It was soon after completing her education at Miss Wolcott's finishing school
that she met Dwight Eisenhower atSan
Antonioin October 1915.
Introduced by Mrs. Lulu Harris, wife of a fellow officer atFort
Sam Houston, the two hit it off at once, as Eisenhower, officer of the
day, invited Miss Doud to accompany him on his rounds. OnSt.
Valentine's Dayin 1916 he gave
her a miniature of hisWest
Pointclass ring to seal a
The Doud House at 750 Lafayette Street in Denver, Colorado.
Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, aged 25, married Mamie Doud, aged 19, on July
1, 1916, at the home of the bride's parents inDenver,
Colorado. Following the wedding, performed by Reverend Williamson of the
in Denver, the newlyweds honeymooned a couple days atEldorado
Springs, Coloradoa resort near
Denver, and then visited the groom's parents in Abilene before settling into
the lieutenant's crude living quarters at Fort Sam Houston.
The Eisenhowers had two children (only one lived to maturity):
Doud "Icky" Dwight Eisenhower (September
24, 1917 – January 2, 1921) died ofscarlet
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower(born
August 3, 1922) – soldier, diplomat, author. Born in Denver, CO, he
Pointin 1944 and earned a
master's degree in English literature fromColumbia
Universityin 1950. After
retiring from a prosperous military career (1944–1963), he was appointed
Nixon. He has written an account of the Battle of the Bulge,The
Pearl Harbor to D-Day(1982).
For years, Mamie Eisenhower's life followed the pattern of otherArmywives:
a succession of posts in the United States, in thePanama
Canal Zone; duty inFrance,
Although accustomed to more creature comforts than those afforded at military
posts, Mamie adjusted readily and joined her husband in moving 28 times before
their retirement at the end of his term as president.[citation
Mamie Eisenhower, with her husband, Dwight, on the steps of St.
Mary's College, San Antonio, Texas, in 1916
Mamie Eisenhower in her inaugural gown, painted in 1953 by Thomas
They celebrated with a housewarming picnic for the staff from their last
temporary quarters: theWhite
House. Diplomacy—and air travel—in the postwar world brought changes in
their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented
of stateand leaders of foreign
governments. As First Lady, her outgoing manner, her feminine love of pretty
clothes, some of them designed byScaasi,jewelry,
and her obvious pride in husband and home made her a very popular First Lady.
The gown she wore to her husband's inauguration is one of the most popular in
Museum of American History's collection of inaugural gowns.
As First Lady, she was a gracious hostess but carefully guarded her privacy. A
victim of Meniere's disease, an inner-ear disorder that affects equilibrium,
Mrs. Eisenhower was uneasy on her feet, a spectacle that fed baseless rumors
that she had a drinking problem.
Mrs. Eisenhower was known as apenny
the White House staff. Her recipe for "Mamie's million dollar fudge" was
reproduced by housewives all over the country after it was printed in many
As described in multiple biographies, includingUpstairs
at the White HousebyJ.
B. West, Mrs. Eisenhower was reportedly unhappy with the idea ofJohn
F. Kennedycoming into office
following her husband's term. Despite new First LadyJacqueline
Kennedyhaving given birth to
sectiontwo weeks prior, Mamie
refused to inform Jackie that there was a wheelchair available for her to use
while showing Mrs. Kennedy the various sections of the White House. Seeing
Mamie's displeasure during the tour, Jackie kept her composure while in Mrs.
Eisenhower's presence, finally collapsing in private once the new First Lady
returned home. When Mamie Eisenhower was later questioned as to why she would
do such a thing, the former First Lady simply stated, "Because she never
Mamie Eisenhower Portrait, 04/27/1971
In 1961 Mrs. Eisenhower retired with the former president to Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, their first permanent home. After her husband's death in 1969,
she continued to live full time on the farm until she took an apartment in
Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s.She
suffered a stroke on September 25, 1979 and was rushed to Walter Reed
Hospital, where Ike had died a decade before. Mamie didn't leave the hospital
and on October 31, announced to her granddaughter, Mary, that she would die
the next day. Indeed, she died quietly in her sleep very early the morning of
a few weeks shy of her 83rd birthday. She was buried next to the president and
her first son at Place of Meditation on the grounds of the
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