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June 14, 1960, Dwight Eisenhower arrived in Manila for state visit

June 14, 1960 President Carlos P. Garcia welcomed U.S. President Eisenhower, who arrived at the Manila International Airport at around 4:45 in the afternoon. President Eisenhower returned to Malacañang, where he worked from 1935 to 1939 as senior assistant to General Douglas MacArthur.

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“It’s a homecoming for me,” President Eisenhower said as he landed at the Manila International Airport aboard the Colombine III. President Garcia received the visiting American President at the domestic terminal of the MIA. President Eisenhower is the first American President to visit the Philippines.

In his welcome remarks on the arrival of President Eisenhower, President Carlos P. Garcia said,

Welcome home, Mr. President. We remember you as the army officer who came to us way back in 1935 to help us organize our national defense. You are not a stranger to these multitudes who today are acclaiming you. You have made lasting friendships among them. We have watched with increasing pride your rise in your people’s esteem as though you belonged to us also. We look at you as the champion of everything that we cherish nearest and closest to our hearts. By this popular manifestation we hope to impart to you the message that in the Philippines, America has a peerless friend and among the Filipinos she will always find a people who are one with her in ideals.”

President Eisenhower drafted Commonwealth Act No. 1 which created the Philippine Army. Upon his leaving the Philippines in 1939, President Quezon bestowed on him the Distinguished Service Star of the Philippines “for services of extraordinary value to the Commonwealth”. Within the next few years he became “the single most important military figure of World War II” as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. In May 1946, as successor to General Marshall as Chief of Staff of the US Army, he visited the Philippines briefly while on his way to Tokyo, Japan.

After the ceremonies at the airport, President Eisenhower was conducted to Malacañang by a motorcade which proceeded through the streets of Pasay and Manila thronged with people who had been gathering there all day, many of them even from the provinces. The crowds especially along the Escolta and Rizal Avenue, were so dense that the planned security measures had practically to be abandoned. The President was hailed with cheers and friendly cries. The newspapers commented on the fact that on no previous occasion, for any dignitary, Filipino or foreign, had such vast crowds gathered in welcome.


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