This day in history, March 28, 1969, President Dwight D. Eisenhower died at the age of 78.
Eisenhower graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1915, and after World War I he steadily rose in the ranks of the U.S. Army. After the U.S. entrance into World War II, he was appointed commanding general of the European theater of operations. In 1942, Eisenhower was in charge of Operation Torch, the Anglo-American landings in Morocco and Algeria.
From North Africa, he successfully directed the invasions of Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy, and in January 1944, was appointed supreme Allied commander of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northwestern Europe. Even though Eisenhower put his staff, such as British Field Marshall Montgomery, in charge of specific planning for the Allied landing, he served as an organizer and administrator.
After the war, he served as president of Columbia University before returning to military service in 1951 as supreme commander of the combined land and air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Pressure on Eisenhower to run for U.S. president was great so in the spring of 1952, he decided to run for president on the Republican ticket.
In November 1952, Eisenhower won the presidential election was reelected in 1956. A popular president, he oversaw a period of great economic growth in the United States and led the country through increasing Cold War tensions. He died in 1969 and was buried on a family plot in Abilene, Kansas.