U-2 cover story
Dated May 2, 1960, this cover story was drafted to conceal the actual mission of the U-2 spy plane which was shot down over Soviet air space on May 1, 1960. Much of the U-2’s wreckage was recovered by the Soviets, and its pilot, Captain Francis Gary Powers, captured alive, even though President Eisenhower was told that the U-2 spy plane had a self-destruct mechanism that would prevent them from discovering its true purpose.
Although Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867, it wasn’t until July 7, 1958, that President Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill. Six months later in 1959, the territory became the 49th state. Have you been to Alaska?
July 1, 1955 - Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower posed for this portrait on their 39th wedding anniversary at their farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It is the intent of the Congress that the Interstate System be completed as nearly as practicable over a thirteen-year period and that the entire System in all the States be brought to simultaneous completion. Because of it’s primary importance to the national defense, the name of such system is hereby changed to the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.”
An ardent supporter of a “modern, interstate highway system,” President Eisenhower signed this bill into law on the 29th of June, 1956. The act authorized the building of highways throughout the nation, which would be the biggest public works project in the nation’s history.
June 6 - D-Day Statement to Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force
This order was issued by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to encourage Allied soldiers taking part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944.
Almost immediately after France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the Allies planned a cross-Channel assault on the German occupying forces, ultimately code-named Operation Overlord. By May 1944, 2,876,000 Allied troops were amassed in southern England. The largest armada in history, made up of more than 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, lay in wait, and more that 1,200 planes stood ready. Against a tense backdrop of uncertain weather forecasts, disagreements in strategy, and related timing dilemmas, Eisenhower decided before dawn on June 5 to proceed with Overlord. Later that same afternoon, he scribbled a note intended for release, accepting responsibility for the decision to launch the invasion and full blame should the effort to create a beachhead on the Normandy coast fail. Much more polished is his printed Order of the Day for June 6, 1944, which Eisenhower began drafting in February. The order was distributed to the 175,000-member expeditionary force on the eve of the invasion.
I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people.
Now, therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of the United States…to observe Friday, May 1, 1959 as Loyalty Day…