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Military Heroes

Appomattox furniture
Ulysses S. Grant signed the terms of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's surrender on this table at the Appomattox, Va. court house on April 9, 1865.

Grant's success as commanding general of the Union troops in the Civil War propelled him directly into the White House. But his political inexperience led to administrative drift and a series of corruption scandals. He later commented: "I never wanted to get out of a place as much as I did to get out of the Presidency."

Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at City Point, Virginia, during the siege of Petersburg, August 1864, by Mathew Brady.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Eisenhower in a New York City victory parade, June 19, 1945
Dwight D. Eisenhower served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II. By the end of the war, he was one of the most popular figures in America. Although not a registered member of any political party, he was sought as a presidential candidate by both Republicans and Democrats. Refusing to enter the race in 1948, he was persuaded in 1952 to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency and was swept to victory, with the nation declaring "I Like Ike."

Photograph courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Library

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