Eisenhower and the Korean War

A black and white image of Dwight Eisenhower wearing a heavy winter parka standing with several soldiers in Korea
President-Elect Eisenhower standing with soldiers of the 15th Regiment, 3rd U.S. Infantry Division, in South Korea on December 4, 1952. (L to R) Sgt. Jack Hutcherson, Eisenhower, PFC Casper Skudlarek, and Cpl. James Murray, who would be KIA several days after meeting Eisenhower.

U.S. Army Photo, Courtesy of the Eisenhower Presidential Library

"A soldier all my life, I have enlisted in the greatest cause of my life, the cause of peace. I do not believe it is a presumption to call the effort of all who have enlisted with me a crusade."

Dwight D. Eisenhower, remarks in Detroit, Michigan, October 24, 1952.

While Dwight Eisenhower's military career is most associated with World War II, it was the Korean War which Eisenhower dealt with early in his presidency. This conflict--oft forgotten today--claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, including over 33,000 Americans.

During World War II, Eisenhower saw death and destruction on an unprecedented scale. As the victorious Supreme Allied Commander, Eisenhower used his post-war career to maintain peace and security in the geopolitical world of the Cold War. Bringing an end to the fighting in Korea was one of Eisenhower's primary campaign goals in 1952, and one he embarked upon even before he took his oath of office as the 34th President of the United States.

Known as the ‘Forgotten War’, Korea was the first major conflict of the Cold War impacting the lives of millions. Korea was central to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1952 presidential campaign, and his interactions with troops at the front lines of the war in December 1952 heavily influenced his push for an armistice, which took place on July 27, 1953.

A black and white image of a man in a heavy winter coat walking up a hill
A Crusade for Peace Winter Lecture

Discover more on Eisenhower's trip to Korea with this special winter lecture program from February 2023.

A color image of a green army parka on a pedestal
Eisenhower's Korea Parka

See the original parka that Eisenhower wore during his trip to Korea, now part of the ENHS museum collection

A black and white image of a man in a suit sitting at a desk
The Eisenhower Administration

The Korean War was crucial in shaping Eisenhower's foreign policy as president. Explore his presidency further here.

A black and white image of a man on a mountain looking out across the Korean countryside
Korean War veteran Richard Witham

Hear from Richard Witham, a Korean War veteran, and see his unpublished photographs from Korea.

A color image of a black Korean coffee table in the Eisenhower living room
Korea in the Eisenhower Home

Explore items related to the Korean War on display in the Eisenhower home.


Articles on the Korean War

Loading results...
    Tags: korean war

    Last updated: October 24, 2023

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    1195 Baltimore Pike
    Gettysburg, PA 17325


    717 338-9114

    Contact Us