Eisenhower's Message to Americans 55 Years Ago

Eisenhower's Message to Americans 55 Years Ago


55 years ago a different historic transition in America was imminent.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was preparing to hand over the reins of world power to President-elect John F. Kennedy.

Like today, it was a volatile time. The Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum in the south, the Cold War between the U.S. and Russia was heating up and the space age was dawning.

Before he transitioned out of office, Eisenhower had a message for his successor and his country.

"He has been building up his whole career to this moment to give this final message not only to his successor, President Kennedy, but also a roadmap to America and he spends two years working on this final address, 21 drafts," says Bret Baier, author of the new book, "Three Days in January". 

He's talking about Eisenhower's farewell address delivered from the White House three days before he the famed general became a private citizen and Kennedy became Commander in Chief. In his televised address, Eisenhower discussed the looming threats abroad, warned against the military- industrial complex and promoted bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

Baier, anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel spent three and a half years researching his latest book.

It examines Eisenhower's last hours in office, his remarkable rise to command the allied forces in Europe and his transition of power to Kennedy who, soon after taking office, called on Ike as an adviser.

Baier also touches on Eisenhower's Christian faith which, while a private affair for Ike, really drove who he was. He was the first president to open an inaugural address with a prayer. 

"To begin an inuaguration speech and have everyone bow their heads is pretty unique and that shows you how much he valued that," Baier tells Beltway Buzz. "He is the president who put "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, he made "In God We Trust" our national motto and had it printed on our currency. The first national prayer breakfast happens under President Eisenhower," Baier continued.

The parallels between Eisenhower and President- elect Donald Trump are timely. Neither man had any political experience when elected to the White House. Trump is the only future president to have neither political nor military experience.

Baier's book is in bookstores now. 

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