Important Events during 1942-1953

  • North Africa Campaign

    Now a general, Eisenhower commands the invasion of North Africa by Allied Forces during World War II. His important duties include planning the logistics of the enormous operation and dealing with the strong personalities of combat generals like George Patton.
  • D-Day

    As Supreme Allied Commander, Eisenhower directs the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He will help lead the Allies to victory over Germany the following May.
  • President of Columbia University

    Eisenhower retires from the military and takes a job as president of Columbia University in New York, where he will write his memoirs.
  • Eniwetok H-Bomb Test

    The U.S. sets off its first hydrogen bomb on the South Pacific island of Eniwetok. The blast is even larger than expected, enough to destroy an entire city. Possession of such a lethal weapon vastly increases the dangers of any nuclear confrontation.
  • Election of 1952

    Running as a Republican, Eisenhower defeats Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson and is elected president. He is the first professional soldier to take the office since Ulysses S. Grant in 1869. On the same day, the Republicans ride Ike's coattails to win control of both houses of Congress by narrow margins.
  • First Inaugural Address

    Eisenhower is sworn in as the 34th President of the United States. In his inaugural address, he says, "Forces of good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history."
  • Death of Stalin

    Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin dies from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 73. A battle for succession among Kremlin insiders will last almost two years before Nikita Khrushchev emerges as the undisputed Russian leader.
  • Soviet H-Bomb

    The Soviet Union sets off its first hydrogen bomb, adding to the risk of nuclear war.
  • Warren Nominated Chief Justice

    Eisenhower names California Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Warren's tenure will encompass some of the Court's most far-reaching decisions. As its leader, he will become the focus of controversy, and Eisenhower will later regret the choice.