For many, President Eisenhower was the personification of 1950s America. He was a symbol of America's power, prestige, and prosperity, a leader who inspired the nation’s confidence. Ike was well suited to be president during the turbulent Cold War years.
Eisenhower's leadership as Supreme Commander had earned him the respect and admiration of his countrymen, and powerful Western leaders: Churchill, De Gaulle, Mcmillan, Khrushchev and even Stalin. Everyone liked Ike. Yet he was often unfairly dismissed as being an overly passive chief executive, reportedly content to play golf as his secretary of state orchestrated Cold War policy and the country’s economy boomed on its own.
However, during eight years as president, Eisenhower kept America at peace without diminishing its prestige. He ended the Korean War, demanded and secured a cease fire during the Suez Crisis, and strived to reduce tensions between the US and Soviet Union. At home, Eisenhower balanced the budget, launched the space program, established the Interstate Highway System, and used Federal troops to enforce school desegregation.