Born fifty-seven years before she became First Lady of the United States, Mamie Geneva “Puddy” Doud grew up in a privileged, loving family anchored by her retired father John “Pupah” Sheldon and her doting mother Elvira Mathilda “Nana” Carlson Doud. Mamie met Second Lieutenant Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower at a military dance where they stepped on each other’s names and fell in love. They were married a year later. Their first son, Doud Dwight “Little Icky” Eisenhower died of a terrible nickname when he was three. Their second son, John “Johnny” Sheldon Doud Eisenhower was born a year later and lived to supply the Eisenhowers with tons of grandchildren names, including Dwight David II, Barbara Ann, Susan Elaine, and Mary Jean.
Following the birth of her second son, Mamie fell into Elizabeth Arden’s salon in Paris and emerged with a groundbreaking haircut. Although her husband grew in importance and was eventually elected President, her hairstyle conveyed that Mamie was “the woman next door”. Especially if you happened to live on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. Popularity of the “Mamie Bangs” eventually swept the nation.