To Have Your Cake and Eat It (2nd Edition) Autobiography: Wife of Secretary of the Army under President Eisenhower and 1930 Governor of Michigan
Autobiography of Clara Brucker, wife of Wilber M. Brucker, 1930 Michigan Governor, Secretary of the Army under Eisenhower. Book covers world travel, meeting influential leaders during Cold War Era, downfall of Joe McCarthy, launching first US Satellite into orbit, Nixon-Kennedy campaign, Clara’s early life and events in Michigan, Wilber’s career as Governor, including fight with Purple Gang. More
This is the autobiography of Clara Hantel Brucker, wife of Wilber M. Brucker (1930 Governor of Michigan and Secretary of the Army under Dwight D Eisenhower). The book covers the most exciting part of her life, including world travel, meeting famous and influential political leaders during the Cold War Era, the downfall of Joe McCarthy, launching the first US Satellite into orbit, the Nixon-Kennedy campaign, and performing the duties of running the US Army under President Eisenhower. There is a brief description of Clara’s early life and many significant events in Michigan of Wilber’s career as Governor, including his fight with the Purple Gang.
Clara Hantel Brucker was born in Iowa (daughter of a Lutheran minister) and moved to Michigan, where she graduated from Saginaw High School.
After graduation from Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, she decided on a business career and yearned to travel the world; family and marriage were out of the picture. Her first job after graduation was as a statistician for Du Pont. She then moved on to General Motors in New York, where she continued her studies, with classes in journalism at Columbia.
During this period, the First World War broke out, and a “Rainbow Division” soldier serving in Europe had correspondences with her. In 1923, she married this WWI “Sliver Star” and “Purple Heart” medal veteran, Wilber M. Brucker, who had become the Prosecuting Attorney of Saginaw County in Michigan. Wilber was then elected Attorney General of Michigan. In 1930, he became the youngest Governor of Michigan. Clara was an integral part of these successes.
In the early 1930’s, Clara Brucker received her B.A. in economics and M.A. in political science from Michigan State College.
In 1954, Wilber and Clara moved to Washington. His job: to be the General Counsel for the Department of Defense and fight a case against Senator Joseph McCarthy. Wilber won the case and President Eisenhower appointed him to be the Secretary of the Army. During this period they both flew around the world, representing the President of United States and building the morale of the US Army.
After the Russians launched Sputnik, as Secretary, Wilber was the first to successfully launch a US rocket into space with Wernher Von Braun and the US Army, thus officially starting the space race and the race to the moon. Clara spoke many languages, including German, and conversed with Wernher as well as officials in Berlin (when the Russians were trying to force the US and its allies out), building bridges as she traveled the world.
Clara Brucker was intimately involved in many organizations, including:
The Auxiliary of Rainbow Division Veterans;
Chairman of the Endowment Fund of the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines' and Airmen's Club (in Washington D.C);
The International YWCA;
The Detroit Children's Aid Society;
The School of Government, (she founded in 1940 and headed until her death in 1980);
The Republican Auxiliary.
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