He was brought up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO. He was the last United States President to have been born in the 19th century.
This is the story of U.S. President, Dwight David Eisenhower and his family background.
Dwight, the third of seven sons, was born October 14, 1890 to David & Ida Eisenhower. He was originally named David Dwight but his mother reversed the names shortly after birth to avoid the confusion of having two Davids in the house.
His mother, Ida, was orphaned at an early age and was brought up as a Lutheran by her grandparents. After marrying Eisenhower, she had basic association with the River Brethren sect of the Mennonites, of which her father-in-law, Jacob Eisenhower was a minister.
In 1895, Paul, an 8 month old brother of Dwight, died of Diphtheria. The death of such a young child had a devastating effect on the Eisenhower family. But around that time, a number of ladies comforted Ida with the hope that she would see her son again. They provided her with the Russellite teaching that Paul was simply just sleeping and that soon he would be resurrected from death. In 1895, it was taught that this resurrection would be in 1914. The women sold her the book Millennial Dawn and a subscription to Zion’s Watchtower and Herald to Christ’s Presence.
So, at 34 years of age, she joined the International Bible Students Association (Watchtower) and was baptized in 1898. She convinced her husband, David, to join a short time later. With the influence of Watchtower, whom had – and continues to have – a preoccupation with end time events, the Eisenhower family had a fascination with Armageddon and the imminent return of Christ.
The Eisenhower’s held weekly Watchtower meetings in their home. These meetings included the Eisenhower sons getting involved in bible reading and discussion of scripture and Watchtower books. In fact, Dwight claimed that he had read the bible completely twice before reaching the age of 18. Furthermore, David would read from the bible and say a blessing before meals. The bible would be pulled out again and read from after dinner. The sons usually took turns reading.
The Watchtower group continued to meet at the Eisenhower’s until 1915, when they were forced to rent a local hall due to the fact that the group continued to increase in size.