Marshall in 30 Objects Intern Pick: Object #18 Marshall Plan Speech

Harvard University Procession, June 5, 1947. GCMF Photo Collection

Marshall Museum Social Media Intern Krystal Graves VMI ’20 , picked Object 18 as one of her favorite things from our exhibit. Here’s why:

During this difficult time, one of the best places to find comfort is in history. Although the United States may be under quarantine or restricted status and schools have been cancelled nationwide, allow us to take this opportunity to reflect on the hardships the world has survived before.⠀

In June of 1947, Marshall presented a speech at Harvard that would change the world. This was the Marshall Plan in one of its earliest forms. The conclusion of this speech is as follows:⠀

“An essential part of any successful action on the part of the United States is an understanding on the part of the people of America of the character of the problem and the remedies to be applied. Political passion and prejudice should have no part. With foresight, and willingness on the part of our people to face up to the vast responsibility which history has clearly placed upon our country, the difficulties I have outlined can and will be overcome.”⠀

Although the economic situation of Europe post-WWII is very different from the current situation regarding COVID-19, perhaps we may find both comfort and inspiration in the lasting words of George C. Marshall, and overcoming adversity.

Harvard University V.I.P.s with their Honorary Doctorates, June 5, 1945.

Check out the Marshall in 30 Objects gallery guide to see what you like!