(CBS) — On this day in history, March 28, 1969, former U.S. President Dwight David Eisenhower died of a heart ailment.
He was 78 years old.
“Ike,” as he was often called, served as a General of the US Army and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II.
He received the Republican nomination for President in 1953 and defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson to become the 34th President of the United States.
Four years later he was elected to a second term, again defeating Stevenson.
Eisenhower died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. of coronary heart disease.
His wife of 52 years, Mamie, and his only son, John, were at his bedside.
He was plagued with heart problems for years and suffered a total of seven heart attacks during the 14 years preceding his death.
President Richard Nixon immediately proclaimed March 31, 1969 a national day of mourning and ordered all flags to be held at half-staff for 30 days.