Continuing on in a sense with yesterday’s post about the creation of the Marshall Plan, today marks the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The scene we see above is Secretary of State Dean Acheson signing the agreement with President Truman and Vice President Alben William Barkley looking on over Acheson’s shoulder. Acheson was one of a dozen foreign ministers in Washington on 4 April 1949 who signed on in the creation of NATO. President Truman spoke to those assembled.
From here the measure went to the U.S. Senate, where passage of the NATO Treaty was by no means a given. Senator Robert A. Taft was just of many who had his concerns. Eventually the Senate ratified the NATO treaty in June. Eisenhower was the natural choice to lead NATO. The supreme allied commander in the Second World War at this time was the president of Columbia University and would take a leave of absence from the school in 1950 to lead the NATO troops in Western Europe.
Again, the more we understand the difficulties in creating such complex mechanisms as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Marshall Plan, the better we might see the wisdom in treading lightly on the hows & whys of tearing asunder their hard won gains.
(image/Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer)