The mighty job of readying a new Administration went forward intensely, strenuously, on the sixth floor of Manhattan's Hotel Commodore, Dwight Eisenhower, like the rest of his headquarters staff, arrived each morning between 8 and 8:30. Some nine hours later, the President-elect emerged from the heavy daily round of callers and conferences; one evening, just before stepping into his limousine for the drive home to Morningside Heights, he smiled for the inevitable waiting cameramen, and remarked: "First time out today."

A Quiet Holiday. On the last day of the old year, Ike gave...

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