“The truth of the matter is that Europe’s requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products—principally from America—are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social and political deterioration of a very grave character.”
With those words, spoken on June 5, 1947, at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall made the case for massive American investment in the devastated economies of post-World War II Europe. The call he issued that day was to shake off the American instinct to isolate after engaging in an international conflict and to stay engaged in the world at a scale that was unprecedented in American history.
On June 5, a special program at Marshall’s Leesburg home, Dodona Manor, will reflect on those pivotal days in 1947 and 1948 when President Truman signed the plan into law, and share with a new generation of Americans the enduring lessons of Marshall’s leadership during crucial moments in history.
Starting at 12:30 p.m., an hour of live music will be performed by the Main Street Brass Quintet.
The program will begin at 1:30 p.m. when historians and others will be on hand to reflect on the seminal moment when George Marshall’s skills as an ethical leader contributed to a successful plan and generated the broad public and political support it needed to pass congressional muster.