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I Like Ike! - Eisenhower campaign slogan
Dwight David Eisenhower was given this name by his mom, hoping nobody would make a nickname for him. As you may have noted, it didn't work, he ended up being known as "Ike". He was President from 1953 to 1961, being the first President to be barred from running for the office again via the 22nd Amendment (he was opposed to that amendment).
Ike had gotten into the White House by virtue of his major role in winning World War II as the head of the Allied Forces and masterminding D-Day (he wasn't sure that would succeed and actually had a speech ready in case it failed). He ended up a five-star general, although had to stand down from the Army to become President (when he left, he got the position back). During WWII, he was one of the few to actually see the concentration camps in Germany and on that wrote "We are told the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against."
He was courted by both major parties in 1948, but declined to run. He was "drafted" by Republicans in 1952 and won the general election in a ten-point victory and Electoral College landslide. His campaign slogan was "I Like Ike", which was meant to be worn on buttons and bumper stickers to show support. The unpopular and sour-faced Richard Nixon became his VP.
Under his presidency, the US Interstate Highway system was authorized and Ike made defense a priority, especially Superior Firepower. There was also quite a bit of stuff in Latin America (much of it unsavory). The CIA also undertook an operation to overthrow the democratically-elected Prime Minister of Iran; this backfired rather spectacularly just over 20 years later.
The Civil Rights Movement got seriously going with Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka. Ike supported that decision, desegregated DC schools (per Bolling v. Sharpe) on the spot and would later send down the 101st Airborne Division to enforce the inclusion of black students in the high school at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Ike appointed five Supreme Court Justices, most famously Earl Warren. Warren was expected to be a conservative, but turned out to be very liberal indeed (although Eisenhower's comment about it being his biggest mistake may be apocryphal).
Ike died in 1969. He was seen for a while as a "do-nothing" President (wait, didn't he end The Korean War?), but historians now often place him in the top 10. He was very much a non-partisan kind of guy and probably the most moderate president of the last century.
He has an aircraft carrier named after him, and his place of meditation at his grave in Kansas is really cool. He changed the name of the presidential retreat from "Shangri-La" to "Camp David" in honor of his grandson.
Eisenhower in fiction:
- Married... with Children has Al Bundy attempting to prove his theory that his neighbor and Rich Idiot With No Day Job Jefferson is actually a spy by challenging him to see which of them could name the most U.S. Presidents. Jefferson names several, while Al's only response to each is "...Eisenhower".
- Ike plays a minor role early in Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel DC: The New Frontier, mainly to represent the "old guard" before Kennedy's election at the end. He's slightly more prominent in a "special missing chapter" published a few years later, where he conscripts Superman to arrest Batman in a clever parody of Ronald Reagan's role in The Dark Knight Returns.
- Indiana Jones told his Commie captors in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that he likes Ike.
- He appears in the Meg Ryan romantic comedy I.Q., dumbfounding mechanic Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) in the process. "Ike?" Apparently a close friend of Albert Einstein.
- As a humourous take on an instance of Name's the Same, his campaign slogan "We like Ike!" was used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl to cheer on another guy named Ike.
- In the Beavis and Butthead movie, Mr. Anderson is touring the White House. He stares at the portrait of Eisenhower lamenting "Where are you when we need you, Ike?"
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew referred to Ike's Earth-C counterpart, General (and presumably 1950s Earth-C US president) Eisenhowler, during Earth-C's version of D-Day, which Zoo Crew team member Fastback was forcibly sent back in time to by the villainous Timekeeper.
- In the first episode of Scrubs, Dr Cox checks on the state of an elderly male patient by remarking that "Eisenhower was a sissy." He then jumps back and puts his fists up in defence. The patient's lack of response is taken as evidence that he is still comatose.
- He's mentioned in the All in The Family episode "Mike comes into Money":
Mike: It's getting like politics in America is only for the rich!
- During the 2000 Presidential Elections, Cartoon Network ran its own mock election featuring cartoon characters. Brak's campaign was a direct copy of an "I Like Ike" commercial, but with Brak pasted over everything.
Brak: Brak's my name and that's what it is!
- The Queen from True Blood lost her attraction to men during the Eisenhower years.
- In Woody Allen's story Remembering Needleman, an eulogy for the fictional academic Sandor Needleman, it's mentioned that he was dismissed from Columbia University for his disagreement with Eisenhower (who was the president of the university between 1948-53) "over whether the class bell signaled the end of a period or the beginning of another", which led to Needleman attacking Eisenhower with a carpet beater who ran for cover into a toy store.
- In A World of Laughter, A World of Tears, Ike suffers a heart attack before the election and the Republicans scramble for another high-profile candidate to draft, eventually settling on Walt Disney. This does not end well.
- Ike appears at the beginning of Superman Red Son, first announcing the existence of Soviet Superman to the United States, and later privately lamenting the forthcoming Cold War escalation to his aides.
- Eisenhower appears in The Longest Day, making the fateful decision to send the invasion fleet to Normandy through questionable weather on June 6th. It works.
- Ike: Countdown to D-Day focuses on the planning of Operation Overlord.
- In the 1998 Video Game Remake of Battlezone 1998, the American space army, the NSDF, is formed under his auspices. Included in the game's manual are an exchange of letters between him and the general in charge of the operation.
- He briefly appears in at start of the 1985 sci-fi comedy My Science Project.