Tags: Presidential History | mamie eisenhower | dwight eisenhower | causes

Mamie Eisenhower: The Causes That Defined Dwight Eisenhower's First Lady

By    |   Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 12:04 AM

Mamie Eisenhower was the embodiment of a First Lady of the 1950s, and as the wife of President Dwight Eisenhower, she relished her role as the country's most prominent hostess.

Values of the time dictated that women focused on family and homemaking first, and the First Lady of the United States was no exception. Mamie Eisenhower never held a paying job and made it her mission to care for her lifetime companion. "Ike was my career," she once said, according to The Miller Center. "(He) runs the country, I turn the lamb chops."

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Mamie Eisenhower often pointed out that she had no interest in politics and only visited the Oval Office on three occasions during Eisenhower's two terms as president.

The First Lady relished her role as the nation's hostess and strived to make everyone feel welcome at events. Always elegant, she typically wore designer garments but also enjoyed locating a bargain, the Miller Center said. Her personal style included keeping her hair in bangs and wearing off-the-shoulder dresses. She became known for her love of pink, and had a shade named for her, "Mamie Pink."

While keeping her opinions out of the newspapers, Mamie Eisenhower had personal convictions. She disliked Sen. Joseph McCarthy and kept him away from all White House social events, according to Biography.com. She also encouraged voters to support Ellen Harris in her bid for a seat in Congress.

Despite her public image as a happy homemaker, Mamie Eisenhower supported two causes. After her husband's heart attack in September 1955, Mamie became educated on heart disease. She spearheaded The American Heart Association's fundraisers to assist with scientific research and increase public awareness, according to The National First Ladies' Library.

The wife of a five-star general and war hero, Mamie Eisenhower stayed in contact with the wives of many military personnel and became privy to their financial struggles. As a result, she helped raise money to build affordable, secure retirement housing for Army widows. The facility opened in 1962 with the name "Knollwood."

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Mamie Eisenhower was the embodiment of a First Lady of the 1950s, and as the wife of President Dwight Eisenhower, she relished her role as the country's most prominent hostess.
mamie eisenhower, dwight eisenhower, causes
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2015-04-09
Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 12:04 AM
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