George Marshall and Hap Arnold

In 1938, Brig. Gen. George Marshall was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, and Lt. Col. Henry “Hap” Arnold was Assistant Chief of Air Corps. On the face, their jobs appear equal – both second in line – but the Army Air Corps was under the command of the Army, hence the difference in […]

“I made a wise decision in selecting China…”

At the end of his service as Aide-de-Camp to Gen. John Pershing in 1924, Lt. Col. George Marshall selected China as his next duty station. Marshall, his wife Lily, and her mother Mrs. Coles, arrived in Tientsin (Tianjin) China in the late summer, just before hostilities erupted in the area. Marshall reported to Maj. Gen. […]

Happy Birthday, General Marshall!

George Marshall served as Army Chief of Staff, Special Representative of the President to China, Secretary of State, President of the American Red Cross, and Secretary of Defense, and these public jobs meant he didn’t often get to celebrate his birthday on Dec. 31 at home with his family. In 1925, Lt. Col. Marshall was […]

Marshall and the “Game of the Century”

George Marshall’s fondness for the all-American game of football is no secret. He successfully joined the Virginia Military Institute’s Keydet football team in 1900, playing as an offensive left tackle. In fact, his skills so were adept that he won a spot on the College Football All-Southern Team, an all-star team of college football players. […]

Back-to-Back-to-Back Conferences: Cairo to Tehran to Cairo

In November and December 1943, American and British leaders, including President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, met with Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek and Marshal of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin, but not at the same time. The first of these three conferences was in Cairo, Egypt, November 22-26 with Chiang, the only one […]

The Armistice Has Been Signed

Armistice Day. From the Latin arma (weapons) and sistere (to come to a stand or stop). The eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour. It was the end of the War to End All Wars. How did soldiers react to the news that the long, terrible fight was over? Col. George Marshall, […]

Behind the Bank Vault Door is Archives!

Most photos of Gen. George C. Marshall show him rather serious, like this:   Even as a boy, his photos were unsmiling.   So to find a photo where Marshall is hamming it up for the camera is rather unusual.   These photos are from the George C. Marshall Foundation library archives, and as part […]

“Nation Mourns Top Soldier”

On the 62nd anniversary of Gen. George C. Marshall’s death, we honor his memory with this wonderful blog written several years ago by former museum curator Cathy DeSilvey. George C. Marshall Mourned Throughout the Free World   Marshall had planned the state funerals of General John Pershing and President Franklin Roosevelt and could not imagine […]

“I Was a Fair Army Wife”

Katherine Marshall was born 139 years ago tomorrow; in commemoration, this week’s blog is all about Katherine. Katherine Tupper Brown Marshall, George Marshall’s second wife, was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, on October 8, 1882. She earned an “eclectic degree” from Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1902. “I crawled through Hollins,” she later said. “I […]

“I Don’t Believe It!!”

On November 5, 1943, about a dozen British and American military officers gathered around a large table for a meeting about the progress in and plans for the war. The men are cordial but serious as they discuss topics like the preliminary plans for the invasion of Europe. You’d think it was not a suitable […]

Robert Lovett: A Man of Character and Ability

The main library room at the George C. Marshall Foundation is called the “Lovett Reading Room,” and there is a large painting of Robert Lovett on display. This confuses some visitors who may not recognize Lovett, or know the long working relationship George Marshall and Lovett had.     Lovett was a World War I […]


Here at the Marshall Foundation Library, we hold a special fondness for canines.  General and Mrs. Marshall had many dogs over the years, most notably Fleet, the dalmatian.   Fleet was a bit of a runner, once escaping the Marshall’s home in D.C., and ended up getting a ride home from the military police! General […]

“My goodness. Where did you come from?” President Truman Visits the Marshalls

President Harry Truman visited George Marshall at his homes in Leesburg, Virginia, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, six times. A search of Truman’s daily appointment calendar on the Truman Library website provided information about four of the visits. Records also suggest that Truman sometimes drove his presidential car on those trips.   The first calendar entry, […]

New focus on the George C. Marshall statue

Recently, the Virginia Military Institute began a project that relocated the post flagpoles to either side of the George C. Marshall statue in front of the barracks. This is where the flagpoles used to be. You can see the Marshall statue to the left of the U.S. flag. First, the Marshall statue was safely wrapped […]

George Marshall, Commuter

After he retired from the Army, George Marshall was special envoy to China, secretary of state, president of the American Red Cross and secretary of defense. He commuted to Washington, D.C., during the week from his homes in Leesburg, Virginia, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, by auto and air, and he sometimes stayed in Washington. When […]

Painting a Patriot

Inside the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery – Washington, DC’s temple to portraiture – hangs the likenesses of America’s greatest citizens. It may come as no surprise that General Marshall’s portrait is among them. Walking through the 20th Century Americans exhibition, visitors are met with the faces of Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton, […]

George Marshall and the U.S. Presidency

George Marshall’s public stature caused people to think of him as a possible presidential candidate—as early as 1943. He emphatically squashed such speculation, but he could not change the fact that for six months in 1947, he was only a heartbeat away from being president because of the presidential succession law at the time. In […]

Great Things Had Their Beginnings Here

Fort Necessity, Virginia, July 3, 1754. It was early days of the British colonists’ participation in the global Seven Years’ War, and Col. George Washington, believing his small force could not defeat the French and their allies surrounding the fort, accepted surrender terms that allowed for a safe retreat from the area. Another George was […]

Three Scotches Aboard at Amherst

Before George Marshall settled on Harvard University as the venue for his speech about the European Recovery Program, he had considered Amherst College but rejected the idea because its June 16, 1947, commencement date was too late. However, John J. McCloy, an Amherst alumnus, pressured Marshall to accept an honorary degree from Amherst. McCloy was […]

D-Day +6

Gen. George C. Marshall and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff left Washington, D.C., just after D-Day on June 8, 1944, traveling to the United Kingdom, to be absent about two weeks. In England, they met with the Combined Chiefs of Staff (the American Joint Chiefs and the British military chiefs) June 10 […]

Spring at Dodona Manor

In the words of Robin Williams, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” At General and Mrs. Marshall’s Leesburg home, Dodona Manor, spring has brought 80 parties since the couple purchased the property in 1941. As an avid gardener and amateur arborist, George Marshall loved nothing more than to escape the trials of public […]

The Urgent Necessity of Frequent Visits

“The big thing I learned in World War II was the urgent necessity of frequent visits … I was abreast of what was going on all over the place. I could sense their reactions and I could see how they felt urgently about this or that, which we at headquarters did not really feel so […]

An Expectation of Professionalism

Newly promoted Col. George Marshall had only been commanding officer at Fort Moultrie, SC, for a few months in an anticipated two-year tour when he received orders to report as the senior instructor to the Illinois National Guard, then the 33rd Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Roy D. Keehn. The orders surprised the Marshalls, as […]

“Avoid trivia.”

George Marshall was sworn in as Secretary of State January 21, 1947, just after he returned from working as Special Representative to the President in China for over a year. Marshall’s  first international conference was at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, held March 10-April 24, 1947. The conference didn’t end with the agreements settling […]

“The Old Professor” in China

On a wintry evening in December 1945, the telephone at Dodona Manor rang for General Marshall. It was President Harry S. Truman who, just ten days after Marshall retired as Army Chief of Staff, requested that Marshall serve as U.S. Special Envoy to China. Ever the public servant, Marshall accepted his next call to duty. […]

How Far? All the Way!

Benjamin Franklin first envisioned airborne troops dropped by parachute from hot air balloons flying behind enemy lines in a 1784 letter, “And where is the Prince who can afford so to cover his Country with Troops for its Defense, as that Ten Thousand Men descending from the Clouds, might not in many Places do an […]

“Powder” in Pictures

George Marshall called him “Powder.” Powder ordered a warm winter coat for Gen. Marshall before traveling to Russia and found a birthday cake on Christmas Eve for Katherine to celebrate Field Marshal Dill’s birthday. He traveled to conferences in Paris, Casablanca, Yalta, Quebec, Algiers, and Potsdam, but he was not in any of the photos. […]

“General, How About Getting a Nice Coat”

When it’s cold, you wear a coat. When you’re a soldier and it’s cold, you wear whatever coat is issued to you. While serving as Army Chief of Staff during World War II, we most often see Gen. George Marshall in his Army-issue coat, which is a trench coat with a button-in woolen liner for […]

Stars in space

The Atlantis space shuttle flight STS-27R lifted off Dec. 2, 1988 with a crew of five astronauts: Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson; pilot Guy Gardner; mission specialists Robert Mullane, Jerry Ross, and William Shepherd. Atlantis carried a classified military satellite aloft, and also carried stars to space. Stars to space? Isn’t that a bit odd? Yes, […]

Oh, Fleet!

George Marshall loved dogs. He had several as a boy, and usually had one around as an adult. This is the story of Fleet the dalmatian, George Marshall’s dog at the beginning of World War II. Fleet was a gift from Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. Fleet was grandson of a champion; he learned to […]

So You Want to Retire …

After serving 43 years in the U.S. Army, Gen. George Marshall planned to retire. He and his wife, Katherine, would spend warm months at their home in Leesburg, VA,  and cool months at their home in Pinehurst, NC. Marshall’s days would be occupied gardening, fishing, riding, and spending uninterrupted time with Katherine. After the ceremony […]

The first wartime Christmas

The third week of December, 1941, a British delegation including Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff arrived in Washington, D.C. for ARCADIA, the first of several meetings in the nation’s capitol, and the last of several conferences attended by the British and American delegations that year. Gen. Marshall suggested to Katherine […]

“I Am Interested in the Soldier Having His Pants”

While a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, George Marshall studied military history and tactics, and was doubtless familiar with Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated attack on Russia that ended with French soldiers freezing in the Russian winter. As a young officer in World War I, Capt. Marshall first met Gen. Pershing when he disputed Pershing’s scathing […]

Marshall on a fishing trip

Friends and Pranksters: Marshall and Brigadier General Adams

It is difficult to imagine Marshall as inhabiting anything but the no-nonsense, resolute persona of his professional life. This image is so pervasive that we are commonly asked if he ever smiled at all. The Marshall Foundation archives house documents and photos that reveal the General’s personal life, including his lighter side.  In a 1957 interview with Marshall biographer Forrest C. Pogue, Brigadier General […]

Gratitude and Turkey

When Lt. Col. George Marshall served in World War I, he gained a personal knowledge how hard it is to be separated from loved ones for the holidays. In France 1917, soldiers enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast much like they were used to at home: This must have left quite an impression on Marshall, for in […]

Not Retirement At All

Gen. George Marshall served as Army Chief of Staff from September 1939 to November 1945, longer than the ordinary four-year term. As World War II ended, so did Marshall’s service. Thanksgiving weekend of 1945, Marshall took a much-needed break and went pheasant hunting in North Dakota with friend and co-worker Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold. It […]

“He was an inspiration to us all in those trying days”

The relationship between General George C. Marshall and Field Marshal Sir John G. Dill has been considered one of the most critically important personal relationships to the success of the Allies during World War II. Although Dill was a British Army officer, his ability to disagree with Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s opinions, to talk with […]

National Stamp Collecting Month: George C. Marshall Postage Stamp

Stamps, often considered miniature works of art, have been issued by world postal services since 1840. October is National Stamp Collecting month. It began in 1981 as a joint venture between the United States Postal Service and the Council of Philatelic Organizations. The Postal Service continues to promote National Stamp Collecting Month and stamp collecting […]

No more let us falter! From Malta to Yalta!

“No more let us falter! From Malta to Yalta!” telegraphed Prime Minister Winston Churchill to President Roosevelt on New Year’s Day, 1945. The Yalta Conference, set for February 4 through 11, was going to decide the fate of Postwar Europe. But first, the British and American delegations were meeting at Montgomery House on the Mediterranean […]

Lasting Indebtedness: George C. Marshall, William Dean, and the POWs of the Korean War

Issues surrounding prisoners of war (POWs) played a critical role in Korean War history. Disagreements between the US-led United Nations Command and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)-People’s Republic of China opponents over POW repatriation delayed the armistice by many months. Rumors and unjust insinuations of POW disloyalty tarnished the reputations of many Korean […]

George C. Marshall Space Flight Center Turns 60

During a quiet ceremony in July 1960 that formally transferred a facility from the military to a civilian agency, the United States Army Ballistic Missile Agency began operating as the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. What caused this transfer and why name it after an Army general if it was no longer a military […]

Bem vindos o Brasil! Welcome to Brazil!

On May 25, 1939, the Navy cruiser U.S.S. Nashville docked at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Acting Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. George Marshall began his first trip on the world stage. The planning for the trip was detailed, and included ordering the white uniforms worn in the tropics. While at March Air Base, CA, […]

Young Marshall: Master of the Situation

Several innocent anecdotes Marshall used to tell about his childhood demonstrate his future leadership capabilities. A favorite concerns Marshall’s first “shipping” crisis in about 1888 or so, about the time the U.S. was beginning its great naval expansion.     Young George and Andrew Thompson had convinced a local carpenter to build them a crude […]

Marshall Myth: Marshall and Vacation

The great responsibilities that Marshall had during the war have led some people to conclude that he never took a vacation. While this myth is consistent with Marshall’s tireless work ethic, his appointment books for this period reveal that it has no factual basis. On March 7, 1943, Chief of Staff of the Army George […]

Marshall Begins Duties as Acting Army Chief of Staff

Deputy Chief of Staff George C. Marshall assumed the chief’s duties on July 1, 1939. According to army regulations: “The Chief of Staff is the immediate adviser of the Secretary of War on all matters relating to the Military Establishment and is charged by the Secretary of War with the planning, development, and execution of […]

A good day fishing

Some of George Marshall’s favorite childhood memories were going fishing, especially with his father. These father-son excursions led to an enjoyable lifelong hobby for him. One story of a childhood fishing trip was on the Youghiogheny River (pronounced “Yock-a-gainy”). Marshall’s father and two friends, along with young George (not too much older than the photo […]

“The hardest work I ever did in my life.”

The Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, is the graduate school for U.S. Army officers primarily. It was established in 1881 by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman as the School for Application of Infantry and Cavalry. It was renamed the School of the Line just as Lt. George Marshall was assigned there in […]

May 15, 1951, Marshall Day at VMI: A Photo Essay

Each May 15, the Virginia Military Institute corps of cadets assembles to pay tribute to the ten cadets who were killed in the Civil War Battle of New Market, in 1864. On New Market Day in 1951, VMI also celebrated the fifty-year career of their most accomplished graduate, George C. Marshall, Class of 1901.   […]

Victory in Europe

“The mission of this Allied force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945,” Gen. Eisenhower to the Combined Chiefs of Staff and British Chiefs of Staff from S.H.A.E.F. headquarters in Reims. (Papers of DDE, 4:  2696.) Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces on May 7. […]

Marshall and the Knutsford Affair

This is a previously published blog. General George S. Patton’s comments at the opening of a British Welcome Club for American soldiers in Knutsford, England, are one of many well-known and controversial episodes from Patton’s army career. U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s response to Patton’s comments are less well known. They serve […]

Anniversary of the Signing of the Marshall Plan

With the quick strokes of a pen, seventy-two years ago today, President Harry S. Truman changed the course of world history. On April 3, 1948, at his desk in the Oval Office, he signed into law the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948, which Congress helpfully suggested could also be referred to as the Economic Cooperation […]

Serving in the Philippines Part 1: Getting There

Serving in the Philippines Part 1: Getting There Upon commission in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in 1902, George Marshall’s first station was on the island of Mindoro, in the Philippines, with Company G of the 30th Infantry. On March 17, 1902, Marshall traveled by train from New York to San Francisco, and […]

Marshall’s Silver Star

George Marshall never led troops into battle, and this fact disappointed him. In World War I, though he asked to be assigned to combat troops, he was pulled from 1st Division to General Headquarters after planning the pivotal attack at Cantigny. His superiors felt that his talent for planning and logistics was more valuable on […]

Two Handshakes, 120 Years of Cadet Leadership

Although he was not an outstanding student at the Virginia Military Institute, George Marshall proved to be a leader among his fellow cadets as he served as corporal and first sergeant in his second and third years at VMI. He was known for his “impressively military bearing and a voice which could be heard the […]

Marshall and the “Ratline”

Guest blog by Cadet Mike Morrison, VMI ’20 and Marshall Foundation social media intern. With the Rat Mass of 19+3’s (freshmen) breakout accomplished on February 2nd, 2019, we look back at Marshall’s own “ratline” in his first year at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1889. Though the ratline was much less structured and regulated […]

“The Two Georges: Marshall and Patton”

Last evening Christopher Kolakowski, Director of the MacArthur Memorial, delivered an insightful lecture that examined George C. Marshall’s long and eventful relationship with George S. Patton, Jr. Kolakowski, who served as the Director of the General George Patton Museum of Leadership prior to coming to the MacArthur Memorial, cited many examples of how Marshall directly […]

Marshall and His Extension as Chief of Staff

August 31, 1943, was the last day of General George C. Marshall’s 4-year appointment as chief of staff of the U.S. Army. On the day he had been sworn into office, September 1, 1939, Germany had invaded Poland, marking the start of World War II in Europe. A little more than half way through Marshall’s […]

Marshall and Medals

In 1919, Lt. Col. George C. Marshall, Jr. was awarded the Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur Officier (National Order of the Legion of Honor, degree of officer), for his service in France during World War I. On this day seventy-three years ago, after World War II had ended in Europe, he was promoted to […]

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan and Marshall’s Mission to China

Last evening, Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, executive editor of Foreign Affairs, spoke about George C. Marshall’s 13-month mission to China, which is the subject of his recently published book The China Mission: George C. Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947. Kurtz-Phelan kicked off the “Friends” in High Places sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series, by offering new insights into […]

Katherine Marshall and China

In December 1945, Katherine Tupper Marshall accompanied her husband, General George C. Marshall, to the airport for his departure to China. A few weeks earlier, President Harry Truman had asked General Marshall to serve as a special envoy to China to negotiate peace between the country’s Communist and Nationalist parties. Not wanting to face the crowds that had assembled, Mrs. Marshall watched from the car as General Marshall’s luggage was loaded into the plane, […]

Marshall and Eisenhower

On the morning of June 18, 1945, General George C. Marshall, waited with Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower at National Airport in Washington, D.C., for the arrival of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The purpose of the visit was to give General Eisenhower a proper homecoming, complete with parades and other celebrations, to recognize his remarkable efforts in […]

Marshall and The Kappa Alpha Order

This blog was originally posted on June 12, 2015 As we all know, George C. Marshall is a man of many parts: soldier and statesman; father and husband; diplomat. One of the less well known facts about this fascinating individual, however, is that he was also part of a fraternity, a member of the Kappa Alpha […]

Marshall and Spelling Bees

Next week, students from all over the world will descend on Washington, D.C. to participate in the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee. This year’s contest has 516 spellers who are competing for the $40,000 prize. Throughout the week the students will experience both great excitement as they move on to another round and great agony […]

Marshall Day

Each May 15, the Virginia Military Institute corps of cadets assembles to pay tribute to the ten cadets who were killed in the Civil War Battle of New Market, in 1864. On New Market Day in 1951, VMI also celebrated the fifty-year career of their most accomplished graduate, George C. Marshall, Class of 1901. The […]

Marshall and the Apple Blossom Festival

This blog was originally posted on May 5, 2017 In Winchester, Virginia this week, the 90th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is in full swing. The festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the pink-and-white apple blossoms started in 1924 as a one-day event and, except for the war years 1942-1945, has been held […]

Marshall and the Relief of MacArthur

Secretary of the Army Frank Pace was asked personally to relieve General Douglas MacArthur until President Truman learned the announcement was to be preempted by a news leak. In what was to become its own ‘day of infamy,’ Truman hastily arranged a press conference to announce MacArthur’s relief. MacArthur himself learned of his fate from […]

The Marshall Plan: 70th Anniversary

On April 3rd the Marshall Foundation, in partnership with the United States Diplomacy Center, commemorated the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Marshall Plan into law by President Harry Truman at the Diplomacy Center in Washington, D.C. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation provided special support for the event. The first part of the program featured remarks by Dr. […]

Marshall and W.A.C. Recruitment

On this day in 1944, a confidential memorandum from General George C. Marshall was distributed to all War Department General Staff and Special Staff divisions, overseas commanders, Army Ground Forces down to tactical units, as well as Army Air Forces, Army Service Forces, and Defense Commands down to posts, camps, and stations. The constantly increasing […]

Marshall and The Fight For The European Recovery Plan

Seventy years ago this week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) continued to work on approving the details of the European Recovery Program. The European Recovery Program, or ERP, was more commonly known as the Marshall Plan. Opposition in Congress, which reflected public sentiment, was widespread. Some thought Europe needed to solve its own problems […]

Marshall and Commissioning into the Army

After almost completing four years at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), George C. Marshall embarked on his next journey, commissioning into the U.S. Army. The recent expansion of the army had increased the number of vacancies for new lieutenancies, but by the time Marshall was able to take the qualifying exam in September 1901 only 142 […]

Marshall and Henry “Hap” Arnold

  George C. Marshall arrived in Washington on the evening of January 15, 1950, to the news that his longtime friend and colleague, General Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold, had died of a heart attack at his home in Sonoma, California. Marshall immediately sent a telegram to Arnold’s wife, Eleanor, expressing his sympathy and stating, “I […]

Marshall and Fort Reno

A few days after Christmas in December 1903 George C. Marshall and his detachment of Company G, Thirtieth Infantry, arrived for a routine assignment at Fort Reno in Oklahoma Territory. According to author William Frye in his 1947 biography Marshall: Citizen Soldier, Marshall noticed the Ninth Cavalry “Buffalo Soldiers” stationed there and “lectured his own […]

Marshall and the Five-Star Rank

On December 16, 1944, General George C. Marshall became the first army officer to be promoted to the newly created five-star rank. Only nine army and navy officers have been selected for promotion to this distinguished rank. They were: Admiral William D. Leahy, Chair of the Chiefs of Staff: (December 15, 1944) General George C. […]

The Nobel Peace Prize

On December 10, 1953, General George C. Marshall received the Nobel Peace Prize in a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Marshall received the award in recognition of his efforts to restore the economies of Western Europe through the Marshall Plan, which had concluded in 1952. Marshall was the first career military officer to receive this high […]

Marshall Retires as Chief of Staff

After leading the United States Army to victory during World War II, General George C. Marshall submitted his request to resign as army chief of staff to President Harry S. Truman on November 18, 1945. Marshall had been sworn in as chief of staff more than 6 years earlier on September 1, 1939, the very […]

Marshall and the Red Cross

In light of the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the growing visibility through partnerships with other large organizations such as Walmart, the National Football League and ESPN, the American Red Cross is working hard to provide disaster relief. General Marshall served as president of the Red Cross from October 1949 to Sept […]

Marshall and Secretary of Defense

By: Wayne C. Thompson On September 21, 1950, George C. Marshall, who had been happily retired from national service since stepping down as secretary of state in January 1949, became America’s third secretary of defense. The post and department had been created by the National Security Act three years earlier. The young department was the […]

1900 VMI Football Team

Marshall and Football

The Virginia Military Institute football team plays its first home game of the season tomorrow. Many of today’s Keydet football fans may be surprised to learn that VMI’s most famous graduate has a connection to the football team, having played on it during his final two years at VMI. George C. Marshall, having fulfilled a […]

Marshall and the Invasion of Poland

September 1, 2017 marks the anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, the act responsible for starting World War II. That same day in 1939, George C. Marshall became the chief of staff of the United States Army; a position he would hold for the duration of the war and which earned him the accolade “Organizer […]

Marshall and His Generals

Noted scholar and author Dr. Steve Taaffe discussed last week the criteria General Marshall used to select Army combat commanders who led Allied forces in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. His lecture, “Marshall and His Generals,” can be seen below, or on our YouTube channel. It was a part of the Marshall […]

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Marshall Books

This post was originally published on August 5, 2016. The staff at the Foundation would like to share some of their favorite books about Marshall with you: Cathy DeSilvey, Director of Museum Operations Selected Speeches and Statements of General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, United States Army – Edited by Major […]

Marshall and his Advice to the Young

This post was originally published on June 19, 2015. June graduations and commencement addresses are great collegiate traditions and the last opportunity to influence students. General Marshall said he tried his “best to influence young people whenever I came in contact with them in public talks.” In this digital era, when there is so much […]

Marshall and D-Day

During the June 17 Legacy Series presentation of “General Marshall and Private Martin: Two Perspectives on D-Day,” LTC Bradley Coleman focused on General Marshall’s keen interest in using airborne forces to open a second front behind enemy lines as part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Although Marshall’s plans were never implemented, […]

Marshall and the President

Last night’s presentation of “Marshall and the President, 1943” by Dr. Nigel Hamilton was the latest program in The World Wars sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series. Dr. Hamilton is currently writing the third volume and final volume of his FDR at War series, which explores President Roosevelt’s role as Commander-in-Chief during World War II. […]

Marshall and Myths

Last night at the Marshall Foundation we heard from three distinguished historians who explored some of the more popular myths of World War II. Dr. Mark Stoler, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, Michael Adams, Professor Emeritus at the University of Northern Kentucky and Dr. Conrad C. Crane, Chief of Historical Services for the […]

Marshall Myth: Marshall and Vacation

The month of March often finds people dreaming of, or actually going on, vacation to take a break from cold winter weather. On March 7, 1943, Chief of Staff of the Army George C. Marshall traveled to Miami, Florida, with his wife Katherine for a week-long vacation, his first since the United States had entered […]

Marshall and Nurses

When the nurses in the South Pacific awoke on December 8, 1941, their commanders began issuing them steel helmets and gas masks. The once-coveted assignment to the Philippines became one of waiting and preparing for what they believed to be Japan’s next attack. They were right. The Japanese continued their advancements, and the nurses were […]

Marshall and the Civilian Conservation Corps

In March 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a large-scale public relief program that would provide employment for young men in the areas of conservation and natural resource development. Roosevelt ambitiously sought to have 250,000 men enlisted in the program by July, and it quickly became apparent that […]

Marshall and Katherine: Together

On March 21, 1947 Mrs. Marshall gladly discussed her book Together: Annal of an Army Wife with Odom Fanning of the Atlanta Journal. Mrs. Marshall stated that she wrote the book to give “a picture of General Marshall as a human being, not as a soldier or organizer.” Her press conference won over her listeners […]

Marshall and Churchill

This past Wednesday, 30 November, was Winston Churchill’s 142nd birthday (he was born in 1874). The occasion was accompanied, as often is, by various dinners around the world and myriad toasts offered to the great man’s memory-and appropriately so. Winston Churchill, bon viveur, is an easy man to commemorate in such a fashion. That fact, […]

Marshall and his submarine

This week on social media the Marshall Foundation’s trivia question and featured artifact had to do with the only ship named after General George C. Marshall, the USS George C. Marshall (SSBN-654). The USS George C. Marshall (GCM) was a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) included in the “41 for Freedom,” the 41 Benjamin Franklin-class […]

Marshall and His Barber

The photo to the left titled “Private Gets in General’s Hair” ran in the The Montrose Herald, as well as many other American newspapers, in August of 1945. But the man in the photo cutting General Marshall’s hair was not his regular barber. Joseph Abbate, who had been Marshall’s barber since 1939, opened the barber […]

Marshall and the Distinguished Service Medal

After serving as chief of staff of the United States Army since World War II began in Europe on September 1, 1939, General George C. Marshall resigned from his position on November 18, 1945. Several days later Marshall agreed to attend a ceremony where he would receive an Oak Leaf Cluster for his Distinguished Service […]

Marshall and Frank McCarthy

Frank McCarthy was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1912. After graduating from VMI in 1933, McCarthy returned to his alma mater as an instructor and then remained as alumni secretary. In the late 1930s, when Brother Rat, a comedy based rather loosely on life at VMI, became a Broadway success and a popular road show, […]

Marshall and the Jeep

It is often mentioned that General Marshall considered the jeep one of the best, if not the best, weapons of the war. More intriguing, but still lacking complete detail, have been suggestions that he had something specifically to do with the creation of the original jeep. The evidence today seems to suggest the conclusion that […]

Marshall Myth: West Point Football Plaque

Like many football teams, the United States Military Academy team has its own unique pregame ritual. Before taking the field, each player places his hands on a bronze plaque displaying a quote attributed to General George C. Marshall while he was serving as chief of staff of the army during World War II. The plaque […]

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Marshall Books

The staff at the Foundation would like to share some of their favorite books about Marshall with you: Cathy DeSilvey, Director of Museum Operations Selected Speeches and Statements of General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, United States Army – Edited by Major H. A. DeWeerd, 1945 Though there are several biographies […]

Marshall and Fire Island

According to the U.S. National Park Service, there are conflicting views as to the origin of the name Fire Island. The island may have been named after Fire Island Inlet, which appeared on a deed in 1789, and the inlet’s name may have started as a simple spelling error. Under another hypothesis, the name originates […]

Marshall and the Fort Benning Revolution

Last evening, Dr. John Maass, a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. talked about Marshall’s time at Fort Benning during the late 1920s. John R. Maass, Ph.D., received his doctorate in early American history from Ohio State University where he also studied military history and Native American history. A […]

Marshall and Brazil

Only two weeks after the public announcement that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had appointed General George C. Marshall as the next chief of staff of the U.S. Army, Marshall found himself aboard the cruiser U.S.S. Nashville en route to his first visit to a foreign country. His destination was not Great Britain, France, the Soviet […]

From Machine To Man

But underlying all…is the realization that the primary instrument of warfare is the fighting man. All of the weapons with which we arm him are merely tools to enable him to carry out his mission. So we progress from the machine to the man… It is true that the war is fought with physical weapons […]

Marshall and the Knutsford Affair

General George S. Patton’s comments at the opening of a British Welcome Club for American soldiers in Knutsford, England, are one of many well-known and controversial episodes from Patton’s army career. U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s response to Patton’s comments are less well known. They serve as an example of his leadership. […]

Marshall and Taxes

Recently museum and library staff came upon Marshall’s Officer’s Pay Data Card from 1945. It was a form (WD AGO 77) on which all information relative to the individual officer’s pay and allowance, length of service and deductions and allotments was kept. This is different from a pay voucher, and it was required to be […]

Marshall and the Foreign Assistance Act

On March 23, 2016, the Marshall Plan Speech was one of 25 recordings added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s remarks at Harvard University were a crucial first step in the United States’ efforts to help rebuild Europe after World War II and certainly represent […]

General George C. Marshall Public and Youth Leadership Awards

Earlier this month, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking in Vancouver, Washington. This is this second year that I have attended the annual General George C. Marshall Public and Youth Leadership Awards conducted by the Fort Vancouver National Historic Trust. The Trust presents two leadership awards, in General Marshall’s name, to a senior and […]

Marshall Myths: “The Most Unsordid Act in History”

The phrase “the most unsordid act in history” is correctly attributed to the ever eloquent Winston Churchill, but a great deal of confusion persists about what Churchill was referring to when he bestowed this title. Sadly, those who believe that Churchill used this phrase to describe the Marshall Plan are perpetuating another Marshall myth. Tracing […]

Marshall & Valentine’s Day

Originally published on February 13, 2015 This weekend many people will celebrate the sentimental holiday of Valentine’s Day. Sentimental isn’t a word that is often used to describe George C. Marshall, but glimpses of his romantic side appear in correspondence with his first wife, Elizabeth “Lily” Carter Coles. According to Marshall’s sister, Marie Louise Singer, […]

Marshall and his Birthday

On the last day of this year we celebrate George C. Marshall’s birthday 135 years ago. Determined to play the hand he was dealt, he probably did not feel sorry for himself because of the somewhat unfortunate timing of this birth. In fact it is his steely resolve to push on that is one of […]

Marshall Myths: Marshall’s “Little Black Book”

Occasionally visitors to the Marshall Foundation will ask staff to verify a story that they heard about George C. Marshall. As with any historic figure certain stories about Marshall have become widely accepted as true even though they do not have any factual basis. This post will be the first in an occasional series exploring […]

Marshall and Robots

HDT Global got its start in robotics the hard way, by working for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab on DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program to develop a prosthetic arm with near-human capabilities. DARPA projects are often described as “DARPA hard”, and this nine year effort has been one of the toughest projects that HDT has […]

Somber Veterans Day

Recently I gave a brief history lesson about Veterans Day to Wesleyan School students, alumni, and family. This is an excerpt of that speech: As most know, Veterans Day grew out of the commemoration Armistice Day, the moment when the fighting of World War I ended. After World War I, President Wilson proclaimed that the […]

Marshall and his Magazine

Members will receive the new magazine, MARSHALL, in the mail next week. Produced as a benefit of membership in the Foundation, the magazine features guest-written features on Marshall and the Atomic Bomb, Marshall and the Europe-First strategy for winning World War II, and Marshall and his 40-year correspondence with Rose Page Wilson in addition to […]

Marshall and Taking Care of the Troops

We began Taking Care of the Troops, the next sequence in the Marshall Legacy Series, with a talk by an Iraq war veteran and the opening of the new exhibition, “Give Them What They Need.” Disabled veteran Army SSG Luke Murphy (Ret) talked about “Blasted by Adversity,” his experiences as a squad leader of an […]

Marshall & Postage Stamps

Stamps, often considered miniature works of art, have been issued by world postal services since 1840. October is National Stamp Collecting month. It began in 1981 as a joint venture between the United States Postal Service and the Council of Philatelic Organizations. The Postal Service continues to promote National Stamp Collecting Month and stamp collecting […]

Marshall and DACOWITS

Recent headlines include “10th Mountain Division Gets First Female Brigadier,” “Two women graduate from Army Ranger Course,” and “Navy SEALs set to open to women, top admiral says.” What, if anything, does this have to do with George C. Marshall? Marshall’s concern for women in uniform was the impetus behind the federal organization that still […]

Marshall and Biographies

Reading a great biography allows a reader to stand on the shoulders of giants. George C. Marshall was one such giant. His character defined him as someone who could be trusted by colleagues, subordinates and superiors. It was one reason why Congress supported his many requests for funding and superiors listened to his thoughtful, yet strong, […]

Marshall and the Atomic Bomb

The book, General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb, looks at events of the first nuclear decade from General Marshall’s perspective. Marshall had the unique position of being the only high-level government official who participated in or witnessed the decisions regarding the production, use, and post-war management of the atomic bomb from 1942 to […]

Marshall and Teachers

The young George C. Marshall was not a very good student. He said that his “school teachers bored him to death with dates and dry facts, even regarding as fascinating and unique a character as Benjamin Franklin.” Later he said he “came to realize the tremendous importance of a knowledge of world history to the […]

Marshall and “Weapons” of War

Always the innovator, Marshall sought ways to fight more effectively and efficiently. As assistant commandant of the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning in 1927, Marshall revamped the curriculum in anticipation of the next large-scale conflict that he believed would be fought differently from World War I. Curiously, he is oft quoted as saying “study […]

Marshall and His Advice to the Young

June graduations and commencement addresses are great collegiate traditions and the last opportunity to influence students. General Marshall said he tried his “best to influence young people whenever I came in contact with them in public talks.” In this digital era, when there is so much information available, General Marshall’s reply to Edward R. Morrow’s question, “I […]

Marshall and the Kappa Alpha Order

As we all know, George C. Marshall is a man of many parts: soldier and statesman; father and husband; diplomat. One of the less well known facts about this fascinating individual, however, is that he was also part of a fraternity, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order (KA). KA was founded at the then […]

Marshall and Allen Tupper Brown

This past Monday our nation celebrated Memorial Day, a national holiday that honors those men and women who have died while in service of our country. One such serviceman was Allen Tupper Brown, the stepson of General George C. Marshall. When Allen was twelve, his mother, Katherine had invited Colonel Marshall to visit them at […]

Marshall and Secretary’s Day

Administrative Professionals’ Day, also known as Secretary’s Day, will be celebrated on April 22nd this year. It’s observed to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionist and other administrative support professionals. Shortly before the first celebration of this non-official holiday in 1952, Mildred K. Carlson was George C. Marshall’s secretary. She served as his […]

Marshall and His Legacy

On the eve of completing the Marshall Papers, we have begun a significant, new initiative, the George C. Marshall Legacy Series, to interpret General Marshall’s legacy for an audience of broad interests. The Series is expected to last two years or longer. Programs and activities will focus on key themes, events or episodes from General […]

Marshall and the American Red Cross

Ask anyone what the American Red Cross does and the answer will likely include supplying lifesaving blood or disaster relief efforts during significant natural disasters. In fact, the American Red Cross does much more. In the broadest sense, the American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the […]

Marshall and House of Cards

In the current season of the hit series House of Cards, President Francis Underwood and his wife, Claire, who was appointed US ambassador to the UN, dive into foreign policy. One of President Underwood’s primary goals is to form an international coalition, including Russia, that will commit to stationing troops in the Jordan River Valley […]

Marshall, WACs and Army Rangers

When Massachusetts representative, Edith Nourse Rogers, introduced a bill in 1941 to establish a Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps for Service with the Army of the United States she set into motion a series of events that transformed the role of women in military service. (HR 4906, 77th Congress, 1st session) Rogers had served in the […]

Marshall & Romance

This weekend many people will celebrate the sentimental holiday of Valentine’s Day. Sentimental isn’t a word that is often used to describe George C. Marshall, but glimpses of his romantic side appear in correspondence with his first wife, Elizabeth “Lily” Carter Coles. According to Marshall’s sister, Marie Louise Singer, George didn’t have many girls before […]

Marshall and Tuskegee

The death of two members of the Tuskegee Airmen in mid-January reminded the country of the significant contribution that African Americans made to World War II. As chief of staff of the United States Army, George C. Marshall was directly involved in the establishment of the military program for aviation at the Tuskegee Institute. Correspondence between […]

Marshall and the Benning Revolution

In a February 2014 Congressional Research Service Report, Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress, noted that Army endstrength would go from 570,000 in 2010 to 490,000 by the end of 2017. The drawdown of American forces has been a cyclical part of the nation’s military experience and “the Army has historically focused […]

Marshall & a New World Order

A December 2014 Congressional Research Service Report (CRS) on the changing international security environment states that world events since late 2013 are creating a shift in the international environment is undergoing a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the last 20-25 years to a new and different strategic situation. The features of that environment are […]

Marshall & His Books

The new year often brings resolutions. Many resolve to exercise more, eat better and become better stewards of their finances. There are also a few, like Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, who aim to read more in 2015. General Marshall would approve of that resolution. He was a student of history and recognized the vital importance of […]

Marshall and His Birthday

Classmates in grade school who celebrated birthdays close to the holidays deserved our sympathy. The strong pull of gravity around Christmas and Hanukkah diminished their special days that traveled in minor orbits around these behemoths. Born on December 31, 1880, George C. Marshall may have felt the same way that some of my friends felt, […]

Marshall and the Troops

“It is impossible for the Nation to compensate for the services of a fighting man. There is no pay scale that is high enough to buy the services of a single soldier during even a few minutes of the agony of combat, the physical miseries of the campaign, or of the extreme personal inconvenience of […]

Marshall, Frank Capra, and Film

On May 27, 1942, the first of seven documentary films, Prelude to War, was released. This documentary series, Why We Fight, was commissioned by the United States Army. In a letter to President Roosevelt, General Marshall states the films would “replace the series of lectures given newly inducted soldiers as to why we are in the […]

Marshall and Veterans Day Remembered

November 11, Veterans Day, was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I, the “War to End All Wars” 100 years ago. Armistice Day underwent a name change in 1954 to Veterans Day to include our veterans of all wars. It is fitting to pay tribute to all who have served […]

Marshall and His Museum

  Smithsonian Museum Day Live! on Saturday, September 27, is an annual event that gives participating museums around the country the opportunity to open their doors free of charge. In a perfect world, all museums would be free, but non-profits such as the George C. Marshall Foundation receives no operational funding from the government and […]

Marshall and Comic Books

Despite having no congressional resolutions or presidential proclamations, September 25th is considered National Comic Book Day. Comic books have been enjoyed as far back as the late 18th century. These early comics featured Japanese Toba-e style prints that were bound in an accordion-style book. Comic books have remained popular because they tell an ongoing story, provide […]

Marshall and September 11th

Thirteen years ago the world watched in disbelief as terrorists attacked New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. Our sense of shock was due in part to the fact that the United States has rarely experienced attacks from foreign enemies within its own borders. As the country pauses to reflect on the tragic events of […]

General Leslie R. Grove and J. Robert Oppenheimer

Marshall and the Atomic Bomb

The recent death of Theodore VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, as well as a new television series about the building of the bomb, has put the August 6th and 9th anniversaries of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki back into the spotlight. Key documents relating to […]

Marshall and Transformational Leadership

At our recent leadership seminar for the National Association of Counties, we communicated Secretary of State Marshall’s powerful example of transformational leadership to secure European economic recovery following World War II. Known as the Marshall Plan, the European Recovery Program represents the power of a person to transform. It was not easy, however. Marshall met […]

Marshall and The Great War

Welcome to the first of what will be a regular series of blogs from the GCMF.  These blogs will pertain to General Marshall, his life, times and legacy and the vitally important role of the foundation in ensuring that those considerations find expression both today and tomorrow. Here at the Marshall Foundation we are preparing […]