Ike in The Merchant of Venice
April 23 was the birthday of William Shakespeare. Dwight Eisenhower, like most of us, spent time with Shakespeare in high school and even played a role in Abilene High School’s 1909 adaptation of The Merchant in Venice.
“Where is Mamie Eisenhower’s 1955 Chrysler limousine? I would like to see it again. I once installed some Secret Service equipment on it when Mrs. Eisenhower was using it after the presidency.”
This week’s “Ask and Archivist” question at the Eisenhower Library comes from Washington State. For the answer, read more here.
PHOTO CAPTION: On November 14, 1955, President Eisenhower rode through Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the rear of a 1955 Chrysler Imperial limousine that was part of the White House fleet.
-from the Eisenhower Library
Archives holdings can contain many different records, including recipes. Here is a personal recipe for the Queen’s drop scones which President Eisenhower requested from her after a visit. This recipe is a staff favorite and invites the addition of chopped candied ginger in the batter to make a special treat to enjoy with a hot cup of tea.
Wonder if Eisenhower really used a teacup to measure flour for the Queen’s scones?
The National Christmas Tree with the White House in the background.
Below, a composite photo of President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushing the button to light the National Christmas Tree, and the tree after lighting. 12/22/59.
-from the Eisenhower Library
Obit of the Day: He Got Us to “Like Ike”
In 1948, when General Dwight D. Eisenhower was sitting in retirement after successfully leading the U.S. military to victory in Europe during World War II, there was already a stirring for him to become president. One enterprising reporter from Pittsburgh went to A.G. Trimble and his son, Richard, to create a campaign button as a way to encourage Eisenhower to run. The reporter was frustrated, telling the Trimbles, “I can’t come up with a slogan, but I do like Ike*.”
A.G. Trimble, who had made campaign buttons beginning in 1920, told the young man, “That’s your slogan.” Richard Trimble set to work to design the now iconic “I Like Ike” button that would first be produced in 1948 and then take off in 1952 when Ohio Senator Bob Taft recruited General Eisenhower to run for the Republican nomination in 1952. (Eisenhower would win in 1952 and again in 1956)
Richard Trimble wasn’t supposed to be in the family business. He was trained as a chemical engineer at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) but was severely poisoned in 1944 while working on a project for the war. After taking a year to recover he found himself working at the side of his father and would spend his career at A.G. Trimble Company.
On November 28, 2012, two days after his 91st birthday, Richard Trimble passed away. He ran the company from 1972 until he handed over the reigns to his son, current president Rick Trimble, in 1988.
Random note: A.G. Trimble, the company’s founder, who died at the age of 102 in 1983, was born on election day 1880. Because of that, his father wanted to name him Garfield Arthur Trimble for the winning Republican ticket of James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. His mother interceded and decided Arthur Garfield was better. A.G. Trimble was such a staunch supporter of the G.O.P. that he refused to manufacture campaign buttons for Democrats until Richard convinced him to make a Truman button in 1948.
(Images: Top left, www.loriferber.com; bottom left, www.conservapedia.com; bottom right, www.affordablepoliticalitems.com. I could not determine which button was the original created by the Trimbles.)
* “Ike” was a nickname that evolved from Eisenhower.
The Development of TV Spots
Television became an important part of campaign fundraising for the 1952 presidential election.
These storyboards are from an Eisenhower campaign strategy book that illustrates how money-raising goals were achieved through “TV Spots.”
“Each viewer will see the General just as if he were talking to him.”
For the first time in 1952, television became an important part of campaign strategy for the Presidential election. These notes describe the direction and goals for an upcoming TV appearance in Kansas City by Dwight D. Eisenhower. 9/19/52.
Thirty four more days until the Presidential election. In the coming weeks, the Presidential Libraries will be featuring memorabilia, photos, and documents from campaigns of the past century.
Up first, a campaign comic book created for the 1952 election. A Republican senatorial campaign in Rhode Island promoted the GOP slate by making the most of Dwight Eisenhower’s heroic image as “Leader, Statesman, Administrator, Presidential Candidate.”