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1956 Presidential Campaign


After his doctor pronounced him fully recovered in February 1956, Eisenhower announced his decision to run for re-election. The Democrats set up a replay of the 1952 contest by nominating Adlai Stevenson. The result was an even greater Republican landslide. Eisenhower was a popular incumbent president who had ended the Korean War. Two world crises helped cement his lead in the final days of the campaign: the Soviet Union invasion of Hungary; and the attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel in an effort to take over the Suez Canal. Eisenhower kept the United States out of both conflicts. As is traditional during a military crisis, American voters rallied behind their president. The events also undermined two of Stevenson’s key positions: the suspension of hydrogen bomb testing, and the elimination of the military draft. Eisenhower's 1956 campaign was the first presidential campaign to rely heavily on political televised commercials.


President Eisenhower announces he will run for re-election
photo 72-1629-21 / National Park Service - public domain


President Eisenhower - 1956 Republican National Convention
photo 77-18-996 / Copyright - Republican National Committee


President Eisenhower speaks at the
American Federation of Labor convention

photo 62-350-1 / Copyright - Republican National Committee


President Eisenhower casts his ballot in the 1956 election
photo 72-3614-6 / National Park Service - public domain


President Eisenhower speaks at the
Republican Women's National conference

photo 72-1638-4 / National Park Service - public domain


The Eisenhowers wave from the campaign train
photo 72-1972-1 / National Park Service - public domain