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Iowa History Daily: November 14 - Mamie Doud Eisenhower

Iowa History Daily: On November 14, 1896, future First Lady of the United States Mamie Doud Eisenhower was born in Boone. One of two Iowans to ever serve as First Lady, Mamie left a significant impact on how the White House ran during her tenure and women’s fashions of the 1950s.

The second child of meatpacking executive John Sheldon Doud and his wife Elivera Mathilda Carlson, Mamie Doud grew up first in Boone before moving with her family to Cedar Rapids as a child. As John Doud built a large enough fortune to retire at age 36 through an inherited company, interests in stockyards, and other investments, the family relocated several times before ultimately landing in Colorado. After graduating from the Wolcott School for Girls, Mamie met and started dating a young Second Lieutenant named Dwight D. Eisenhower who she called Ike in 1915.

After she initially rejected the young officer’s advances, the two fell in love and got engaged on Valentine’s Day 1916. Married only a few months later on July 1 due to concerns over the potential outbreak of World War I, Mamie Doud Eisenhower embraced the life of an Army wife over the following decades. Over the course of Ike’s 37 year military career the couple occupied 33 different homes as he rose from Second Lieutenant to Supreme Allied Commander in Europe in World War II.

Of all the addresses held by the Eisenhower’s, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue stood out the most following Ike’s election to the Presidency in 1952. The first First Lady with a major national public image, and she brought a tight-fisted approach to her duties overseeing the budget and scheduling of the White House. Additionally, Mamie Doud Eisenhower rose to the status of fashion icon known for her iconic bangs and fondness for the color pink. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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