For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan

For European Recovery:
The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan

Key Dates for the Marshall Plan

  • March 12, 1947
    The "Truman Doctrine," outlined in a presidential speech to Congress,
    makes it U.S. policy to protect nations threatened by communism.
  • June 5, 1947
    In a speech at the Harvard commencement, Secretary of State George C.
    Marshall calls for an American plan to help Europe recover from
    World War II.
  • June 19, 1947
    The British and French Foreign ministers issue a joint communiqué inviting
    twenty-two European nations to send representatives to Paris to draw up
    a cooperative recovery plan.
  • July 12, 1947
    The Conference of European Economic Cooperation, which became the
    Committee of European Economic Cooperation (CEEC), meets in Paris.
    The Soviet Union declines to attend and pressures Czechoslovakia, Poland,
    and Hungary into staying away.
  • September 1947
    The CEEC submits its report estimating needs and the cost of the
    European Recovery Program (ERP) over four years. It provides for the
    establishment of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation
    (OEEC) to coordinate the program from the European side.
  • February 1948
    A Soviet-backed, communist coup occurs in Czechoslovakia.
  • April 2, 1948
    Congress passes the Economic Cooperation Act that authorizes the
    Marshall Plan. President Truman signs it the next day.
  • April 1948
    Paul Hoffman of Studebaker Corporation is appointed Administrator of the
    Economic Cooperation Agency (ECA), the temporary American agency
    created to implement the plan. Averell Harriman is appointed special
    representative of the ECA in Europe.
  • April 15, 1948
    First official meeting of the OEEC in Paris to determine national needs
    prior to passage of appropriations bill by U.S. Congress.
  • June 30, 1949
    The Federal Republic of Germany officially enters the OEEC in the
    second year of the program.
  • December 31, 1951
    The ERP ends six months early because of the escalation of the Korean
    War, which had begun in June 1950. Transfer of funds from the U. S. to
    Europe had totaled $13.3 billion.
  • July 5, 1972
    In a speech at the Harvard commencement, West German chancellor Willy
    Brandt announces creation of the German Marshall Fund to thank the U.S.
    for its assistance.

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