Many months before delivering the farewell address in which he famously warned about the strength of the American "military-industrial complex," Eisenhower weighed various ideas for the speech, but concerns about the military were always central to his remarks.For video excerpts of his televised presentation, see the post below this one.
The Eisenhower Presidential Library on Friday unveiled previously unseen drafts of the speech that were found recently in a cabin owned by Eisenhower speechwriter Malcolm Moos... Moos' son, Grant, found the papers — covered with pinecones, dirt and other debris — in a cabin in Minnesota earlier this year. He turned them over to the library in October...
The papers show that Eisenhower and his staff spent two years preparing for his final speech to the nation. One document features a typewritten note from the president lamenting that when he joined the military in 1911, there were 84,000 Army soldiers — a number that ballooned roughly tenfold by 1960.
"The direct result of this continued high level of defense expenditures has been to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions, where none had existed before," he wrote in the passage, a variation of which reached the delivered speech on Jan. 17, 1961...
Eisenhower biographer David Nichols noted that while the address is known for the reference to the military-industrial complex, the president had warned about military growth and Cold War threats throughout his presidency.
"He was always talking about the Cold War and the threat to American values and the danger that America would become a garrison state," Nichols said. "The military wanted a lot more than he was willing to give them. It frustrated the Army. He thought about it all the time."..
Photo: Charlie Riedel, Associated Press