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TV: Ike Appraises World Figure During CBS Interview with Walter Cronkite

Feb. 15, 1962 - Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (pictured right in November 1944) last night gave a TV audience thumbnail appraisals of several world figures he had dealt with as President or as General of the Army. He made his observations during the last of three hour-long programs, “Eisenhower on the Presidency,” carried on CBS. The appraisals were given in answers to questions by Walter Cronkite. General Eisenhower applied the label “great” to General George C. Marshall and Sir Winston Churchill. He listed President de Gaulle of France and Prime Minister Nehru of India as “self-confident.” Former President Roosevelt’s efforts to conceal the anxieties that were troubling him impressed General Eisenhower. He called President Roosevelt a “very inspirational man.” General Eisenhower described Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov, commander of Russia’s wartime armies, as “the most reasonable” Russian leader he ever met. He thought his friendship with the Marshal was one reason Marshal Zhukov found himself downgraded by Stalin after the war — another was the Marshal’s political independence. With respect to integration, General Eisenhower said he sympathized with Southerners facing a change in their way of life, but he supported the “nine to zero” U.S. Supreme Court decision on school integration in 1954. “I should say,” he added, “I’m not as confident that laws are going to settle this question as is the development of understanding among ourselves.”

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