Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

“I’ll be darned”

with 7 comments

On April 12, 1951, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was chatting with two French generals and a handful of press representatives on a hilltop near Coblenz, Germany when a reporter informed him that President Truman had fired General Douglas MacArthur, who was fighting the Korean War in the Far East. Associated Press correspondent Dick O’Malley: “General, have you heard the news about Gen. MacArthur?” . Eisenhower: “No, what happened? M: “He’s been relieved of his Far East command by President Truman and replaced by General Ridgeway.” Eisenhower turned away and said, “I’ll be darned.”

The moment was captured by American military magazine, Star and Stripes’ Francis “Red” Grandy, who was anticipating a similar kind of reaction. Although his editors were worried that the photo might offend the general, it ran on Page 1, two columns wide two days later. The photo was picked up by several major news services and published in newspapers across the U.S. It later won many prizes and reappeared not only in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but also in a volume of the best news pictures of a quarter-century published in Life magazine and on Eisenhower’s own obituary.

In fact, Ike served as MacArthur’s aide for grueling nine years during the 30s in Washington and the Philippines. He disliked MacArthur for his vanity, his theatrics, and for what Eisenhower perceived as “irrational” behavior, which culminated in their falling out over the Bonus Army March. MacArthur, who finished top in his class at West Point looked down at Ike, who finished at the bottom and detested resources being diverted from the Pacific theater to Europe under Ike.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

April 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

Posted in Politics, War

Tagged with ,

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Love the blog. To be fair to Ike, he was 61st out of 164 or so in his West Point class.

    Tom S

    April 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm

  2. The account of Ike’s and Mac’s relationship is not exactly historically accurate. True, Ike did poorly in academics at West Point because his entire focus was on playing football. But when he attended an officer training course in the mid 20s he was head of his class and thus was selected to survey WWI monuments in France. His report on that so impressed Mac (a very senior officer) that he grabbed Ike to be his assistance. The Bonus March debacle took place in the early 30s, at the beginning of their pairing, not at the end like your write-up makes it appear.
    The above information is based on what I learned while visiting the Eisenhower Museum and Library in Abilene, Kansas, with the Defense Orientation Conference Assn. a couple of years ago.
    By the way, I am a published historian (10 books) including one on WWII.

    Mike Davis

    April 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm

  3. How many viewers of this site remember this photo as a wall display in the Stars and Stripes bookstore at the Carl Shurz Kaserne in Bremerhaven? Yes, probably zero.

    TD

    May 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm

  4. [...] to dismiss the hero of the Pacific Treater in April, 1951, the Army, including MacArthur was the last to know. The public outrage was unprecedented; newspapers reacted furiously, with the New York Times [...]

  5. [...] And the various reactions of people across the country reminded me of Dwight Eisenhower’s facial expression when reporters told him in 1945 that Hitler had committed suicide. Here it is: Correction — I have since learned that the the photo was actually taken in 1951 after Ike had been told that President Truman had fired Douglas MacArthur: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/ill-be-darned/ [...]

  6. [...] And the various reactions of people across the country reminded me of Dwight Eisenhower’s facial expression when reporters told him in 1945 that Hitler had committed suicide. Here it is: Correction — I have since learned that the the photo was actually taken in 1951 after Ike had been told that President Truman had fired Douglas MacArthur: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/ill-be-darned/ [...]

  7. […] And the various reactions of people across the country reminded me of Dwight Eisenhower’s facial expression when reporters told him in 1945 that Hitler had committed suicide. Here it is: Correction — I have since learned that the the photo was actually taken in 1951 after Ike had been told that President Truman had fired Douglas MacArthur: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/ill-be-darned/ […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,320 other followers

%d bloggers like this: