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 […]

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, […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Marshall and the Church at Vaux

This week, the Marshall Foundation says goodbye to our amazing curator, Cathy DeSilvey. We thank her for her years of tireless advocacy for Marshall’s legacy, gift for exhibition planning, and passion for helping objects tell their stories. We have decided to rerun one of her best and most popular pieces as thanks for her years […]

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 […]

“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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Breaking “Purple” in William Friedman’s own words

In late 1938, a decoded Japanese message indicated that in February 1939, the current “A” encryption would no longer be used, but would switch to the new “B” encryption. Japanese diplomatic messages had been decoded and read from the “A” encryption for several years, so the switch was at first worrisome, and then problematic, for […]

I deeply regret to confirm …

Friday, Sept. 18 is National POW/MIA day, honoring prisoners of war and those still missing in action. I wore an MIA/POW bracelet for years. The name on my bracelet was Capt. John N. Flanigan, USMC. I only knew the information on the bracelet; that Flanigan was from Florida, and he disappeared Aug. 19, 1969 over […]

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

The 64th anniversary of the dedication of the Colleville-sur-Mer Normandy American Cemetery was commemorated July 18. Among the thousands of graves, there are four American women buried there – three from the same battalion: the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion consisted of 850 officers and enlisted in four companies, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Prohibition

One hundred years ago, it became illegal to stop off at the corner bar for a beer – the Volstead Act, commonly called Prohibition, outlawed the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-123257 Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into […]

Marshall and the Nobel Peace Prize

December 10th marks the 65th anniversary of George C. Marshall receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The circumstances surrounding the awarding of this prestigious award to Marshall were the subject of a blog last year. This blog was originally published on December 1, 2017. On December 10, 1953, General George C. Marshall received the Nobel Peace […]

Marshall and the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice

The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I takes place on November 11th. This blog contains three passages regarding the Armistice. The first is an anecdote from Marshall’s book Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917-1918, in which Marshall describes an incident in the officers’ mess hall when speculating on the […]

Marshall and the Recall of Stilwell

Lt. Col. George C. Marshall served as executive officer of the 15th Regiment in Tientsin, an area in northern China, from 1924 and 1927. During that time, he met Joseph Stilwell who was a battalion commander with the 15th Regiment and would later become one of “Marshall’s Men” as an instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia. […]

Marshall and “Pa” Watson

Seventy-eight years ago this week, Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Senior Military Aide, Major General Edwin M. “Pa” Watson. Watson, who was born in Alabama and raised in Martinsville, Virginia, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1908. After he completed tours of duty in […]

Marshall and the Manhattan Project

On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to notify him of recent developments in nuclear physics that suggested the element uranium could be turned into a new and important source of energy. Einstein warned that the energy could be used to create extremely powerful bombs that could destroy […]

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 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 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, MacArthur and the 38th Parallel

On 25 June 1950, in an attempt to unify the Korean peninsula, North Korean forces swept across the 38th parallel, and the line of latitude demarcating the border between the two Koreas. Desperate fighting by U.S. and South Korean forces eventually stemmed the advance at the city of Pusan (now Busan) in the south east […]

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 […]

V-J Day and the Japanese Surrender

Several years ago the Marshall Foundation hosted a talk by Dr. Frank Settle that examined the role played by General Marshall in the Manhattan Project. Dr. Settle’s talk, as part of the Weapons of War sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series, built upon his book that sheds new light on the Manhattan Project itself but […]

Marshall and the Quebec Conference

The first Quebec Conference (code-named QUADRANT) which occurred August 14-24, 1943, was the third crucial Anglo-American conference in seven months. As at Casablanca in January and Washington in May (code-named TRIDENT), the chief difficulty was the strength of Allied commitment to the cross-Channel invasion and the consequent allocation of resources between the invasion of France […]

Marshall and the Atlantic Conference

On the evening of July 30, 1941, General George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the United States Army, was suddenly called to the White House. When Marshall arrived, he was directed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to prepare, in secrecy, for a meeting at sea with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his military […]

Marshall and the Space Flight Center

This blog was originally published on June 26, 2015. Fifty-five years ago next week during a quiet ceremony 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 […]

Marshall and the Soviet Aviators

This blog was originally published on June 17, 2016. June 20, 1937, may have been the most memorable Sunday morning that George C. Marshall experienced as commander of Vancouver Barracks, Washington. Three days earlier pilot Valeri P. Chkalov, co-pilot Georgi P. Baidukov, and navigator Alexander V. Beliakov departed from Moscow to attempt the first nonstop […]

Marshall Plan in Pictures

This past Monday the Marshall Museum was open with free admission to celebrate the famous speech given by Marshall at Harvard University seventy years ago. To continue that celebration a selection of Marshall Plan photographs from a unique collection are now available to view online. The collection was received in April of 2015 and it […]

Marshall and Dunkirk

Today, Friday 26th May, marks the 77th anniversary of the beginning of ‘Operation Dynamo’ the code name for the evacuation of the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force (the BEF) from the beaches of Dunkirk, France. The evacuation, which saw more than 200,000 British troops together with another 100,000 troops, mainly French, from other Allied […]

Marshall and Easter

During the first Easter celebrated after the United States’ entrance into the second world war, Marshall found himself in Bermuda after engine failure delayed his flight to London. He recalls the event in a letter to Brigadier General Miller: I have a very vivid recollection of that Easter Service a year ago. It was most […]

Marshall and the Start of the Great War

One hundred years ago this week, President Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech in Congress calling for a declaration of war against Germany. On April 4th the Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany. When the declaration passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 373 to 50 on April 6th, […]

Marshall and Rockefeller

On Monday March 20th David Rockefeller, banking executive and philanthropist, died at his home at the age of 101. David Rockefeller was a generous supporter of the George C. Marshall Foundation, as was his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who was one of the first major donors to the Marshall Foundation in 1955. David Rockefeller […]

Marshall and Pearl Harbor

Wednesday marked the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. The United States’ formal declaration of war on December 8, 1941, dramatically altered the lives of all Americans, particularly those of the men and women who served in the armed forces. As the number […]


For the past two years, the Marshall Foundation has participated in #VeteransArchives, a Twitter event that shares archival material from veterans as a way to honor their service. This event is happening today on various social media networks. Each hour a new collection will be shared. For those who do not have social media accounts, […]

Marshall and War Bonds

Speaking during the Third War Loan Drive in September 1943, Marshall said, “The American people must give not only their full personal effort but the full use of their dollars invested in War Bonds, to back these attacks. There is no alternative. Total victory is in sight but it can only be won by concentrating […]

Marshall and the Soviet Aviators

June 20, 1937, may have been the most memorable Sunday morning that George C. Marshall experienced as commander of Vancouver Barracks, Washington. Three days earlier pilot Valeri P. Chkalov, co-pilot Georgi P. Baidukov, and navigator Alexander V. Beliakov departed from Moscow to attempt the first nonstop flight over the North Pole to the United States. […]

Marshall and the Space Flight Center

Fifty-five years ago next week during a quiet ceremony 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 […]

Marshall and His Speech

Sixty-eight years ago today, Secretary of State George C. Marshall delivered remarks at Harvard University that would become known as the Marshall Plan Speech. Henry Kissinger, who, like Marshall, served as Secretary of State and was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, recently wrote about the significance of the Marshall Plan and its continuing […]

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 Mexico

Can you name all of the countries that were part of the Allied Nations during World War II? Did you include Mexico on your list? Many people, myself included, may be surprised to learn that Mexico participated in World War II. In response to the sinking of several oil ships by German U-boats, Mexico declared […]

Marshall & Oveta Culp Hobby

Oveta Culp Hobby learned about service to community and government from her family. She watched her mother collect food and clothing for the poor and was often sent to deliver baskets of goods to neighbors. From her father she acquired a love of the law and the workings of government. As a child she would […]

Marshall and the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

Today is the 70th Anniversary of V-E (Victory in Europe) Day , which marked the end of six long years of fighting in Europe. As news of Germany’s surrender spread, people throughout Europe and around the world poured out into the streets to celebrate the end of the war. Although the war would not be […]

Marshall, PURPLE and Pearl Harbor

As early as 1934 Army Signal Corps cryptanalysts were deciphering certain Japanese diplomatic codes—a process which was given the code name MAGIC.  These diplomatic codes were transmitted on a machine, known to U.S. cryptographers as PURPLE.  The PURPLE machine consisted of two electronic typewriters separated by a plugboard and a box that contained the encryption […]

Armistice and the Homer Simpson Collection

At 5 a.m. on the morning of November 11, 1918, the Armistice, which ceased hostilities during World War I as a prelude to peace negotiations, was signed. In the trenches on the often quoted ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ was Private Homer E. Simpson, a soldier from Covington, Virginia, who […]

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 […]

George Withers - Soldier and Girlfriend

Marshall, Paris & Art

Paris has acquired a reputation as the “City of Art.”  But as war was declared on September 3, 1939, the Louvre evacuated its collections, sandbagged the larger pieces it couldn’t move and closed for business. In 1940, the invading German forces reopened the museum, but visitors found a mostly empty building. With hope brought by the Allied […]

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 […]