Truman fires MacArthur

The History channel online describes well „perhaps the most famous civilian-military confrontation in the history of the United States.“

In April 1951 President Harry Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur. On April 11 Truman addressed the nation. He defended his overall policy in Korea. “It is right for us to be in Korea.” Nevertheless, he explained, it “would be wrong—tragically wrong—for us to take the initiative in extending the war… Our aim is to avoid the spread of the conflict.” 

MacArthur returned to the United States to a hero’s welcome. Parades were held in his honor, and he was asked to speak before Congress. Public opinion was strongly against Truman’s actions, but the president stuck to his decision without regret or apology. 

Eventually, the American people began to understand that his policies and recommendations might have led to a massively expanded war in Asia.