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Mamie Eisenhower's 1953 inaugural gown

The immensely popular Mamie Eisenhower institutionalized the role of the First Lady campaigner as seen in these 1952 presidential campaign buttons.
Audio

"I Like Ike"
Dwight D. Eisenhower campaign song
©Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Mamie Eisenhower, Inaugural Gown
1953

First Lady 1953 to 1961
Mamie Doud Eisenhower wore this gown of silk peau de soie with pink rhinestones to the inaugural ball of 1953. The gown was designed by Nettie Rosenstein of New York City, who was fond of stating, "It's what you leave off a dress that makes it smart." During her husband's presidency, Mamie Eisenhower became one of the most beloved First Ladies in American history. She had already gained great popularity during his first presidential campaign--when chants of "We want Mamie" rivaled those of "We like Ike." Mrs. Eisenhower, who once described herself as "perfectly satisfied to be known as a housewife," was viewed by the public as the ideal exemplar of American womanhood in the 1950s.

Notes
Mamie Doud Eisenhower (1896-1979)
Web display only

Learn more!
· Mamie Eisenhower
· Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thirty-fourth President, 1953-61
· Just Like the Lady Next Door--Mamie Eisenhower
· Women and Politics in the 1950s
· "I Like Ike," Dwight D. Eisenhower campaign song

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