National Geographic : 1966 Jan
National Geographic, January, 1966 drawn-out Korean war. The voters turned to General Eisenhower as a leader they thought could bring them security. "I like Ike" was an irresistible slogan; he won a sweeping victory over Illinois Gover nor Adlai E. Stevenson. "In the final choice," President Eisenhower declared in his first Inaugural Address, "a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains." Negotiating from military strength, he tried to reduce the tensions of the cold war. In the summer of 1953 the signing of a final armistice brought an armed peace along the border of South Korea. The death of Stalin in the spring of 1953 also brought some shifts in relations with the Soviet Union. The new Russian leaders con sented to a peace treaty neutralizing Austria. Meanwhile both the Soviet Union and the United States were developing hydrogen bombs-the Americans testing a device so powerful that it could have destroyed all New York City. Nation Rallies to Stricken Chief With the threat of such destructive force hanging over the world, President Eisenhow er met the leaders of the British, French, and Soviet Governments at Geneva in July, 1955 (pages 92-3). At one of the sessions the Presi dent, putting down his glasses, unexpectedly proposed to the Soviets that they and the United States immediately exchange complete blueprints of their military establishments. He further suggested that each "provide within our countries facilities for aerial photography to the other country." He explained, "I have been searching my heart and mind for something that I could say here that could convince everyone of the great sincerity of the United States in approaching this problem of disarmament." The Soviet conferees greeted the proposal with silence, but were so cordial throughout the meetings that a relaxation of tensions took place. Suddenly, in September, 1955, President Eisenhower suffered a moderately severe heart attack while vacationing in Denver. As he lay in the hospital slowly recovering, tens of thousands of letters and telegrams came in. "It really does something for you," the Presi dent told Mrs. Eisenhower, "to know that people all over the world are praying for you." As a birthday joke, White House corres pondents gave him gaudy red pajamas with five gold stars embroidered on each collar tab; when he began to improve, he good-humored ly wore them. He received Cabinet officers and more and more resumed his duties as President. After nearly seven weeks he left the hospital and flew back to Washington. "Misfortune, and particularly the misfor tune of illness," he said in a brief speech, "brings to all of us an understanding of how good people are." A panel of doctors in Feb ruary, 1956, reported that the President's EKTACHROME(BELOW) BY WAYNE MILLER, MAGNUM; KODACHROMERY GILBERT M. GROSVENOR() N.G .S . Eisenhower's distinctive wave greets cit izens of Anchorage, Alaska. "Ike is nifty, started out with 48; ended up with 50," rhymed a slogan in recognition of Alaska's becoming a state on January 3, 1959, fol lowed by Hawaii eight months later. Record Presidential traveler Eisenhower, his daughter-in-law Mrs. John Eisenhower, and the Prime Minister of India, the late Jawaharlal Nehru, pause beside the reflect ing pool of the Taj Mahal. In the cause of world peace, Eisenhower visited 27 lands. His longest tour was reported in "When the President Goes Abroad," by Gilbert M. Grosvenor, GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1960.