On this day in 1952, president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower makes good on his campaign promise to “go to Korea” to “learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace.”
While there, he met with the troops, their commanders, and South Korean leaders.
Previously, on October 25, in his “I Shall Go to Korea Speech” Eisenhower said he would “forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean war-until that job is honorably done.”
Then, he concluded that campaign speech with a kind of testimony:
“In this trial, my testimony, of a personal kind, is quite simple. A soldier all my life, I have enlisted in the greatest cause of my life — the cause of peace. I do not believe it a presumption for me to call the effort of all who have enlisted with me — a crusade.
I use that word only to signify two facts. First: We are united and devoted to a just cause of the purest meaning to all humankind. Second: We know that — for all the might of our effort — victory can come only with the gift of God’s help.
In this spirit — humble servants of a proud ideal — we do soberly say: This is a crusade.”
Eventually, seven months after his inauguration, the Korean Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War. Even so, the Korean Peninsula remains divided today.