks. you have heard a number of reports on tv radio and in your newspapers on the situation in southeast asia. i think the time has come for me as president and as commander in chief of our armed forces to put these reports in perspective.