Leather-bound guest log for the U.S.S. Des Moines CA-134, 8.5 x 10.75, signed on the seventh page in fountain pen, "Des Moines-with her captain and crew have made of my three days cruise not only recreation and rest but a most enjoyable holiday-I am grateful. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 15-18 December, 1959." Signed below on the same page by his son and daughter-in-law, John and Barbara. Owned by Captain Charles C. Slayton, the guest log begins on November 25, 1959. Following its decommission in July 1961, the log was used as Clayton's personal guest book until its final entry on August 25, 1973. Filled out on the first 116 pages, the log is signed by hundreds of guests, with several notables that include Emory P. Roberts, James J. Rowley, James Hagerty, W. F. Peterson, and W. R. Shuler, Robert D. Murphy (his calling card is also included). In fine condition, with expected wear to logbook cover; signed page is exceptionally crisp and bold. Accompanied by an unsigned book photo of Eisenhower preparing to descend a staircase on the U.S.S Des Moines, and three correspondence letters between Captain Slayton and the Navy Department.
In an effort to promote US foreign relations, President Eisenhower set about on an international goodwill tour in December of 1959, visiting eleven European, Asian, and North African countries on an ambitious nineteen-day trip. As part of the expedition, Eisenhower boarded the U.S.S. Des Moines CA-134 while the cruiser was anchored off the coast of Athens, and embarked on a restful voyage that would ultimately dock in Toulon, France three days later. The short respite proved effectual for the President, who would charge forward on the second leg of his international tour, visiting Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay in February 1960, trips that he hoped would go far in softening a tense international climate. A rare, bold presidential-era note, written during the last few years of his distinguished two-term presidency.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.