First Lady Mamie Eisenhower


MamieCredit: google images

Mamie Eisenhower

Mary Geneva Doud "Mamie" Eisenhower, was the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

  Soon after completing her education at finishing school she met Dwight Eisenhower in San Antonio in October 1915, and as Eisenhower was officer of the day, he invited Miss Doud to accompany him on his rounds. The two hit it off at once. Then on St. Valentine's Day in 1916 he gave her a miniature of his West Point class ring to seal a formal engagement.

Mamie and Ike

  Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 25, married Mamie Doud, age 19, on July 1, 1916, at the home of the bride's parents in Denver, Colorado. The newlyweds honeymooned a couple days at Eldorado Springs, Colorado a resort near Denver, and then visited the groom's parents in Abilene before settling into the lieutenant's crude living quarters at Fort Sam Houston.

  The Eisenhowers had two children (only one lived to adulthood):
Doud "Icky" Dwight Eisenhower (September 24, 1917 – January 2, 1921) died of scarlet fever.  John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower (born August 3, 1922) – soldier, diplomat, author. (said to be the oldest living child of a president).

  For years, Mamie Eisenhower's life followed the pattern of other Army wives: a succession of posts in the United States, in the Panama Canal Zone; duty in France, and in the Philippines. Although accustomed to more creature comforts than those afforded at military posts, Mamie adjusted readily and joined her husband in moving 28 times before their retirement.

  During the Second World War, while promotion and fame came to "Ike," his wife lived in Washington, D.C. After he became president of Columbia University in 1948, the Eisenhowers purchased a farm (now the Eisenhower National Historic Site) at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the first home they had ever owned. His duties as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces, and hers as his hostess at a villa near Paris, delayed work on their dream home, that was finally completed in 1955.

   As First Lady, her outgoing manner, her love of pretty clothes, some of them designed by Scaasi, jewelry, and her obvious pride in husband and home made her a very popular First Lady. 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.

GownCredit: google images

Inauguration Gown

  As First Lady, she was a gracious hostess but carefully guarded her privacy. Mrs. Eisenhower was known as a penny pincher who clipped coupons for the White House staff. Her recipe for "Mamie's million dollar fudge" was reproduced by women all over the country after it was printed in many publications.

  In 1961 Mrs. Eisenhower retired with the former president to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, their first permanent home. After her husband's death in 1969, she continued to live full time on the farm until she took an apartment in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s.

  Mamie suffered a stroke on September 25, 1979, and was rushed to Walter Reed Hospital, where Ike had died a decade before. Mamie didn't leave the hospital, she died quietly in her sleep very early the morning of November 1, just a few weeks shy of her 83rd birthday. She was buried next to the president and her first son at Place of Meditation on the grounds of the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas. In 1980 her birthplace in Boone, Iowa, was dedicated as a historic site.

Mamie's Birthplace

Mamie's Birthplace

  When Mamie Eisenhower came to the White House, she brought along a recipe for fudge that called for marshmallow creme. Her candy was so creamy the President reportedly called it the "million dollar" fudge.

Mamie's Million Dollar Fudge Recipe


Mamie Eisenhower FudgeCredit: American Woman Cookbook

Mamie's Million Dollar Fudge


1-package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1-package (12) ounces) milk chocolate chips
1-jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1-1/2-cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2-teaspoons vanilla extract
4-cups white granulated sugar
1-can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2-tablespoons butter

Step 1...Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over edges of the pan. Lightly butter the foil*, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, chopped walnuts and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Step 2...In a heavy large saucpan, stir together the sugar, evaporated milk and butter. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. (Avoid splashing mixture onto sides of pan). Lower heat to moderately low. Stir constantly and boil for 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3...Carefully pour the boiling mixture over the chocolate mixture. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is creamy and well combined. Quickly turn the fudge mixture into the prepared pan. While fudge is still warm, use the tip of a small knife to score into 1-inch squares.

Step 4...When candy is firm, grasp the foil and lift the block of fudge out of the pan. Remove the foil and place the candy on a cutting board. Using a long-bladed serrated knife, cut along the lines scored in the fudge. To get a smooth even , place one hand on the knife handle and the other on the top of the blade, then press down evenly until the knife cuts through the candy.

Makes 3-1/2 pounds of fudge

*note...non-stick cooking spray can be used in place of butter.