tv Eisenhower Grandchildren CSPAN September 26, 2015 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT
and with these victories came the end of the axis empire in africa. the allied leaders and the men who had fought under them proudly commemorated their victory. one of the greatest products of this victory and the words of the commander himself was the progress achieved in the welding of allied unity and the establishment of a combat team that was already showing the effects among all of its members. the successful end of the campaign brought personal recognition of eisenhower throughout the world as a great leader.
the commander interpreted this recognition is proof that free men can find in unity the way to victory, even against seemingly invincible odds. the next big campaign, the sicily. of italy surrendered, the first of the axis. prepare forallies the most fiercely fought battle of the mediterranean war. italy itself.f >> we have been watching a
program about dwight d. eisenhower's life and military career before he became our 34th president. we are live now on american history tv for gettysburg college, for a moderated conversation with president dwight d eisenhower's children -- eisenhower's grandchildren. they will talk about his legacy and the grandfather they remembered. this discussion is part of the 125 salvation, commemorating the 125th anniversary of his birth. -- 125 celebration, commemorating the 125th --iversary of his birth area
of his birth. >> good evening. then and now. we are excited as you join us at gettysburg college, as well as the viewing audience of c-span at home. tt, and is jeffrey blava i serve as executive director at the eisenhower institute. the institute was founded in 1983. distinction ofe hosting the program at gettysburg college. the institute has progressed over the last several years. learn aboutents leadership and public policy. respectful dialogue, a global
the visionary leadership of many here at gettysburg college. as well as our national advisory board, chaired i gettysburg's own -- i would like to publicly thank 125.oordinators of ike without your help we wouldn't have been able to do it. thank you. and a special personal thank you to the eisenhower family. to our own susan eisenhower, to marry eisenhower, guys have made this special, so thank you. [applause] now i would like to introduce the drop the octave group. i would like to ask you to stand and join with them in the singing of our national anthem.
oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, at the proudly we twilight's last gleaming? brightraod stripes and thro' the perilous fight, ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. star-spangledat
the shape organization, and members of the eisenhower administration. we still like ike. programlike to turn the over to steve scully, who will be moderating our town hall forum. recognize someo of the brave men who served under general dwight eisenhower. we are pleased and honored and thrilled to have you here tonight. i think you all deserve a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you very very much.
thank all of you for being with us tonight. a rare and unique opportunity to the living grandchildren of dwight d. eisenhower. many briefly introduce the three grand children. born in westr was point, new york. she is a world-class interior designer. her work has been featured in leading books and magazines on display in new york city. she is written about in many of the leading newspapers around the world. she is on the board of the new york school for interior design, and also her involvement with the breast cancer research foundation. the greatntributed to work at the center for arts and education in new york city. thank you for being with us. mary jean eisenhower spent most of her life being devoted to the humanitarian and education work. she is the president and ceo of
the people's foundation. on september 11, 1956. dwight eisenhower created the exchange program because he had seen enough war and his feeling was it was time to end the bloodshed and -- and begin some diplomacy. survivors of rwanda and the families of the victims of september 11, she has made her mark around the world. she has received count as honors and awards, including the harry s truman award. thank you for being with us. [applause] eisenhower is the chairman and ceo of the eisenhower group, a consulting company here in the united states. she has served our government in a number of capacities. blue-ribbonthree commissions. her work with the national academy of sciences and the nasa
.dvisory council nasa began during the eisenhower administration. she authored and co-authored a number of books on security issues. seen frequently in the washington post, l.a. times, and other leading publications around the country. thank you for being with us. let me begin with you, because clearly the great accomplishment under presidents roosevelt and truman, and the great promise of john f. kennedy, but now historians are looking at the great achievements of your rant father's presidency. eight years, a remarkable eight years. wet should we know now that didn't know when he left office? is a wonderful expression, the future is bright but the past is unpredictable. feel that this is
the way it is in this country. we are beginning to discover more and more about our history and dwight is an interesting figure. my sister will certainly confirm wishhis chief deathbed would be to archive as quickly as possible. this is one of the reasons for and an intensers interest developed over this. of time. >> during the force of our conversation we are going to weave and more of the famous quotes by dwight eisenhower. you remember him as the oldest grandchild. what are your thoughts?
but what do you remember about him? do you start, he is very much part of our lives? we often live near him. things come to mind as sitting president. david got in a. he is very much a grandfather to us. it is a very unusual upbringing in that sense. and yet you see him in the crowds and you wonder what is going on. of the coats from your grandfather, you don't leave by hitting people over the head, that is assault, not leadership.
what do you think about this quotes? >> i think we need to stop hitting each other on the head. differentmpletely dynamic than when he was around. both houses where democrats and he got along famously with everybody. people became americans as opposed to democrat or republican. tell a will divert and story. when i was in school here in heard two rumors about him in school that i were sure were absolutely wrong. the intensity was terrible.
i went straight from school to his house. i went straight up to his room and he was reading a book. i heard two things about you today that we just can't believe. put his book down, took his glasses off and looked at me. and he said, is a true your name is david dwight and not dwight david? he never officially changed it. -- "i hearde was you were raised the a democrat. , "i do claim a party when i was in the army because -- i did not claim a party when i was in the army.
decide toat made you become it -- become a republican . i was already beginning to regret the conversation. he said he was concerned about the front runner being an isolationist. and said this is a two-party country. i said what if you had lost? he said, how is your weight coming along? steve: both parties in 1952 wanted him to be their nominee. susan: it is hard to imagine that now, isn't it? it is impossible to imagine. they came out of military circles, they had a bipartisan way of thinking about themselves but a nonpartisan way. as a matter of fact our
grandmother made it a rule. she would tell her staff, i don't want to know anything about what party people are coming from when they come to the white house. it is often perceived she didn't know about politics. she just didn't want any part of it at the white house. it goes to show how much time has gone by. steve: i had read that he would have easily gone to the u.s. naval academy but he was accepted because of the age limit. he graduated 61st in a class of 164. what made him such a unique the firstn he will be to admit that during his high school and college years he was a pretty average student. >> this is what made getting an a minus very difficult.
>> he attended the staff in leavenworth and graduated first in his class there. he said it was this paradigm shift to make the army and leadership his career. we all know he applied to annapolis first. old because you were to put his brother through school. gotpplied to west point and that. he wasn't sure about what direction he wanted his career to take until he went to leavenworth. >> i would add a rather intriguing factoid. if you look at america's great generals, very few of them graduated at the top of their class. i have done a little study of this.
, most of them come out of the middle of the class. there are some extraordinary exceptions. is reason i mentioned that it said something perhaps about actually some of them have lackluster disciplinary records. strangely the army tries to follow orders. it's kind of ironic. certainly he was expecting of himself a lot more than what he produced at various points. >> he was known from his pranks from time to time. >> there was a famous moment
where he turns of that she turns up -- where he turns up and was apparently only wearing the jacket. that got him around the guard duty there for a long time. >> when you went around to see your grandfather, you can't talk about dwight eisenhower without talking about -- what was she like? what did you call her? >> we called her mimi. she was quite wonderful. she was very opinionated. you -- didn't like having a big difference of opinion. andwas a loving person always on your side. she was absolutely amazing and was a character. she was just wonderful.
>> i have to tell you, first of all she had these extraordinary china blue eyes. she had the most magnificent eyes and this glorious skin. i remember for the first time in my life i had the courage to counter her on something. without missing a beat she calmly said, mad means you lost your mind. >> if i may tell a story, mary may have been too little to remember, she was going in that going to school in pennsylvania. -- she was going to school in pennsylvania. somehow this teacher wanted to meet mimi.
he was toast by the time she finished with him. she had this man eating out of her hand. i don't think mary had a problem ever again after. mary: i was on a play, fiddler on the roof. it was my night and she was and heto support me goes, we are going to give her a dozen roses and we are going to do this and do that. she saw the look on my face and said, i'm not going. she had him over to my parents house for iced tea and and is right. she verily that she very diplomatically and school -- she varies diplomatically and sweetly pulverized the man. the extraordinary ability to serve this role diplomatically and other ways. she could charm the socks off
anybody. many of you know about eisenhower's occasionally strained relations with bernard law montgomery during world war ii. i think they are still talking about that. she thought he was adorable. and he made it business to think he was adorable. she told me of all of her houseguests he was her favorite. to tease outanaged of this man some bit of humor. apparently field marshal to visit theme white house. he said, well it is not buckingham palace. he batted the spectacular blue eyes and said, thank goodness for that. steve: does anybody want to talk about his leadership in the military and his presidency? we are here in gettysburg
pennsylvania. why did he decide to come here after he left the white house? >> i think he was stationed here early on. they wanted the farm really because of his roots in kansas. >> this is a great story i read from your brother. the book is called going home to glory. on january 20, 1961, a bitter cold day in which john f. dnnedy was sworn in, dwight eisenhower hopped into a 1955 chrysler, drove up route 15, 1 secret service agent in front of them, he literally came to the farm, secret service agent honked the horn, they pulled into the house and it began. >> it is my father who did the driving. he was expected to go get his drivers license, which he did,
having driven since the beginning of the war. this, that ike was really a country boy and he loved the outdoors. our grandmother came from denver, colorado, a bit of a debutante. she didn't like the outdoors very much, so she thought there was this romance to this farm house they bought. would say she had one massage a week and i was on the exercise she needed. they had some great friends named george and mary allen. ike come back to gettysburg, but mimi had heard -- had her palad down the road. >> it was still accessible to washington, that was a big thing. story, barbarae
walters interviewed my grandparents. i believe it was the 50th anniversary. barbara walters turned to my grandfather and asked if mimi enjoys the outdoors. he chuckled and said, she certainly does. sits on the air-conditioned glass port and looks out and enjoys every bit of it. steve: did he ever talk to you about d-day? >> occasionally i would walk to the gettysburg college campus, where he had an office where he was writing his memoirs. occasionally he would give me a ride home. on one occasion i went into the office and in a room in the back he had a huge amount of one of the most famous of the d-day , with all the shifts
and barrage balloons. it is a famous iconic picture. i asked him about it. if you opened it up there were these maps you could pull down. i got a bit of a primer on this. my sisters will absolutely agree we saw the europe,ary crusade in based on his memoir. how many times did we see that? five times? came --y by the time we we became adults we were familiarized with the story. >> what does this leadership tell you about that period in american history? >> in 1990, when he would have been 100, we had a series of events. there is a famous picture of him with the troops the night before.
number 23 is how i knew him. i always wondered who number 23 was. i met a number 23 aboard the uss eisenhower. i said all my life i have seen this picture, because it looks a very intense. anyway, i said what in the world are we saying to you? that was the night he was trying to make everybody comfortable without going to deploy the next day. well, he might have been asking me about -- >> that is what this intense look is. flyfishing. >> to answer your earlier time i sawnce upon a
my brother giving an interview. was didhe questions your grandfather pickup world war ii in front of you? he said never. wealled my father and said need a reality check. my memory was he talked about all the time. he laughed and said david didn't get enough. we talked about it once in a while and because david really loved the subject he wanted to hear more. hearidn't want to anything, so the one time you heard it it was probably too much. -- steve: my own father was part of the second wave of the d-day invasion. he didn't talk about it. as richard norton smith has studied so often, dwight eisenhower had a political base has 12 million men whom he had led, most of them were going to support dwight eisenhower in 1952. >> i had the enormous privilege
of taking my salt group to normandy this last year. we study the grand strategy of world war ii and the operational strategy, and we studied leadership and followership. the thing that's really striking of kids.metery trip kids there and this was so moving for me and how thrilled i was with our group but there i was and really for the first time in my whole life, i realized what my grandfather's burden had been. , theard all about it operations of it. that's when i first understood the burden. he had lost a child at the age
of three. that's how tough war is. are we honored to have people who work? steve: motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. did you want to respond to that? i think he was right and i think that was the part of the all people to people movement. steve: do you find it ironic that it was created on september 11, 1956? >> i guess that was forgotten within the organization.
ofwas the 50th anniversary people to people and we look at the record and there is a great footage of the speech when he was launching and it was a temporary 11 and the -- and it was september 11 and people to cam about to buy way to peaceably combat the cold war. >> don't you think that's exactly what we need today? peopleoically interview in washington and we were talking about the political situation earlier. would that be extraordinary if someone thought their job and leadership was to make the other side feel like they wanted to do this for the country? this is where you see a very different leadership style between then and now. [applause] steve: a very different
republican party in the 1950's. did he enjoy the presidency? his years in washington? i think you enjoy being president more nowadays than you did back then. steve: why? >> their perks like the rock stars stop by and things like as itut i think he saw it .as his duty he was elected president and his job was to achieve certain goals and he worked at it, concentrated on it. i don't think -- you was not the type of and to say do i like what i'm doing today? just wasn't the type. but we go through the -- let me go through the highlights of her
grandfather's presidency. he placed the arkansas national guard under federal control, long the price of martin luther king for being resolute pre-civil rights. he made five appointments to the west supreme court. from 48 to 50 states in the union. and he ended the korean war. susan: he modernized our infrastructure and balanced the budget three times in eight years, which is an extraordinary part of that record. and left office with a budget surplus for his successor. mary: that same trip when he would have been 100, about fiber six people who -- 546 people who were in the government when he long anddent were a
one of them was the assistant secretary of the treasury. dad went to bed early one night and the rest of us hung out and they were really telling stories. steve: do tell. was: one of them great. the assistant secretary got this phone call at 2:00 in the morning and granddad had been up pacing. .5% lastnflation was month, what are you going to do about it? he said we will talk about this in the morning. to me, that was in a zynga he got all worked up. the question of civil rights comes up a lot and my grandfather was very active in the area. not the way maybe it was later on but he desegregated washington and the military.
that hasn't i find been talked about is he was the only president who has had an african-american pallbearer who was with him during the war till his death. steve: your grandfather spent 16 years as a major in the army and he change the policy in the military. you are a poor out. out.d -- up ore direct it from going to these, i'm going to shake hands with each of them. susan: that would be absolutely typical of the style he brought to his leadership during the war. many of these men can tell you
he spent an enormous amount of time meeting with as many troops as he could before they were deployed. i wish i had the figure in front of me. this is british and american allies.nd other i think he saw it as a way to motivate people to remind people that they were all part of the same cause, the same team. steve: he said of preparing for battle, i've always found plans are useless but planning is indispensable. susan: seems logical to me. the reason he goes through these plants is so you know exactly what the elements of the strategy are. if you go to the national defense industry companies in the plans for operation neptune are about -- everything down to
what kind of inoculation should be given to the local population. and yes some idea of what has to be thought -- and you have some idea of what needs to be thought through and you actually engage in battle, much changes. and it changes very quickly. at least you know what the general plan is. , this capacityy of every fighting men to understand what we're trying to accomplish is a reason we want -- reason we won the war. that kind of planning has been indispensable but you have to be flexible to get beyond that.
steve: please the first president to live on three continents. how did that shape his worldview? mary: it certainly shaved mine. when i was studying languages and the only language offered was french. he said that cannot happen. we have an entire cotton below us and you have to learn spanish. continent below us and you have to learn spanish. and that happened. i later got married and moved to south america. he was really very global thinking. he did live in three continents for a good portion of his life. wasould see the world rapidly changing.
as grandchildren, he tried to prepare us for. do that without integrity, there is no real success possible, no matter whether it's on the football field, in the army, are in office. mary: he cannot tolerate lying. if he found out, that was a wrath. he was emphatic about integrity even within the family. susan: a great eisenhower quote from the presidency -- a society that values its privileges over its principles soon loses both. his vice president was
richard nixon. what was the relationship like between these men? susan: business. steve: that was it? susan: yes. steve: that famous quote -- if you give me a week, i'll think about it. susan: that's unfair. he had a weekly press conference. exclamation point behind that since we don't have weekly press conferences anymore but the question as i understand was the last question asked as he was walking out of the room. he was suggesting he would take up the question the next week. the thing is to be reading a relationship by various things set in various times probably isn't fair. you probably have some other impressions. richard nixon was quite a young man. he was a young vice president.
our grandparents didn't business and pleasure. you didn't see a lot of his associates around a dinner program to white house movies. that's another indication. it's fair to say next and was used a lot as a vice president, especially overseas. the fact they didn't have a relationship outside of business i don't think is the way we would have to examine that subject. that i want to emphasize did change later, especially when my brother got involved with nixon's daughter. they were instant family. when granddad passed away, the nixon's were very good to my grandmother and she said they took embarrassingly good care of her. become familyd
eventually but during the presidency was when it was strictly business. steve: i want to broach a touchy subject. please bear with me. it's camp david. [applause] susan: sore subject. mary: i have an exclamation for that. and ifd was very fair one of us got something, the others got something so i'm the youngest. camp david was named for my brother and a large presidential yacht was named. modest -- more the motorboat was the mary jean. [applause] steve: so you all got something. they all lined up with
all of us in the back. we cannot put camp david there. andould still have a barber -- barbeara anne. it was decommissioned. mary: i might have had the motorboat but i caught more fish relatively -- reluctantly. steve: it was known as was in-la when roosevelt the white house. what changed? anne: i don't know why granddad changed it but he did and to me, the big mystery is why kennedy didn't change it. and once there was a camp david accord, i does anybody will ever change it. susan: i think the answer is the
spirit of camp david. steve: there is an iconic photraph of your grandfather with resident john kennedy at camp david, which is not too far from where we are here. what was the relationship like between these two presidents? i think kennedy had a lot of respect for granddad. and granddad always engaged him. you have to look at it as the role of ex-president's to leave office and go off and live the next chapter of your life. he did get called upon. it was not like they were talking all the time nor they had a relationship before.
they didn't know each other before that inauguration. picturemeone gave me a 20 years ago, the famous picture in the whole -- in the oval office. this picture is granddad standing with kennedy as a senator. kneee playing around the hole of the does. steve: did he complain golf cleats damaged the floor of the oval office? i think he did but he might have been mistaken. i don't know. steve: some of the great students will walk around. if you have questions, we will get to them in 5-10 minutes. be sure to write them down.
how important was a sherman adams to the eisenhower the end the creation of this new position? susan: i think it's well underestimated how much eisenhower brought his own management touch to the white house, putting sherman and the chief of staff. was a very unique coordinating body that later ended with the kennedy administration. the nscthe idea that would serve as their coordinating role to make sure what was decided at the cabinet level in policy was actually implemented by those set to carry out the decision. today, no one is really sure. when i hear's them once they -- when i hear someone say ou know you know how
washington works. do you? i think he brought a special brand of management and you can trace how that worked. steve: you talk about news conferences and john kennedy the first to have live televised news conferences. but we really saw the explosion of network television from the early 50's until the end of his presidency. how did he used television -- use television during his presidency? susan: he was the first television president, really. it didn't explode in the same way it did after kennedy came on but much of the great moments were televised in the 1950's. it's hard to know what impact television had. he has such a magnetic way about him.
is your book described him as big as life and twice as natural and he really was. it came through on television. anne: he spoke at my high school graduation and it was rather upsetting for me because a lot of us girls did not want him to speak because they felt you would take away from their day. they really made my life quite miserable and going into graduation, i was really very upset. he gave a speech and i zeroed as ind finally at the end can here he is concluding, he made a statement and said if you've heard nothing of what i've said today, always remember engels will always the knees -- ankles will always
be knees but knees will always be knobby and the room absolutely collapsed. everyone was wrapped around his finger. it was probably the first time i've ever been in a public situation and realized how important he was. you knew it intellectually but to see it firsthand was amazing. he came to speak at our school as well in the middle of the vietnam war. it was a quaker school. most of the students there were objectors and you can imagine this great military figure coming to a gathering like this and he got vicious questions
from our fellow students and then the big man on campus, the big soccer star, raised his hand and said i gather you were sidelined from our football career and what was that like? said let med tell you. he said i took up smoking and rattled off all of his infractions at west point. that kind of emotional intelligence with crowds -- it worked on television as well. that specific day, i was in the six grade and susie was a junior were senior -- sophomore. my class was allowed to come because of me. you can imagine six graders listening to all of this and
write at the peak of some really intense questions -- right at the peak assembly intense questions. this guy danny -- and if he is watching, i apologize. he raised his hand and said what was it like to be president? i thought shoot me now. he took that to be as important as the last question he just asked and he gave him a complete description and set it's everything from meeting with other heads of state to the boy scouts. he made danny feel very important and like you really asked an important question. whether my mind that i thought that was just as important as
the rest of the stuff to him. steve: did he have a sense of humor? inan: p had a sense of humor an ironic -- he had a sense of humor in an ironic way. one of my favorite stories takes place at penn state. i was there to help market the 60th anniversary of their nuclear research reactor. he went up to give the commencement address and was there when the nuclear reactor went critical. it was the first research reactor in the u.s. it was raining all day and his brother was president of penn state and he was going to give the commencement address and milton was very worried about the weather.
calls on the telephone and says what should we do about this? and he said listen, i haven't worried about the weather since june 6, 1944. is there a story behind his sense of humor? anne: i think it was more of a subtle sense of humor. i'm reminded of when he taught me how to ride. i was about five and we wrapped the farm in gettysburg. andad six forces -- horses he put me on the biggest one in the stable. it was pathetic because i was so small they had to double the stirrups. it was english so there was nothing to hang on to.
he gives me all of these instructions and he said never let the horse think you are afraid and grip with your knees. he said did you understand? i said yes. he said repeated so i did and he said good. back end.e horse's [applause] steve: where does the name eisenhower come from? what's the genealogy? mary: german. ike?: how did he get mary: it was a family nickname. he was the only one who carried it through to adulthood. steve: was he religious? susan: spiritual.
as far as i know, the only president elected without declaring what his religion was. he became a presbyterian after he was elected president. ,teve: when he made a decision did he second-guess himself? anne: i don't think so. mary: he never entertained the idea he would lose if he was running. he never second-guessed himself. who was theather thann closest to granddad anybody else said that one of his real genius in a lot of ways is that he learned from his mistakes but didn't replay the tape. i think you have that kind of responsibility, you have to keep moving on because you have to
keep finding yourself in a continuous cycle of self-doubt and that can be self-damaging. steve: another quote. he said another a wise and not a brave man lies down on the track of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. susan: wow. anne: i hadn't heard that one before. [applause] steve: let's talk about one of the most famous speeches he ever this is aalso question talking about the military-industrial complex. what would you think about it today and how significant was that speech? the military-industrial complex and the last paragraph. because innteresting terms up-to-date, the world was
so different today, it's hard to say what he would think. called the he technology available to the military awesome. susan: in the biblical sense of the word. mary: that's right. that last paragraph is actually a prayer. the very last line was the world be brought together by the finding force of neutral respect and love. i think he was showing what he had learned throughout his military confrontation. he really wanted everybody to come together. i always called him the first hippie. susan: it's an important speech and i think it will continue to be talked about and reread.
not just the military-industrial complex but where he warned the nation about mortgaging the assets of future generations. he calls on the country to avoid taking the easy way out. to squander the resources of future generations. the military-industrial complex is alive and well. it was an important speech because he was a military man who had the capacity to examine the situation and without disrespect to his colleagues to have knowledge that the unwarranted influence of a permanent military establishment , which he acknowledged was going to be required during the cold war, was something that democracy ifn our
not for an alert and eligible citizenry. this is what we're trying to do through the institute is to bring about a capacity to understand how important being alert and knowledgeable is. one of our great challenges today. is in he more than anyone a very unique position to talk about the military. he had a lot of frustration with the army despite his leadership role. ambrose writes about his own inks -- angst. probably one of the greatest things in my life was to have an office next to general good pastor. he was granddad's day-to-day national security person.
that he wasnce standing in the oval office and the defense appropriations bill was put on the president's desk and he's looking through this asng through it line by line only a five-star general could. he knew exactly what they were talking about. he said god help this country when someone is -- god help this country when someone is president who doesn't know the military as well as i do. he had this extraordinary capacity to see what's necessary waso the job and what unnecessary expenditures. what impact did your grandmother have on the white house? anne: i went to a dinner in new
typical dinner where you are introduced to someone and they don't hear your name and you don't hear there's either. in this case, i happened to know with woman was because i was younger. we got on the subject of embassies in the u.s. she said i really don't think the ambassador's wife should be public to decorate the rooms. i said i totally agree. i said he wouldn't believe what they did at this embassy. she said i would take it one step further. i don't think the first lady should be allowed to decorate the public rooms of the white house. she said look at what maime eisenhower did. another deep breath. honoring theually
curator of the white house that night. i didn't say anything to her. she did turn a little pale when i was asked to cut the birthday cake. [applause] him and said wrote i was taken back by this comment and i don't know the facts. in never would have called --because she are we having wonderful interior designer. this is very sticky because the kennedys of course used top decorators and everything was french. this is sort of an ego thing. he wrote me back and said you are right. said that truman -- truman called them and when they renovated the white house. i took this letter and sent it to my friend.
he told me she started the antique program in the white house. she had a big influence. but because there was no budget. she was very important and the. susan: it's worth noting she desperately wanted to actually get the furniture out of the white house but i said we are going to balance this budget and not do it by redecorating the white house. mary: this is with all the respect to ultman. steve: how did you get the name maime? anne: anne: they all had nicknames. mary: a given name. steve: some great questions. could you talk about family traditions growing up? vacations, christmas, etc.
all the china and silver will be put on the tables. you are probably the only 3, 5, and eight-year-old the new how to use finger bowls. [applause] my grandmother really loved to celebrate the holidays. they were very important to us and i think they continue to be very important to us for that reason. steve: can you share your most favorite birthday gift from the granddad? this is from bill in michigan. do you have a favorite? and: mine was a wooden silver dressing mirror susan:. i still have it. it's on my dresser to this day. --hink i was five for six or 6. like mary, i had riding
lessons also. i started participating in some horse shows. i was in a walk trot class. i actually won a trophy. it was this big, about that high , and i was very proud of it and it disappeared. about -- i don't know, a month later, it reappeared and granddad presented it to me. yet taken this little cup and put it on a pedestal so it was about this high end the little cup is sitting right on top. [applause] i have and its pedestal at my house. me -- it looks like a gold coin but it has a
little thing you press and up pops a watch. it was given to him by the crew of the mayflower when they did the reenactment. it's dedicated to president dwight d. eisenhower and underneath it, he dedicates it to me. steve: he liked to give out medals. pre-presidential medal award. susan: a lot of books talk about his passion in nature and sometimes they discuss his temper. the one missing piece and a lot of this was this a sweetness we described. i would like to tell you one other thing that my surprise he that i'll -- surprise you i only found out years later. breeding at the end of his career.
two horses were produced. one was absolutely level but 1 -- lovely but one day he disappeared. it was years later like two years ago i found out what happened. granddad had a secretary in gettysburg who unexpectedly died and about three quarters of a year later, he discovered his deceased secretary's daughter wanted very much to have a horse. he gave her reports -- the horse. after all these years, i found another littleto grow my age.
steve: a great story. what people may not remember his between his army years and president he, he was resident of columbia university. did he enjoy that time at columbia? columbia -- id actually heard michael discuss this at one point. apparently columbia hired him knowing that he was not going to be the typical university president. they wanted him to promote it, etc. he took a leave of absence to go to nato. he was not there for the full time and when he came back, even for president. but i'm not sure granddad will get any job he did as enjoyment.
i think he would take a job based on whether not it was something that would be fulfilling to him and then he had a job to do and did it. steve: it was duty. you talked about smoking. visual grandfather tried to quit smoking? that did contribute to his health. -- did your grandfather tried to quit smoking? susan: we know so much more about it now. you see pictures of him always with a cigarette. i think we can give him a pass for that if it helped him win the war but after the war was over, he got a bad taste -- case of bronchitis and the doctor said you should quit and he was having a hard time doing it and then he did and he went cold turkey. also said he might take
it back up again but would never quit again because it's hell. susan: when asked how he did it, he said he gave himself an order. [applause] susan: i tried giving myself an order when i quit and didn't work at all. on his 70th birthday, we were in the white house and he turned to my grandmother and said don't you think after all these years i could have just one cigarette? it thattill wanting much later. steve: what was that like for you to the a young girl at the white house with your grandparents? anne: totally normal. he became president when i was four years old. i didn't know anything different. everything was a safe, wonderful, granddad is handling the world. steve: your favorite white house
memory. do you have one? mary: i do. -- what done year you give the president for christmas? steve: did you spend it at camp david? mary: at the white house. my mother decided to throw a christmas pageant for him. she was very clever. she cut sheets out and did cardboard angel wings and put garland on the neck and for a los, she took code angers and put garland around the code angers and we wore them on our heads and she stronger than with lights -- and then with lights and attach them to a button on the bottom we could push and they were buoyed up. -- light up. i remember going through the
second floor -- third -- second. out,all of the lights there was a huge corridor and we were singing silent night and we andour little halos lit up when it had just was over, he gave us a standing ovation and came running over to us and give each of us a dollar. he said it was much less expensive than the theater. [applause] susan: we have a funny little story about the white house being normal. i must say we were so extraordinarily lucky to grow up in gettysburg because our classmates didn't think it was particularly strange. we were being followed around by secret service. we had them until the end of his administration.
anne and iaugh -- laugh about the time in alexandria before gettysburg that we decided to run through the woods to one of our friends houses and these two large men were running along behind us. one of the neighbors had not quite cautious not to this and called cops. these two little girls are being pursued through the woods and when the cops arrived, all the badges are out. [applause] there were many. we were allowed to sit on the stairs to watch the progression of people into the state dining room to the state dinners.
there were some incredible moments like that. driving our little electric car and all of ant sudden, all of the tourists are standing there and staring at us. what do you do? i never got a turn on that car. [applause] anne: there were lots of incredible experiences. one of the most enjoyable -- my mother went out one night and left us at the white house. the butlers were supposed to take care of us and they served us unbelievable things. steak and ice cream and french fries and everything. when my mother got home, she asked what they had given us for dinner and he gave her the list of all of this horrible stuff and she said how could you do
that? he said mrs. eisenhower gave us the order that the grandchildren were to be made happy and happy we were. we had wonderful meals there. the staff was incredible. susan: alt. incredible staff, -- of them was jean allen all that incredible staff, one of them was jeanne allen, the subject of the movie "the butler." he had one of the greatest smiles. steve: have you been back since your grandfather left and how does it feel? anne: interior designers are not invited back very often. lady bird johnson i think was the first person who decided once you've lived in the house, it becomes very personal to you. she invited everybody let ever lived in the white house back for tea.
there are some put a graph that are amazing. -- there are some photographs that are amazing. that was the first time. i was back again when she invited my senior class for tea at the white house. i'm not sure who used my name on how they did it. -- susan and i went did in mother's day lunch. i've been back very little. mary: we all went back on granddad's centennial. susan: i feel very fortunate that it had the opportunity to be there on a number of occasions. you ask what is it feel like. they still use the same floor wax because the immediate smell when you go in downstairs is exactly the same. the other thing is that our small things you couldn't really
say to anybody else without sounding silly. we spent a lot of time on the third floor of the white house. couplea parakeet and a canaries and pete the parakeet died and are grandmother was so sweet she let us have a inemonial burial for pete what is today the rose garden. we are sorry somehow the marker for pete is no longer there. you go in there and you are always looking for these little things to see whether they're still there. anne: i do remember all of the secret doors to all of the back staircases. steve: you talked about montgomery. what about eisenhower's relationship with charles de
gaulle? mary: there was a lot of respect between the two men. they were the only two on both sides that got along famously. gaulle came in they of 1959 -- came in may of 1959. anne: i think i should tell that story. do you mind? when my grandfather would take people to gettysburg, he would bring them because he would want and to see life in america he would also like to show us off as a normal family. he would sometimes call unannounced and give us 10 minutes notice. learned to become experts to
draw all of the close under the clothesrow all of the under the bed. about four years old. charles de gaulle is sitting in our little house. he was so large he could hardly get in the front door. steve: he was like 65. anne: he arrived and sat down one of the sofas and it was always through a translator. mary puts her elbow on the arm of the sofa and stairs. the reason i wanted to tell the story is you can imagine you are there as his sister and you know you have to behave but we see a
wildcard and marriott staring at him -- and mary is a staring at him. and finally it comes out. she says why do you have such thick glasses. and he turns to her in perfect english and says "i'm a very ."ind, poor me [applause] steve: do you remember that? mary: very much. i engaged him in conversation. he completely ignored me. [applause] the eisenhower name lives on at the eisenhower executive office building. what was it like to have your grandfather's name attached to that building, that iconic building next to the white house? anne: location. it's thrilling. -- there's something
really moving and wonderful to see. i think it's the best. steve: your grandfather did this criticism from the conservative wing of the republican party that he didn't do enough to dismantle some of the programs they didn't like as part of the new deal. you are shaking your head. why did you feel committed to keeping these programs in place? brother nameda edgar. andr was quite a character much more conservative politically. if you want some steamy reading, read the correspondence between ike and his brother edgar. steve: share one if you could. susan: it's a marvelous letter. edgar is writing his brother obviously lobbying to get one of
his colleagues named as a federal judge. i'm sure this sort of thing goes on a lot but i didn't appreciate it and wrote back and said how many times do i have to tell you that i don't see federal judgeships as part of patronage. the fact you would write me a letter like this excuse so angry i want to do something. -- like this makes me so angry i want to do something. alsoy case, edgar was frequently lobbying him about some very conservative things. on another occasion, he says no back that tries to wind things the american public has worked for will ever survive politically. it's a very rich collection of
letters. edgar was a great spirit but they certainly have their political differences. mary: he's the reason granddad ended up at west point because granddad had worked to put edgar through school and was too old for annapolis. edgar was responsible for all of this. steve: your own father -- what was he like and what was the relationship like between your father and his father? very objective about this. my father was the best. he was precious, very complex. introvert that trained himself to be social. probably as sympathetic as he was brave. likederstood what it was to be an awkward positions so if you ended up in an awkward position of some kind, he always
knew the right thing to say. he absolutely adored his father. they had a tremendous relationship. do you have a favorite story between your father and grandfather? susan: that's a very hard. they were together so much. anne: it's remarkable . susan: our father provided more moral support and help to his father. i know that's quite typical in these cases but when you think about it, part of the reason we admired our father so much is he managed a situation, being the
son of a great man, better than anyone else i've run across. he wrote 16 books by the time he died and the last one he finished at the age of 92 about a month before he passed away. that was remarkable. het i was going to say is didn't even have his graduation to himself. 1944 onated on june 6, d-day. he got up to prepare for a commencement and the news had come in. he managed that with a kind of grace. we were privy to his frustration about it but it was never singularly described that way. he handled it with great grace. me miss him everyday. mary: i have to tell a story.
on selleck played granddad the movie and i think he did a great job. so that he asked me what i thought about tom selleck. in my day, he was the idol. i thought he was a little young to play granddad and i thought i'm old enough to play granddad so i told my dad who started when -- who looks like his father and i said i'm old enough to play granddad and he said i can do one better. when people ask me what it's i say it'sk like ike like looking like tom selleck. [applause] steve: did president eisenhower believe in some form of mandatory public service? not that i know of. susan: good question.
what will the candidates learned from her grandfather's attitudes, perspectives, methods, and actions? susan: what can they learn? respect. eisenhower said on any number of occasions that everything he did was designed to elicit cooperation from the people he needed to cooperate with and he felt a very strongly about not insulting people in public and can we start right there? the debate.in it's astonishing for me. and people say really insulting things to foreign leaders who are critically important for own country's national security.
i would put that at the top of the list. if you want to elicit cooperation, he might say your strong feelings that save strong feelings for behind-the-scenes and to speak respectfully and public. lot: the world changed a when the show on tv crossfire came on. before that, there have been discussions about politics. people the first time started screaming at each other, interrupting. it is quite amusing and certainly very stimulating. it really did change things. nowadays, when you see the news that night, they have people on opposite sides of an issue and they're are often yelling at each other, interrupting.
there is no politeness anyone. i think it's counterproductive. would he be comfortable in today's republican party? i think the divisiveness that's going on would disappoint him. susan: it was great strategist. i think he was a great leader because he knew when to speak out publicly and when to do things behind the scenes. he had a small minority in the republican party that create a lot of problems for his administration. think of mccarthy -- the republicans only had a majority once. grappling with that was extremely complicated. i would say that i think he wouldn't understand using the
government shutdowns as a way for a minority to get its weight. it's really jeopardizes our economy, it jeopardizes our understanding in the world. it jeopardizes our security. i think you would be distressed about that. steve: who are the golfers in this crowd? was her grandfather a good golfer. did he give himself any mulligan? mary: wasn't the whole game about mulligan? i was chosen as the person to play golf, so that my brother could play golf with granddad. it was not something that i was talented at. i could probably give you a lesson on how to play golf, only i cannot do it myself. i think i was a big disappointment in that. one of his favorite moments in
life was when he got a hole in one. steve: and he loved augusta national? he almost got a second hole-in-one a month later. he was heard to say, oh please, no more, my office cannot handle the mail. let's turn to some final points about your grandfather. he passed away the age of 78. president nixon said that he was a citizen of the world. would he have considered himself that? mary: i think so, yes. steve: what do you remember about his death? 4 devastating.
it truly was. have some sense of what it was like to have a relationship with your supreme commander. after we put his body on the train that went from washington to kansas, and mary and anee each tell their own story -- we stopped at every town on the way. at 2:00 in the morning -- because we could not sleep at all -- i look out the window and theres we were passing, was a solitary figure standing next to the train as the train went past. i never forgot that.
mary: during the day, and there were just crowds on both sides of the tracks. people were holding up signs saying, we liked ike. i will never forget that sadness . there was a political cartoon, too. this one i will take with me. it was soldiers on the beach of normandy. , pastption underneath is the word along, it's ike. anne: it was a very hard time not only losing him -- he was so very important in our lives. we had two sets of parents. i always used to wonder what that made my parents. to lose him was truly major. bad was whenst as
my -- was for my grandmother to lose him and for us to watch her -- their relationship was so close. the whole idea of her continuing without him was just awful and to see the grief in her faith -- when you go back and look at the photographs during the funeral -- so many people tried to be stoic, but it is just so patched on her -- etched on her face. steve: final question for all of you, and this is open ended. what would he think about is gathering today? what would he think about the institute and what you have been talking about? he would probably say we talked too much. [laughter] susan: he would be delighted --
thrilled that people who worked --er him came back anne: he would be absolutely delighted with the gathering. he would probably tell us we talked too much. i think he would be honored that we were celebrating his 125th. he would probably be shocked by the number. he would probably say that we said to much. but, he would say it in ne-slapping way. ing way.slapp steve: susan, you get the last word. [applause] didn't -- i don't deserve the last word here except to say that i feel honored to be associated with
the eisenhower institute. i think he would be really thrilled. he was very interested in education. i think he would be thrilled that still many at -- so many of the students here are engaged in the institute and show enormous amounts of promise. we are creating some excitement about public policy. that is terrific. here is the word, kids. he used to say -- and boy, did we ever hear this -- he used to say, take your work seriously but never yourself. on what has been an important week, thank you for taking us back to another time. we want to thank anne, mary, and for yourenhower insight, your stories, and your good humor. thank you very much for being with us.
announcer: you have been watching a conversation with president eisenhower's grandchildren about his military and political career. the eisenhower institute hosted this event to commemorate the anniversary of the president's birth. you can see this program again on sunday at 6:00 and 2:00 eastern on c-span3. each week, american history tv's real america brings you archival films.
>> the united states army presents the big picture. forfficial report produced the armed forces in american people. now, to show you part of the big picture, here is sergeant queen. >> in previous programs, we have brought you biographies of our military leaders, whose careers have played an important part in the fabric of our nation's history. today, we bring you another and the which the army nation take particular pride, the story of eisenhower as narrated by raymond massey. >> the time is june, 1945. the occasion, the return to his
homeland. the european phase of the greatest war america ever thought is over. kansas greets dwight d. eisenhower. some of it is the kind of welcome any hometown my give a favorite son. more than anything, it is a tribute. a gratitude felt in every corner of the allied world to word the man who steward it the crusade to victory. it was a crusade with many battles and triumphs. d-day, june 6, 1944. invasion of europe was one
of the greatest military campaigns of our time. the outcome of this bold adventure was way down with freedom. it was because so much of man's hope heaven bound up that the architect of that success found the hearts of the people open to him from europe to the town of his boyhood, where the adventure of eisenhower began. , a busy town of -- it is typical of the kind of town that comes to mind with the phrase grassroots america. it does not live in the past. givestreets and buildings
testimony to a growing america. of its newest and proudest buildings is the eisenhower museum, which carries with the spirit of the family. it is visited daily by citizens from all parts of the country, ranging from dignitary to schoolboy. life of eisenhower is depicted in a series of murals. his life had the flavor of grassroots america. eisenhower was born in 1890 in texas. his parents had migrated to pennsylvania from europe, and then to the midwest. his parents lived in kansas before his birth, and it was in
abilene that they returned when he was an infant. was here that he grew to maturity, through a childhood that was eager and happy. with hisience shared parents and brothers, a childhood whose rich in the important things of life. it was an active boyhood in which sports played an important part. baseball.d at football was his first love, his high school coach called him the most outstanding tackle in the valley. the active life was important,
but the greatest staple of his family life was religious observance. home shows the influence of that serious religious conviction, the bible as the guide to family life. on the walls shared by he and his brother, still hang the thyle testament of faith, will be done. it was a home of patriotism and faith. and of respect for things of the mind. work, konstantin hard work, was also a staple of the family routine. the creamery where young eisenhower worked during his spare time is still one of abilene's industries. in this way, young dwight
eisenhower grew to a manhood the world would know well. havoline.when he left point.ene for west beganreat americans marches into history as cadets at west point. eisenhower was graduated from the academy in 1915 and commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. a new phase of life was beginning. lieutenant, first dowd of denver.
events in europe or forging a new phase of life for the world. world war i gave many generals experience in combat. -- young eisenhower eisenhower was not among them. world war i brought him command of a tank training center in gettysburg, pennsylvania. was one ofance distinguished service, but before he got to europe, the war ended. in the late 1920's after graduation from the general school, major dwight d. eisenhower was assigned to book. to prepare a it was his first direct experience with that continent.
with the 1930's came other by service, climaxed under general douglas mccarthy in the philippines. he worked with mccarthy to help the commonwealth government work out a plan for military defense. ordered back to the states in 1939, colonel eisenhower went to fort lewis as executive officer of the 15th infantry regiment. in 1940, german armies were crashing through holland and belgium. they were wreaking destruction through the skies, billy goring
britain -- and a beleaguered bridgend stood alone -- a beleaguered britain stood alone. biggest challenge in eisenhower's life was to aid in that separation. in 1940, he was made chief of staff of the third division, then chief of staff of the ninth core. summer of 19 41, colonel eisenhower became chief of staff armylter krueger, who's was preparing to participate in the most realistic war maneuvers ever held by american troops. in these maneuvers over drew moreas america
soldiers, eisenhower's task was to work out a defense against an invading mechanized force. soon after the maneuvers were over, he was promoted to brigadier general. within days came the bombing of pearl harbor. from almost this moment on, the fate of the nation and eisenhower would be inexorably bound together. called to washington in the first weeks after the war began, he went to work in the war plans office. among the plans formulated was the central strategic determination to make an eventual attack across the english channel, the principal
allied defense effort. wallural covering the west of the eisenhower museum dramatizes these events. because an all out channel invasion would be impossible before 1944 and because the need for offensive action was immediate, the allies undertook a combined operation under the command of dwight d. eisenhower the invasion of north africa. the minimum objective was to seize the main ports between casablanca and algiers. along the rim of the north african coast, troops were ashore and encountering
resistance from algiers to casablanca. commander wash hope is to push east along the mediterranean and take tunis. a number of unfavorable circumstances, including treacherous weather conditions, caused him to hold off on this vital assault. in the spring, troops of the tunis fell to the british army. with these victories came the empire in axis
africa. the allies proudly commemorated their victory. one of the greatest products of this victory was the progress achieved in the welding of allied unity and the establishment of a combat team already showing the effects of going trust among its members. the successful and to the campaign brought personal recognition of eisenhower throughout the world as a great leader, but the commander had self interpreted this recognition as proof that free men can find, in unity, the way to victory.
through a miracle of courage and tenacity, troops of the fifth army established a beach head against overwhelming german odds and took the port of naples. with these victories, although important battles lay ahead, the first major objectives of the italian campaign were accomplished. allied forces were on european soil and would be able to pain down german troops. president roosevelt visited the combat area with general eisenhower when he came for the conferences in cairo, where agreement was established that the principal allied efforts would be the invasion of europe.
man whoafterward, the would command this undertaking was named, general dwight d. people werewhom calling the man of the hour. on the opposite wall of the museum, another mural depicts major episodes in the great crusade which liberated europe. the supreme commander's orders from the combined chiefs of staff for simple, to land on the coast of france and to destroy the german ground forces. between the order and its execution lay and agony of efforts. across the channel, the heavy fortifications lining the coast made nazi forces
believe they could push them back into the sea. in france alone, 58 german divisions were waiting. preparing for the invasion was a job without let up. incessant training was of paramount importance. the challenges and details of coordination were overwhelming. tents months in 1944, the preparations continued. postponedfter being one day because of weather conditions, the eve of the day of decision was in hand. the commander visited the airborne troops who would lead the invasion. i found the men fine, he wrote later, joshing me that i had no cause for worry.
the first fateful morning passed, and allied troops were holding on french soil. one week after the landing, the commander was able to say to the vast armies under him, your accomplishments in the last seven days of this campaign have exceeded my highest hopes. less than two months after the invasion, the allied forces broke out of the beach perimeter. the breakout was the next step. now began the dramatic pursuit commerce. headed by general patton across the heart of france.