Truman Doctrine 

The purpose of the Truman Doctrine delineated in 1947 was to counter geopolitical expansion of the Soviet Union. Initially, in place of direct military action, the U.S. Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey....

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New Japanese Constitution

  Based on American models, the Supreme Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur directed an effective restoration of the industry and society of occupied Japan. The majority of the Japanese people apparently welcomed his progressive reforms. Most important, after...

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Post-WWII Labor Strikes

  In 1946, a year after WWII ended, >5 million American workers went on prolonged strikes in numerous industries and public utilities. The American strike wave of 1945–1946 became the largest series of labor strikes in American history. During WWII, the National War...

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Fulbright Scholarship

Aug 1, 1946  President Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Arkansas Sen. William J. Fulbright.   After WWII, Senator J. William Fulbright proposed that the U.S. government sell surplus war property to fund an...

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Germany Divided

At the 1945 Potsdam conference, the four great Allied powers agreed to divide Germany into four administrative occupation zones.                                                                                                                                            ...

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Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong  (1893–1976)     In 1893, Mao Zedong was born into a prosperous peasant family in Hunan Province, After an elementary school education, Mao began working the fields at age 13. At age 17, he enrolled in a secondary school in Changsha, the capital of Hunan....

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Joseph Stalin

Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili, born in December 1878 in Georgia, assumed the name Stalin (man of steel) in his 30s. Growing up the poor, only child of a shoemaker and laundress, he attended a Georgian Orthodox seminary as a young man. Inspired by the works of Karl...

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Philippine Independence

The Philippines was colonized by Spain in the 16th century. In 1898 Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo and U.S. troops ousted the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. However, Philippine independence was thwarted when the U.S. formally annexed the country as part...

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Harry Truman

  Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States from 1945–1953. A WWI veteran, Truman assumed the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt in April 1945. Some of his accomplishments include implementing the Marshall Plan to rebuild...

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North & South Korea

This rapid-fire video is an excellent summary of Korean history since the 19th century. The division of Korea between North and South occurred after WWII, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two...

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Marshall Plan

Named after United States Secretary of State George Marshall (U.S. Army Chief of Staff during WWII), the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program)  had bipartisan support in Washington. An American initiative to assist Western Europe with recovery after WWII, the...

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Japanese Women Vote

In the April 1946 Japanese elections, women had the right to vote for the first time. 39 women were elected to office. After WWII, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association caucus broke up and three major political parties emerged: Liberal Party - right-wing, founded...

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Hirohito’s Not the Sun God Anymore

As the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the Shinto religion disestablished and its concept that the Emperor Hirohito was descended from Japan's sun goddess to be disavowed. The Humanity Declaration was an imperial...

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Central Intelligence Agency

Shortly after the end of WWII, the U.S. wartime intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services, was dissolved by presidential order. However, despite opposition from competing forces including the U.S. military, State Department and FBI, President Truman...

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Understanding Korea

Ancient Korea Gojoseon, Korea's legendary first kingdom, was founded in 2333 B.C.E. After its collapse, several small kingdoms coalesced into the Three Kingdoms Period (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) around the year zero C.E. Gradually assuming power, Silla consolidated...

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Vietnam After WWII

French Indochina was formed in the late 19th century by combining three Vietnamese regions (Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchina) with Cambodia, Laos and Guangzhouwan. With the fall of France in 1940, the control of the colony shifted to the Vichy French who allowed military...

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Tokyo Trials

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) conducted the Tokyo War Crimes Trials from May 1946 to November 1948. 28 Imperial Japanese military and government leaders were charged with Class A war crimes  - participating in a joint conspiracy to start...

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Our Job in Japan

Our Job in Japan, a training film for American soldiers assigned to occupation forces in Japan, begins with a description of the Japanese brain that has been duped by military leaders. The film details Japanese barbarity during the war and advises taking no chances...

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A-Bomb Morality

Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd The concept of a nuclear chain reaction reportedly came to the physicist Leó Szilárd as an epiphany while waiting to cross a London street in 1933. “...It suddenly occurred to me that if we could find an element which is split by...

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Potsdam Conference

In July 1945, USSR Premier Joseph Stalin, the new American president Harry S. Truman, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain met in Potsdam Germany in the last Big Three meeting of WWII .   At Potsdam, the Big Three leaders demanded unconditional...

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Götterdämmerung Deutschland

In Nordic Mythology Ragnarök  refers to a prophesied war among various beings and gods that ultimately results in the destruction and renewal of the world. In Richard Wagner's four opera adaptation of Nordic myth Ring des Nibelungen, the final opera was entitled...

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FDR Dies

Health and Medical History of FDR President Roosevelt's medical records were closely guarded during his lifetime and surviving documentation is incomplete. But it's clear he had persistently severe high blood pressure in the 1940s. In late 1943 he apparently had...

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Yalta Conference

  In February 1945, the "Big Three" President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin met at Yalta in the Crimea to: demand the unconditional surrender of Germany discuss the security and self-determination of liberated...

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Easter in Nazi Germany

In a 1939 census of Nazi Germany (including annexed Austria), 54% of Germans considered themselves Protestant, 40% Catholic, 3.5% gottgläubig (non-sectarian believers in God) and 1.5% as non-religious. In the spring of 1936, Der Angriff, Berlin’s Nazi paper founded by...

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FDR Re-Elected

First elected in 1933 during the Great Depression, the Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted successful "New Deal” programs designed to stabilize the economy and provide jobs and relief for the unemployed (e.g., the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National...

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