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The U. S. A. – A History www. ushistory. org
Hoover and the Great Depression At the end of the 1920 s, the United States boasted the largest economy in the world. With the destruction wrought by World War I, Europeans struggled while Americans flourished. Upon succeeding to the Presidency, Herbert Hoover predicted that the United States would soon see the day when poverty was eliminated. Then, in a moment of apparent triumph, everything fell apart. The stock market crash of 1929 touched off a chain of events that plunged the United States into its longest, deepest economic crisis of its history.
Hoover and the Great Depression American firms earned record profits during the 1920 s and reinvested much of these funds into expansion. By 1929, companies had expanded to the bubble point. The richest one percent of Americans owned over a third of all American assets. Such wealth concentrated in the hands of a few limits economic growth. The wealthy tended to save money that might have been put back into the economy if it were spread among the middle and lower classes.
Hoover and the Great Depression Banks operated without guarantees to their customers, creating a climate of panic when times got tough. Few regulations were placed on banks and they lent money to those who speculated recklessly in stocks. Agricultural prices had already been low during the 1920 s, leaving farmers unable to spark any sort of recovery. When the Depression spread across the Atlantic, Europeans bought fewer American products, worsening the slide.
Hoover and the Great Depression The stock market crash had many short-term consequences. Banks that improvidently lent money to futures traders to buy stock on margin found that many of those loans would go unpaid. Consequently, a rash of bank failures swept the nation. This had a tremendous ripple effect on the economy. If a working-class family was unfortunate enough to have their savings held in trust by a failed bank — too bad for them, all their money was lost.
Hoover and the Great Depression Despair swept the nation. In addition to the nationwide 25% unemployment rate, many laborers were forced to choose between wage cuts and a pink slip. Most people who retained their jobs saw their incomes shrink by a third. Soup kitchens and charity lines, previously unknown to the middle class, were unable to meet the growing demand for food.
Hoover and the Great Depression The strife was uneven across the land. Oklahoma was particularly hard hit, as a drought brought dry winds, kicking up a "Dust Bowl" that forced thousands to migrate westward. African Americans endured unemployment rates of nearly twice the white communities, as African American workers were often the last hired and the first fired. Mexican Americans in California were offered free one-way trips back to Mexico to decrease job competition in the state. The Latino population of the American Southwest sharply decreased throughout the decade, as ethnic violence increased. First published in 1939, John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath told of the Joad family's loss of their Oklahoma tenant farm and the hardships they encountered while trying to reach California and start anew.
Hoover and the Great Depression Finally in 1932 Hoover signed legislation creating the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. This act allocated a half billion dollars for loans to banks, corporations, and state governments. Public works projects such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Los Angeles Aqueduct were built as a result of this plan.
Hoover and the Great Depression Hoover and the RFC stopped short of meeting one demand of the American masses — federal aid to individuals. Hoover believed that government aid would stifle initiative and create dependency where individual effort was needed. Past governments never resorted to such schemes and the economy managed to rebound. Clearly Hoover and his advisors failed to grasp the scope of the Great Depression.
Election of 1932 New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt won the Democratic nomination on the fourth ballot of their national convention. Roosevelt promised "a new deal for the American people" that included a repeal of the prohibition amendment. The Republicans renominated Hoover, perhaps because there were few other interested GOP candidates. Election day brought a landslide for the Democrats, as Roosevelt earned 58% of the popular vote and 89% of the electoral vote, handing the Republicans their secondworst defeat in their history. Bands across America struck up Roosevelt's theme song — "Happy Days Are Here Again" — as millions of Americans looked with hope toward their new leader.
FDR and the New Deal Roosevelt had no grand strategy to fix the Depression. He was a bold experimenter. FDR liked to examine an idea and evaluate it on its philosophical merits. The details could be negotiated later. If it worked, fine. If not, he was more than willing to start over with a new plan. He surrounded himself with competent advisors, and delegated authority with discretion and confidence. As a master of the radio, his confidence was contagious among the American populace.
FDR and the New Deal Before his first term expired, Roosevelt signed legislation aimed at fixing banks and the stock market. He approved plans to aid the unemployed and the nations farmers. He began housing initiatives and ventures into public-owned electric power. New Deal programs aided industrialists and laborers alike. His friends and enemies grew with every act he signed into law. The New Deal sparked a revolution in American public thought regarding the relationship between the people and the federal government.
FDR and the New Deal Depositing money in a savings account carried a degree of risk. If a bank made bad investments and was forced to close, individuals who did not withdraw their money fast enough found themselves out of luck. When depositors feared a bank was unsound and began removing their funds, the news would often spread to other customers. This often caused a panic, leading people to leave their homes and workplaces to get their money before it was too late.
FDR and the New Deal These runs on banks were widespread during the early days of the Great Depression. In 1929 alone, 659 banks closed their doors. By 1932, an additional 5102 banks went out of business. Families lost their life savings overnight. Thirty -eight states had adopted restrictions on withdrawals in an effort to slow down the panic. Bank failures increased in 1933, and Franklin Roosevelt said that saving these failing financial institutions his first priority after being inaugurated.
FDR and the New Deal Two days after taking the oath of office, Roosevelt declared a "bank holiday. " From March 6 to March 10, banking transactions were suspended across the nation except for making change. During this period, Roosevelt presented the new Congress with the Emergency Banking Act. The law empowered the President through the Treasury Department to reopen banks that were solvent and assist those that were not. The House allowed only forty minutes of debate before passing the law unanimously, and the Senate soon followed with overwhelming support. Banks were divided into four categories. Surprisingly, slightly over half the nation's banks were deemed first category and fit to reopen.
FDR and the New Deal On the Sunday evening before the banks reopened, Roosevelt addressed the nation through one of his signature "fireside chats. " With honest words in soothing tones, the President assured sixty million radio listeners that the crisis was over and the nation's banks were secure. On the first day back in business, deposits exceeded withdrawals. By the beginning of April, Americans confidently returned a billion dollars to the banking system. The bank crisis was over.
FDR and the New Deal On June 16, 1933, Roosevelt signed the Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act. This law created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Under this new system, depositors in member banks were given the security of knowing that if their bank were to collapse, the federal government would refund their losses. Deposits up to $2500 were now 100% safe.
FDR and the New Deal On June 16, 1933, Roosevelt signed the Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act. This law created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Under this new system, depositors in member banks were given the security of knowing that if their bank were to collapse, the federal government would refund their losses. Deposits up to $2500 were now 100% safe.
FDR and the New Deal Out of work Americans needed jobs. To the unemployed, many of whom had no money left in the banks, a decent job that put food on the dinner table was a matter of survival. The first major help to large numbers of jobless Americans was the Federal Emergency Relief Act. This law gave $3 billion to state and local governments for direct relief payments.
FDR and the New Deal Efforts were soon shifted to "work-relief" programs. These agencies would pay individuals to perform jobs, rather than provide handouts. These would become known as FDR’s “Alphabet Soup” program, as every program was known by the 3 or 4 letter making up their names.
FDR and the New Deal The first such initiative began in March 1933. Called the Civilian Conservation Corps, this program was aimed at over two million unemployed unmarried men between the ages of 17 and 25. CCC participants left their homes and lived in camps in the countryside. Subject to military-style discipline, the men built reservoirs and bridges, and cut fire lanes through forests. They planted trees, dug ponds, and cleared lands for camping. They earned $30 dollars per month, most of which was sent directly to their families. The CCC was extremely popular.
FDR and the New Deal In the fall of 1933, Roosevelt authorized the Civil Works Administration. Also headed by Hopkins, this program employed 2. 5 million in a month's time, and eventually grew to a multitudinous 4 million at its peak. Earning $15 per week, CWA workers tutored the illiterate, built parks, repaired schools, and constructed athletic fields and swimming pools. Some were even paid to rake leaves. Hopkins put about three thousand writers and artists on the payroll as well. There were plenty of jobs to be done, and while many scoffed at the makework nature of the tasks assigned, it provided vital relief during trying times.
FDR and the New Deal The largest relief program of all was the Works Progress Administration. When the CWA expired, Roosevelt appointed Hopkins to head the WPA, which employed nearly 9 million Americans before its expiration. Americans of all skill levels were given jobs to match their talents. Most of the resources were spent on public works programs such as roads and bridges, but WPA projects spread to artistic projects too.
FDR and the New Deal The Federal Theater Project hired actors to perform plays across the land. Artists such as Ben Shahn beautified cities by painting larger-than-life murals. Even such noteworthy authors as John Steinbeck and Richard Wright were hired to write regional histories. WPA workers took traveling libraries to rural areas. Some were assigned the task of transcribing documents from colonial history; others were assigned to assist the blind. Critics called the WPA "We Piddle Around" or "We Poke Along, " labeling it the worst waste of taxpayer money in American history. But most every county in America received some service by the newly employed, and although the average monthly salary was barely above subsistence level, millions of Americans earned desperately needed cash, skills, and self-respect.
FDR and the New Deal The first major New Deal initiative aimed to help farmers attempted to raise farm prices to a level equitable to the years 1909 -14. Toward this end, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration was created. One method of driving up prices of a commodity is to create artificial scarcity. Simply put, if farmers produced less, the prices of their crops and livestock would increase. The AAA identified seven basic farm products: wheat, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, hogs, and milk. Farmers who produced these goods would be paid by the AAA to reduce the amount of acres in cultivation or the amount of livestock raised. In other words, farmers were paid to farm less!
FDR and the New Deal The Supreme Court put an end to the AAA in 1936 by declaring it unconstitutional. At this time the Roosevelt administration decided to repackage the agricultural subsidies as incentives to save the environment. After years and years of plowing and planting, much of the soil of the Great Plains and become depleted and weak. Great winds blew clouds of dust that fell like brown snow to cover homes across the region as residents of the "Dust Bowl" moved west in search of better times.
FDR and the New Deal he Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act paid farmers to plant clover and alfalfa instead of wheat and corn. These crops return nutrients to the soil. At the same time, the government achieved its goal of reducing crop acreage of the key commodities. Issuing food stamps was a New Deal initiative designed to help farmers and consumers alike.
FDR and the New Deal Another major problem faced by American farmers was mortgage foreclosure. Unable to make the monthly payments, many farmers were losing their property to their banks. Across the Corn Belt of the Midwest, the situation grew desperate. Farmers pooled resources to bail out needy friends. Minnesota and North Dakota passed laws restricting farm foreclosures. Vigilante groups formed to intimidate bill collectors. In Le Mars, Iowa, an angry mob beat a foreclosing judge to the brink of death in April 1933.
FDR and the New Deal The Farm Credit Act, passed in March 1933 refinanced many mortgages in danger of going unpaid. The Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act allowed any farmer to buy back a lost farm at a law price over six years at only one percent interest. Despite being declared unconstitutional, most of the provisions of Frazier-Lemke were retained in subsequent legislation.
FDR and the New Deal In 1933 only about one out of every ten American farms was powered by electricity. The Rural Electrification Authority addressed this pressing problem. The government embarked on a mission of getting electricity to the nation's farms. Faced with government competition, private utility companies sprang into action and by sending power lines to rural areas with a speed previously unknown. By 1950, nine out of every ten farms enjoyed the benefits of electric power.
Social Security The majority of working Americans, however, lived check to check, with little or nothing extra to be saved for the future. Many became a drag on the rest of the family upon retirement. The Social Security Act of 1935 aimed to improve this predicament. Social Security was described as a "contract between generations. " The current generation of workers would pay into a fund while the retirees would take in a monthly stipend. Upon reaching the age of 65, individuals would start receiving payments based upon the amount contributed over the years.
Social Security Roosevelt knew the plan was revolutionary. For the first time, the federal government accepted permanent responsibility for assisting people in need. It paved the way for future legislation that would redefine the relationship between the American people and their government.
FDR and the New Deal While the CCC, CWA, and WPA were established to provide relief for the unemployed, the New Deal also provided a program intended to boost both industries and working Americans. The National Industrial Recovery Act contained legislation designed to spark business growth and to improve labor conditions. The National Recovery Administration attempted to create a managed economy by relieving businesses of antitrust laws to eliminate "wasteful competition. " The NRA, like the AAA for farmers, attempted to create artificial scarcity with commodities. The hope was that higher prices would yield higher profits and higher wages leading to an economic recovery.
FDR and the New Deal In 1933, Roosevelt asked Congress to create "a corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise. " The Tennessee Valley Authority was born, and economic recovery came to eastern Tennessee. To avoid charges of socialism, the NRA allowed each industry to draw up a code setting production quotas, limiting hours of operation, or restricting construction of new factories. Once the President approved each code, pressure was put on each business to comply.
FDR and the New Deal The government blazed other new trails by creating the Tennessee Valley Authority in May 1933. The geography of the Tennessee River Valley had long been a problem for its residents. Centuries of resource exploitation contributed to soil erosion and massive, unpredictable floods that left parts of seven states impoverished and underutilized. Funds were authorized to construct 20 new dams and to teach residents better soil management. The hydroelectric power generated by the TVA was sold to the public at low prices, prompting complaints from private power companies that the government was presenting unfair competition. Soon flood control ceased to be a problem and FDR considered other regional projects.
FDR and the New Deal There seemed to be no end to the alphabet soup. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created to serve as a watchdog on the stock market. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) provided low interest loans for new home construction. The Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) allowed homeowners to refinance mortgages to prevent foreclosure or to make home improvements. The United States Housing Authority (USHA) initiated the idea of government-owned low-income housing projects. The Public Works Administration (PWA) created thousands of jobs by authorizing the building of roads, bridges, and dams. The National Youth Administration (NYA) provided college students with work-study jobs. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was designed to protect the right of collective bargaining and to serve as a liaison between deadlock industrial and labor organizations.
WWII The day after Franklin Roosevelt took the oath of office the Nazi Reichstag gave Adolf Hitler absolute control of Germany. Hitler had campaigned spewing anti-Semitic (hatred of the Jews) rhetoric and vowing to rebuild a strong Germany. During the week prior to FDR's inauguration, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations for the condemnation of Japanese aggressions in China. Fascism and militarism were spreading across Europe and East Asia. Meanwhile Americans were not bracing themselves for the coming war; they were determined to avoid it at all costs.
WWII In 1936, Hitler and Mussolini formed the Rome. Berlin Axis, an alliance so named because its leaders believed that the line that connected the two capitals would be the axis around which the entire world would revolve. Later in 1936, Hitler marched troops into the Rhineland of Germany, directly breaching the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed after World War I. A few months later, Fascist General Francisco Franco launched an attempt to overthrow the established Loyalist government of Spain. Franco received generous support from Hitler and Mussolini.
WWII The United States Congress and President Roosevelt passed three important laws — all called Neutrality Acts — directly aimed at reversing the mistakes made that led to the American entry into the First World War. On September 1, 1939, Nazi troops crossed into Poland from the west. Finally, on September 3, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.
WWII Maps WWII
WWII Allies British Empire Truman Leader Neville Chamberlain Sir Winston Churchill France Charles de Gaulle Soviet Union Chamberlain Chiang Kai Shek United States de Gaulle Josef Stalin China Chiang Kai Shek Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Churchill FDR Stalin
WWII Axis Leader Nazi Germany Adolph Hitler Italy Benito Mussolini The Empire of Japan Hirohito, Emperor of Japan General Hideki Tojo
WWII Two days after Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany, President Roosevelt issued a proclamation of neutrality and ordered the suspension of munitions sales to all belligerents (nations fighting in war). New Prime Minister Winston Churchill desperately pleaded with Roosevelt for assistance. In the summer of 1940, Hitler launched Operation Sea Lion, an allout assault on the British mainland. The Royal Air Force of Britain battled the German Luftwaffe in the greatest air battle in history as Americans watched nervously.
Battle of Britian The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date. From July 1940 coastal shipping convoys and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth, were the main targets; one month later the Luftwaffe shifted its attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure. As the battle progressed the Luftwaffe also targeted aircraft factories and ground infrastructure. Eventually the Luftwaffe resorted to attacking areas of political significance and using terror bombing tactics. The failure of Germany to achieve its objectives of destroying Britain's air defences, or forcing Britain to negotiate an armistice or an outright surrender, is considered its first major defeat and one of the crucial turning points in the war.
Source Battle of Britian London was first bombed Over that period some 29, 890 Londoners were to on the 7 th. of September die and another 50, 507 1940, experienced were admitted to continuous night raids until early November, hospital as a result of these and sporadic bombings air raids. until the Blitz finished on the night of the 11 th. Winston Churchill in his of May in 1941. famous "WE will fight on the beaches!" speech said in part: -
Source Battle of Britian ". . . even though large parts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious approaches of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER. "
Source Battle of Britian Bombs fall on St Pauls Cathedral. London Bomb Damage in London December 1940 Underground Stations in London used as air raid shelters
WWII In March 1941 after a great deal of controversy, Congress approved the Lend-Lease Act, which eventually appropriated $50 billion of aid to the Allies. Meanwhile Roosevelt began an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt met with Churchill in the summer of 1941 and agreed to the Atlantic Charter, a statement that outlined Anglo-American war aims. At this point, the United States was willing to commit almost everything to the Allied war machine — money, resources, and diplomacy.
Fall of France The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many French soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. In the second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), executed from 5 June, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line to attack the greater French territory. Italy declared war on France on 10 June. The French government fled to the city of Bordeaux, and France's main city of Paris was occupied by the German Wehrmacht on 14 June. On the 17 June, Philippe Pétain publicly announced France would ask for an armistice. On 22 June, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, going into effect on 25 June. For the Axis Powers, the campaign was a spectacular victory.
Fall of France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast, and an unoccupied zone, the zone libre, in the south. A rump state, Vichy France, administered all three zones according to the terms laid out in the armistice. In November 1942, the Axis forces also occupied the zone libre, and metropolitan France remained under Axis occupation until after the Allied landings in 1944; while the Low Countries remained under German occupation until 1944 and 1945.
December 7, 1941 The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941. The next day the United States declared war on Japan resulting in their entry into World War II. The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U. S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war that the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia, against Britain and the Netherlands, as well as the U. S. in the Philippines. The base was attacked by Japanese aircraft (a total of 353, in two waves) launched from six aircraft carriers.
December 7, 1941 Four U. S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U. S. aircraft were destroyed, 2, 402 personnel were killed and 1, 282 were wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.
December 7, 1941 The attack was a major engagement of World War II and came as a profound shock to the American people. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. Germany's ill-considered declaration of war on the U. S. , which was not required by any treaty commitment, moved the U. S. from clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) into active alliance and full participation in the European Theater. Despite numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action, the lack of any formal warning by Japan, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led to President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaiming December 7 "a date which will live in infamy"
December 7, 1941
WWII Roosevelt orders Japanese and Japanese Americans in western U. S. to be exiled to “relocation centers, ” many for the remainder of the war (Feb. 19, 1942).
WWII - 1942 U. S. forces on Bataan peninsula in Philippines surrender (April 9, 1942). U. S. and Filipino troops on Corregidor island in Manila Bay surrender to Japanese (May 6, 1942). U. S. and Britain land in French North Africa (Nov. 8, 1942).
WWII - 1943 q q q q q Casablanca Conference—Churchill and FDR agree on unconditional surrender goal (Jan. 14– 24). German 6 th Army surrenders at Stalingrad—turning point of war in Russia (Feb. 1– 2). Remnants of Nazis trapped on Cape Bon, ending war in Africa (May 12). Mussolini deposed; Badoglio named premier (July 25). Allied troops land on Italian mainland after conquest of Sicily (Sept. 3). Italy surrenders (Sept. 8). Nazis seize Rome (Sept. 10). Cairo Conference: FDR, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek pledge defeat of Japan, free Korea (Nov. 22– 26). Tehran Conference: FDR, Churchill, Stalin agree on invasion plans (Nov. 28–Dec. 1).
WWII - 1944 U. S. and British troops land at Anzio on west Italian coast and hold beachhead (Jan. 22). U. S. and British troops enter Rome (June 4). D-Day—Allies launch Normandy invasion (June 6). Paris liberated (Aug. 25). Americans invade Philippines (Oct. 20). Germans launch counteroffensive in Belgium—Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16).
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Overlord and Operation Neptune, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6: 30 AM British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In planning, DDay was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval.
D-Day The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of 24, 000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6: 30 AM. There were also decoy operations mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.
D-Day he operation was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, with over 160, 000 troops landing on 6 June 1944. 195, 700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5, 000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval firesupport. The landings took place along a 50 -mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
WWII - 1945 Yalta Agreement signed by FDR, Churchill, Stalin— establishes basis for occupation of Germany, returns to Soviet Union lands taken by Germany and Japan; USSR agrees to friendship pact with China (Feb. 11).
Death of a President On March 29, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. He had high hopes for the conference, and was even considering resigning from the presidency to become the first Secretary General of the United Nations. On the afternoon of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head. " He then slumped forward in his chair, unconscious, and was carried into his bedroom. The president's attending cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, diagnosed a massive cerebral hemorrhage (stroke). At 3: 35 p. m. that day, Roosevelt died. After Roosevelt's death an editorial by The New York Times declared, "Men will thank God on their knees a hundred years from now that Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House".
Death of a President At the time he collapsed, Roosevelt had been sitting for a portrait painting by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, known as the famous Unfinished Portrait of FDR.
Harry S. Truman had been vice president for only 82 days when President Roosevelt died, April 12, 1945. He had very little meaningful communication with Roosevelt about world affairs or domestic politics after being sworn in as vice president, and was completely uninformed about major initiatives relating to the successful prosecution of the war— including, notably, the top secret Manhattan Project, which was about to test the world's first atomic bomb. Shortly after taking the oath of office, Truman said to reporters: "Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. I don't know if you fellas ever had a load of hay fall on you, but when they told me what happened yesterday, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me. "
WWII - 1945 Mussolini killed at Lake Como (April 28). Admiral Doenitz takes command in Germany; suicide of Hitler announced (May 1). Berlin falls (May 2). Germany signs unconditional surrender terms at Rheims (May 7). Allies declare V-E Day (May 8).
WWII - 1945 Potsdam Conference—Truman, Churchill, Atlee (after July 28), Stalin establish council of foreign ministers to prepare peace treaties; plan German postwar government and reparations (July 17–Aug. 2).
WWII - 1945 A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima by U. S. (Aug. 6). USSR declares war on Japan (Aug. 8). Nagasaki hit by A-bomb (Aug. 9). Japan agrees to surrender (Aug. 14). The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60, 000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dropping of Little Boy
WWII - 1945
WWII - 1945 V-J Day—Japanese sign surrender terms aboard battleship Missouri (Sept. 2).
End of WWII
US after WWII The end of World War II was followed in the United States by uneasy and contentious conversion back to a peacetime economy. The president was faced with a sudden renewal of labor-management conflicts that had lain dormant during the war years, severe shortages in housing and consumer products, and widespread dissatisfaction with inflation, which at one point hit 6% in a single month. In this polarized environment, there was a wave of destabilizing strikes in major industries, and Truman's response to them was generally seen as ineffective. In the spring of 1946, a national railway strike, unprecedented in the nation's history, brought virtually all passenger and freight lines to a standstill for over a month.
US after WWII When the railway workers turned down a proposed settlement, Truman seized control of the railways and threatened to draft striking workers into the armed forces. While delivering a speech before Congress requesting authority for this plan, Truman received word that the strike had been settled on his terms. He announced this development to Congress on the spot and received a tumultuous ovation that was replayed for weeks on newsreels. Although the resolution of the crippling railway strike made for stirring political theater, it actually cost Truman politically: his proposed solution was seen by many as high-handed; and labor voters, already wary of Truman's handling of workers' issues, were deeply alienated.
Baby Boom In 1946, 330 babies were being born every hour. The Baby Boom has begun. The term "baby boom" most often refers to the dramatic post-World War II baby boom (1946 -1964). There an estimated 78. 3 million Americans who were born during this demographic boom in births. The term is a general demographic one and is also applicable to other similar population expansions. Post-World War II baby boom - Years of duration vary, depending on the source ( 1943 -1960, or 19461964).
Levittown is the name of some large suburban developments created in the United States of America by William Levitt and his company Levitt & Sons. They featured large numbers of similar houses that could be built easily and quickly, allowing rapid recovery of costs. This is the beginning of the suburbs and the decline of urban centers.
Division of Germany The United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union had agreed at Potsdam to a broad program of decentralization, treating Germany as a single economic unit with some central administrative departments. These plans broke down in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold War. 'The ”'Level of Industry plans for Germany” were the plans to lower German industrial potential after World War II. The first plan, from 29 March 1946, stated that German heavy industry was to be lowered to 50% of its 1938 levels by the destruction of 1, 500 listed manufacturing plants.
Division of Germany
Marshall Plan The reconstruction plan, developed at a meeting of the participating European states, was established on June 5, 1947. It offered the same aid to the USSR and its allies, but they did not accept it. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. During that period some US $13 billion in economic and technical assistance were given to help the recovery of the European countries that had joined in the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. This $13 billion was in the context of a U. S. GDP of $258 billion in 1948, and was on top of $12 billion in American aid to Europe between the end of the war and the start of the Plan that is counted separately from the Marshall Plan.
Marshall Plan The ERP addressed each of the obstacles to postwar recovery. The plan looked to the future, and did not focus on the destruction caused by the war. Much more important were efforts to modernize European industrial and business practices using high-efficiency American models, reduce artificial trade barriers, and instill a sense of hope and self-reliance.
Truman Doctrine Truman stated the Doctrine: it would be "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. " Truman reasoned, because these "totalitarian regimes" coerced "free peoples, " they represented a threat to international peace and the national security of the United States. Truman made the plea amid the crisis of the Greek Civil War (1946– 1949). He argued that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid that they urgently needed, they would inevitably fall to communism with grave consequences throughout the region.
Truman Doctrine The policy won the support of Congress and involved sending $400 million in American money, but no military forces, to the region. The effect was to end the Communist threat, and in 1952 both countries joined NATO, a military alliance that guaranteed their protection. The Doctrine shifted American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union from détente (friendship) to, a policy of containment of Soviet expansion. Historians often use it to mark the starting date of the Cold War.
The Cold War For its part, the United States was unwilling to sit idle while another form of totalitarianism spread westward from Moscow. One war immediately started another — the Cold War.
The Cold War lasted about 45 years. There were no direct military campaigns between the two main antagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union. Yet billions of dollars and millions of lives were lost in the fight.
The Cold War No single foreign policy issue mattered more to the United States for the next 50 years as much as the Cold War. President Truman set the direction for the next eight presidents with the announcement of the containment policy. Crises in Berlin, China, and Korea forced Truman to back his words with actions. The Cold War kept defense industries humming and ultimately proved the limits of American power in Vietnam. Democracy was tested with outbreaks of Communist witch hunts.
The Cold War The long-term causes of the Cold War are clear. Western democracies had always been hostile to the idea of a communist state. The United States had refused recognition to the USSR for 16 years after the Bolshevik takeover.
The Cold War Domestic fears of communism erupted in a Red Scare in America in the early Twenties. American business leaders had long feared the consequences of a politically driven workers' organization. World War II provided short-term causes as well.
The Cold War There was hostility on the Soviet side as well. Twenty million Russian citizens perished during World War II. Stalin was enraged that the Americans and British had waited so long to open a front in France. This would have relieved pressure on the Soviet Union from the attacking Germans. Further, The United States terminated Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union before the war was complete. Finally, the Soviet Union believed in communism.
The Cold War Stalin made promises during the war about the freedom of eastern Europe on which he blatantly reneged. At the Yalta Conference, the USSR pledged to enter the war against Japan no later than three months after the conclusion of the European war. In return, the United States awarded the Soviets territorial concessions from Japan and special rights in Chinese Manchuria.
The Cold War When the Soviet Union entered the war between the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States no longer needed their aid, but Stalin was there to collect on Western promises. All these factors contributed to a climate of mistrust that heightened tensions at the outbreak of the Cold War.
The Cold War At Potsdam, the Allies agreed on the postwar outcome for Nazi Germany. After territorial adjustments, Germany was divided into four occupation zones with the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union each administering one. Germany was to be democratized and de-Nazified. Once the Nazi leaders were arrested and war crimes trials began, a date would be agreed upon for the election of a new German government and the withdrawal of Allied troops.
The Cold War This process was executed in the zones held by the western Allies. In the eastern Soviet occupation zone, a puppet communist regime was elected. There was no promise of repatriation with the west. Soon such governments, aided by the Soviet Red Army came to power all across eastern Europe. Stalin was determined to create a buffer zone to prevent any future invasion of the Russian heartland.
The Cold War Winston Churchill remarked in 1946 that an "iron curtain had descended across the continent. “
The Formation of the United Nations The Big Three of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin had devoted hours of dialogue to the nature of a United Nations. After agreeing on the general principles at the Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta Conferences, delegates from around the world met in San Francisco to write a charter. With the nation still mourning the recent death of Franklin Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor addressed the delegates. Despite considerable enmity and conflicts of interest among the attending nations, a charter was ultimately approved by unanimous consent.
The Formation of the United Nations Despite the ideological animosity spawned by the Cold War, a new spirit of globalism was born after WWII. It was based, in part, on the widespread recognition of the failures of isolationism. The incarnation of this global sprit came to life with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 with its headquarters in New York City.
The Formation of the United Nations World leaders met at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D. C. , in August 1944 to formulate plans for a new organization to promote international cooperation. The general principles established there provided the foundation for the United Nations charter.
The Cold War When the Red Army marched on Germany, it quickly absorbed the nearby nations Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Soviet Union. Soon communist forces dominated the governments of Romania and Bulgaria.
The Cold War By the fall of 1945, it was clear that the Soviet-backed Lublin regime had complete control of Poland, violating the Yalta promise of free and unfettered elections there. It was only a matter of time before Hungary and Czechoslovakia fell into the Soviet orbit. Yugoslavia had an independent communist leader named Tito.
The Cold War And now Stalin was ordering the creation of a communist puppet regime in the Soviet sector of occupied Germany. How many dominoes would fall? United States diplomats saw a continent ravaged by war looking for strong leadership and aid of any sort, providing a climate ripe for revolution. Would the Soviets get all of Germany? Or Italy and France? President Truman was determined to reverse this trend.
The Cold War Greece and Turkey were the first nations spiraling into crisis that had not been directly occupied by the Soviet Army. Both countries were on the verge of being taken over by Soviet-backed guerrilla movements. Truman decided to draw a line in the sand. In March 1947, he asked Congress to appropriate $400 million to send to these two nations in the form of military and economic assistance. Within two years the communist threat had passed, and both nations were comfortably in the western sphere of influence.
The Cold War A mid-level diplomat in the State Department named George Kennan proposed the policy of containment. Since the American people were weary from war and had no desire to send United States troops into Eastern Europe, rolling back the gains of the Red Army would have been impossible.