GEORGE C. MARSHALL, 1880 – 1959

In 2007 the Marshall Plan Foundation commemorated the 60th anniversary of Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s Harvard Commencement address – a historical speech in which he first outlined the European Recovery Program:

‘A very serious situation is rapidly developing which bodes no good for the world. (…) The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products – principally from America – are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character. (…)

It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.’
(George C. Marshall; June 5, 1947)

 George C. Marshall, 1880-1959.  National Archives

George C. Marshall, 1880-1959. National Archives