Marshall Legacy Series: Visionary in War and in Peace

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of events, programs and information centered on key themes, events or episodes for members, children and families, scholars and researchers, historians and history buffs, and museum visitors of all ages. Access to our resources and collections will create unique activities and events to share with the public. Please join us in perpetuating Marshall’s legacy. View past events here.

Print Codebreaking, April—June 2015
Weapons of War, July—September 2015
Taking Care of the Troops, October—December 2015
All Who Want to Serve, January-April 2016
Speed and Fury, May-August 2016
Let’s Get A Move On, September-December 2016
The World Wars, January-December 2017
Europe’s Unlikely Recovery, January-June 2018
Friends in High Places, July-December 2018
Winter’s Coming, January-June 2019
The Man for All Seasons, July 2019-June 2020
• Marshall Today and Tomorrow, July 2010-December 2020

“Winter’s Coming”

General George C. Marshall’s retirement as chief of staff of the U.S. Army following the conclusion of World War II marked the last time, as a military officer, that he led and oversaw soldiers engaged in direct combat. As a civilian serving as secretary of state, Marshall played a critical role in blocking Soviet expansion into Western Europe by skillfully employing the economic superiority of the United States through the Marshall Plan. When Marshall was appointed secretary of defense, he was in the unique position of serving in a civilian capacity while also overseeing the entire U. S. armed forces.

Marshall saw parallels between the new, complex global problems of the Cold War and his past experiences as both a military and civilian leader, and he relied on the approaches he had successfully employed in the past when deciding on the best response to current challenges. Despite only playing a direct role at the beginning of the Cold War, the actions that Marshall took and the views he expressed had a substantial influence on U.S. foreign policy throughout the decades-long conflict.

“It is unlikely that one hundred million Russians will succeed in holding down permanently, in addition to their own minorities, some ninety millions of Europeans with a higher cultural level and with long experience in resistance to foreign rule.” – Resume of the World Situation, November 7, 1947