Today In History Spotlights Mar. 12, 1947, President Harry Truman Announces the Truman Doctrine

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Today’s History Spotlight

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President Harry Truman announces the Truman Doctrine. This proposed a US monetary plan to provide economic relief and military aid to Greece and Turkey, which were believed to be under threat of falling to Communism. It was proposed in response to Britain’s withdrawal of aid to the two nations.

The Truman Doctrine was officially adopted on July 4, 1948. It is widely believed that the Truman Doctrine laid the groundwork for modern US foreign policy, as well as the formation of NATO. Truman remarked that the US was obligated to assist countries around the world in preventing the spread of Communism and totalitarianism.

What Happened On This Day – March 12

  • 1967 Suharto rises to power in Indonesia. His presidency, which lasted 31 years, was overshadowed by crass human rights violations and the occupation of East Timor.
  • 1947 The Truman doctrine is proclaimed. In his speech before Congress, U.S. President Harry S. Truman defined his foreign relations priorities, which included military and economic support to Turkey and Greece to prevent the spread of communism there.
  • 1938 Hitler invades Austria. The occupation of Hitler’s homeland is known as Anschluss, which is the German word for annexation.
  • 1930 Mahatma Gandhi embarks on his Salt March. The 240-mile march was an act of civil disobedience to protest the British monopoly on salt. It was one of the most significant events during the Indian independence movement.
  • 1918 Moscow becomes Russia’s capital city. St. Petersburg lost its status as the Russian capital following the Revolution of 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy.

Births On This Day – March 12

  • 1979 Pete Doherty – English singer-songwriter, guitarist
  • 1947 Mitt Romney – American businessman, politician, 70th Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1946 Liza Minnelli – American actress, singer, dancer
  • 1922 Jack Kerouac – American author, poet
  • 1864 W. H. R. Rivers – English anthropologist, neurologist, ethnologist, psychiatrist

Deaths On This Day – March 12

  • 2015 Terry Pratchett – English author
  • 1999 Yehudi Menuhin – American/Swiss violinist, conductor
  • 1955 Charlie Parker – American saxophonist, composer
  • 1925 Sun Yat-sen – Chinese revolutionary, politician, 1st President of the Republic of China
  • 1914 George Westinghouse – American engineer, inventor

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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