DEAD: Dwight D. Eisenhower

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (aged 78)
34th president of the United States

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United Statesfrom 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

DEATH: On the morning of March 28, 1969, Eisenhower died in Washington, D.C., of congestive heart failure at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; he was 78 years old. The following day, his body was moved to the Washington National Cathedral’s Bethlehem Chapel, where he lay in repose for 28 hours. On March 30, his body was brought by caisson to the United States Capitol, where he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. On March 31, Eisenhower’s body was returned to the National Cathedral, where he was given an Episcopal Church funeral service.

That evening, Eisenhower’s body was placed onto a special train for its journey from the nation’s capital to Abilene, Kansas. This was the last time in the 20th century that a funeral train has been used as part of funeral proceedings for an American president. His body arrived on April 2, and was interred that day in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library. The president’s body was buried as a General of the Army. The family used an $80 standard soldier’s casket, and dressed his body in his famous short green jacket. The medals worn were: the Army Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. Eisenhower is buried alongside his son Doud, who died at age 3 in 1921. His wife Mamie was buried next to him after her death a decade later in 1979.

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