Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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March 12th
The Truman Doctrine
On March 12, 1947, President Harry Truman went before Congress to request $400 million to help Greece and Turkey resist Communist-led rebels bent on overthrowing their governments. The president laid out a policy that became known as the Truman Doctrine – a pledge that the United States would help nations struggling to resist anti-democratic forces. Truman’s words still resonate, and are still important:

At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.

One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.

The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.

I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. . . .

The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive.

The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.

If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world – and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation.
American History Parade
The first known use of a steam engine in the United States takes place at a New Jersey copper mine, where it is used to pump water from the mine.

Juliette Gordon Low founds the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. in Savannah, Georgia.

The first motion picture with sound recorded on film is demonstrated in Los Angeles; it shows people dancing to music but has no dialogue.

In the first of his radio “fireside chats,” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urges Depression-weary Americans to have faith in U.S. banks.

President Harry Truman establishes the Truman Doctrine.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

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