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2019 White House Christmas ornament honors 34th president

The 2019 White House Christmas Ornament honors Dwight D. Eisenhower, the nation's 34th president. (White House Historical Society/Released)

Like Ike? If so, you’ll love the 2019 White House Christmas ornament, which honors Dwight D. Eisenhower with its helicopter design.

The 38th official ornament, a helicopter featuring the Presidential Seal, also recognizes Eisenhower’s five-star general rank in the U.S. Army.

Eisenhower, who served as the nation’s 34th president from 1953 to 1961, was the first sitting president to fly in a helicopter in 1957.

The first president to regularly use a helicopter, Eisenhower had two Executive Flight Detachments for his personal transportation on short journeys. These were provided by helicopters of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. To demonstrate his impartiality, the president alternated between the two.

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In a nod to that, the ornament does not represent a single helicopter.

The design of the Official 2019 White House Christmas Ornament box is a rendering of the White House South Lawn, which represents how Eisenhower started the tradition of presidential helicopter transportation directly to and from the South Lawn.

“We are proud to recognize President Eisenhower’s legacy with this year’s Official White House Christmas Ornament,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, in a press release announcing the design. “This ornament commends his impact on our nation’s history through his service in the Armed Forces, as well as his leadership as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief.”

Eisenhower was a man of fairness and impartiality and had an impressive career both before and during his two-term presidency, the statement said. “His achievements were many; he had strong executive ability and the gift of command, balanced with his calming demeanor to comfort the public,” it said.

The sale of the ornament supports the White House Historical Association’s mission to educate the public on its history.

The ornament costs $22.95 and is available online at www.shop.whitehousehistory.org.

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© 2019 Staten Island Advance