The presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower began with his inauguration on January 20, 1953. As the 34th President of the United States, Eisenhower contended with a number of domestic and international issues. He oversaw the armistice of the Korean War in 1953, one facet of the larger Cold War with the Soviet Union. Eisenhower also authorized the construction of the U.S. interstate highway system in 1956 and forced the integration of schools in Arkansas in 1957.Continue Reading
Shortly after Eisenhower's inauguration, U.S.-Soviet relations shifted with the death of Josef Stalin on March 3, 1953. Turmoil resulting from the troubled succession of a leader for the U.S.S.R. prevented improvement, deepening the Cold War conflict. Eisenhower's containment strategy for Communism, introduced during Truman's leadership, was followed through the negotiation of peace in the Korean War in July the same year. Additionally, covert actions by the CIA, supported by Eisenhower, saw the overthrow of the leadership in Iran in 1953 and of Guatamala in 1954, both to prevent governments thought sympathetic to the Communist cause. The U-2 spy plane incident in 1960, shortly before a summit with Western leaders and Khruschev, sabotaged progress towards thawed relations.
Domestically, Eisenhower worked to minimize the impact of three recessions during his term. He sought to decrease illegal immigration to the United States from Mexico with a 1954 Immigration and Naturalization Service operation. In 1957, Eisenhower used federal troops to enforce a court order to Arkansas governor Orval Fabulus to desegregate the state's public schools. Nine African-American high school students were escorted into Little Rock Central High School that year.Learn more about US History