March 31, 2023

The Creation of the Marshall Plan

All in 10 months

Seventy-five years ago, on April 3, 1948, the Economic Cooperation Act became a law that led to the Marshall Plan.

President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Cooperation Act into law on April 4, 1948.


It had only been 10 months since Secretary of State George C. Marshall had given his world-changing 12-minute “Marshall Plan” speech at Harvard.

Secretary of State George C. Marshall speaking at Harvard University June 5, 1947.


Marshall did a lot more than just give a speech; he visited the gathering of representatives from European countries as they organized the Marshall Plan.

Secretary of State George Marshall speaks to European government officials in Paris in July 1947.


Marshall also spoke to members of Congress, businessmen, farmers, Chambers of Commerce, unions, and charitable groups in support of the plan.

Secretary of State George Marshall and Under Secretary of State Robert Lovett testifying to Congress on the Marshall Plan.


Passing the law that created Marshall Plan was not a one-and-done – thousands of pages of legislation were necessary for the act to become a law.

Compiled legislation that created the Marshall Plan.


The amount of work it took to make the Marshall Plan a reality was staggering; and it’s amazing that it was all done in 10 months.

Melissa has been at GCMF since fall 2019, and previously was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with two large rescue dogs. Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.