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Mamie Eisenhower: Fashionista, Socialite, & First Lady Pink

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Sep 04, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower was only 19 when she met and married a young lieutenant, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Like many of her peers, her life was consumed with providing a loving home for her husband, entertaining guests and raising children as they moved from one post to another during his career in the U.S. Army.

dwight mamie eisenhower photo 2

DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER & MAMIE DOUD EISENHOWER

The couple had two boys, Doud and John. Sadly, the youthful Doud passed away in 1921 when he was only four due to a case of Scarlet Fever. In 1922, John was born. He survived to adulthood in good health and joined the U.S. Army, later becoming the American ambassador to Belgium and returning as a Brigadier General in the United States Army.

Mamie Eisenhower is very well known for outgoing personality in the role of First Lady. Her father had been a wealthy meatpacking executive and had afforded her many opportunities for traveling and entertaining. Mamie Eisenhower enjoyed decorating the home and White House for holidays. The First Lady’s color choices and fashion sense were also of great interest to the public. The gown she wore to her husband's Inauguration is one of the most popular in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's collection of inaugural gowns.

mamie dress

MAMIE'S DOUD EISENHOWER'S FAMOUS INAUGURAL DRESS IN "FIRST LADY PINK"

With her favorite color of pink showing up frequently in her public wardrobe and in the décor of the private quarters of the White House, Mrs. Eisenhower helped to make it a popular color for textiles of the early 1950's, making "First Lady Pink" a favorite paint color in the pallet.

During his term in the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. Mamie stayed with him around the clock while he recuperated. She ensured that he got enough rest, proper exercise and took charge of the administrative flow of his work. She also took care of the President’s mail, responding to citizens and world leaders alike. This was also the case when he had abdominal surgery, a stroke, and in his final days when he was hospitalized for a heart condition.

dwight eisenhower china service plate 1

MAMIE AND DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER CHOSE THIS DRAMATIC SERVICE PLATE IN 1955 - THIS PLATE IS NOW IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

One of the important roles held by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower demonstrated her natural leadership qualities as she promoted the voice of women in voting and in public office. When her old friend, Ellen Harris, ran for a Republican seat in Congress, she campaigned for her. Among her many accomplishments was the fundraising and establishment of Knollwood, a 16 acre secure retirement home for widows of Army personnel.

Mamie Eisenhower took the time to respond to every letter she received. She felt that everyone deserved a personal response and saw to it that this goal was met. At times, she used her influence to support military housing, enlistment deferments, transfers, pensions, and civil service employment with Administration officials. The First Lady frequently made statements of public support to military or defense-related crises and issues of her era such as support for the United Nations and finding a cure for Polio.

pat nixon introduces martha mitchell flamboyant wife of attorney general to mamie eisenhower

PAT NIXON INTRODUCES THE SOON-TO-BE HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL MARTHA MITCHELL, WIFE OF NIXON'S ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO MAMIE EISENHOWER

After retirement, the Eisenhowers enjoyed their beautiful home and farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After President Eisenhower passed away in 1969, Mamie remained at the farm until she passed away after a stroke in 1979 at age 83.

raleigh degeer amyx

HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection is proud to own many museum quality historically significant artifacts. Among these American treasures are major historical military effects that belonged to Dwight D. Eisenhower, an autographed photo of the First Lady with President Eisenhower, as well as the official White House China of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of numerous sets of White House china in the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

More than 400 of the historical artifacts acquired by Raleigh DeGeer Amyx will be sold in a live auction in Boston, Mass. on September 17-18, 2014 by RRAuction.com. If interested, visit the official auction page at the link below: 

Click here for the official September 17th & 18th, 2014 auction page

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