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PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 03/18/1955 - HFSID 283527

Only hours before he suffered a near-fatal heart attack, the President signed this typed letter (1955 September 23), wishing a speedy recovery to the wife of the personal physician with whom he dined that evening, a doctor who would soon be making crucial decisions at Ike's bedside.

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DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Only hours before he suffered a near-fatal heart attack, the President signed this typed letter (1955 September 23), wishing a speedy recovery to the wife of the personal physician with whom he dined that evening, a doctor who would soon be making crucial decisions at Ike's bedside.
Typed Letter signed: "D. E." as President. 1 page, 6¾x8¾. Denver, Colorado, 1955 September 23. On White House letterhead to Mrs. Howard McC Snyder ("Dear Alice"). In full: "I learn that you are still miserable. I am sorry. I hope that Howard's magic will clear up the condition - and that you will be able to get a few rides into the mountains that I know you love so much. Affectionately". Howard McCrum Snyder, a retired US Army major general, had been Eisenhower's personal physician since 1945, accompanying the President on overseas trips and on vacations. Dr. Snyder and his wife Alice were close personal friends of the Eisenhower's, Mrs. Snyder joining First Lady Mamie Eisenhower frequently for games of canasta. On September 23, 1955, Ike, on a vacation visit with Mamie's family in Denver, Colorado, played 27 holes of golf and shared a dinner of roast lamb with Dr. Snyder. (Whether Mrs. Snyder was present at the dinner is uncertain, but - in light of this letter - she was probably not.) He went to bed complaining of indigestion. Mamie called Dr. Snyder back to his bedside in the wee hours of the following morning. According to a book researched from newly de-classified records, (Clarence G. Lasby, Eisenhower's Heart Attack, 1997), Snyder misdiagnosed Ike's discomfort as a gastrointestinal problem, and waited ten hours before sending the President to the hospital. Although the public was kept better informed about the President's condition than had been the case for previous Presidential afflictions, such as Woodrow Wilson's stroke, it was not generally known until years later how critical Eisenhower's condition had been. Without the exceptional care rendered by heart specialist Paul Dudley White, he might not have survived. As it was, Eisenhower did not return to the White House until November 11, with Vice President Nixon assuming his duties in the interim. The President won and served a second term, however, living until 1969. Horizontal mailing fold. Fine condition.

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