Eisenhower, Mamie Doud (ON HOLD)


ALS to a friend 16 days after Normandy invasion and son John’s West Point graduation, apologizes for her “mental upheaval”


Type: Letter
Description: (1896-1979) M. Dwight D. Eisenhower 1916. First Lady 1953-61. The young couple moved frequently between military quarters in many postings, from Panama to the Philippines. As First Lady, she entertained a wide range of foreign dignitaries, who reacted well to her. She spent her retirement and widowhood at the family farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Her grandson, David Eisenhower (b. 1948), married Julie Nixon 1968.

ALS “Mamie”, 9 ¼ x 6 Wardman Park Hotel letterhead, Washington, June 22 1944 (16 days after D-Day!) hotel crest at top left, to friend Thelma (Mrs. Noah M. Brinsom), San Francisco. Mrs. Eisenhower encloses (not present) a letter that arrived before she went to “W.P. “ (West Point) which she forgot to forward. She states: “Have been in such a mental upheaval for so long I know you’ll excuse me – now, I have John graduated and the invasion started maybe I’ll calm down.”  She is sending this letter to Thelma’s in-laws as it is the only address she has, hopes Thelma will hear good news of ”your beau” (husband Noah L. Brimson). She notes that Mamie’s parents are with her until July 1, “wonderful to have them”, suggests Thelma call her “little ‘sis’” Mrs. G. G. Moore, when she has time. With Wardman Park Hotel envelope in Mrs. Eisenhower’s hand with her printed “Mrs. Eisenhower” at top left, addressed by her hand to Mrs. Noah Brinson with a Georgia address, forwarded to the El Drisco Hotel in San Francisco. Letters from Mamie Eisenhower at this time with any reference to the D-Day invasion are quite rare. With 2 small clippings from the  June 10 1944 Army and Navy Journal noting son John’s West Point graduation.

The Wardman Park Hotel opened 1918 and closed 2020. Built 1917-18, it was an 8-story, red brick structure, largest in the city, with 1,200 rooms and 625 baths. The hotel was hugely successful due to the housing shortage caused by Washington’s WW I growth. In 1928, the hotel expanded with an 8-story, 350-room residential-hotel annex. The 1st televised broadcast of NBC’s Meet the Press took place in 1947 in the Wardman Tower where host Lawrence E. Spivak was a resident. The Wardman Tower was home to many politicians and public figures, incl.: Lyndon Johnson (for about 45 days while VP); VPs Spiro Agnew, Charles Curtis, Henry A. Wallace and Thomas R. Marshall; actress Marlene Dietrich; Senators Bob Dole, Barry Goldwater and Prescott Bush; the Eisenhowers; Secretary of State Cordell Hull; President Hoover; and Chief Justices Fred Vinson and Earl Warren, amongst others.

John S. D. Eisenhower (1922-2013) Army officer, diplomat, military historian, son of Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower. Like his father, he attended West Point, graduating June 6, 1944, day of the Normandy landings which his father commanded. His military career spanned from before, during, and after his father’s presidency; he left active duty 1963 and retired 1974. He was Nixon’s Ambassador to Belgium 1969-71.

Condition: Very good, two toning patches

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