Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Marshall, George C. (George Catlett), 1880-1959; Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971; MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964; Martin, Joseph W. (Joseph William), 1884-1968.; Howard, Roy Wilson, 1883-1964
Korean War, 1950-1953; International relations; Cabinet officers; Armed forces officers

Unsent Letter from President Harry S. Truman to John T. O'Rourke, November 28, 1952. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Nov. 28 '52

Dear John:

The attached editorial-it contains a double barreled bare face lie which I've marked with a red line.

I fired the great MacArthur for insubordination and for his effort to tie us up in an all out war in Asia.

I took a 14400 air trip in order to have an understanding with him. He told me that the Korean situation was under control, that the Chinese would not come in, that he would release one of our regular divisions for occupation duty in Germany on Jan. 1 and that he would not further make a "chump"-his word not mine, out of himself by dabbling in Republican politics.

I believed him. I'd no more than arrived home when Joe Martin published Mac's letter to him.

I called in Acheson for State Marshall for defense and two other gentlemen. I asked their opinions on the latest piece of insubordination of God's right hand man.

They gave them. I said not a word about the action I intended to take, which was, of course,--was-to recall him and release him of all his commands.

State and Defense opposed immediate action the other two gentlemen were of the opinion that Mac should be taken off his seat next to God.

We had another meeting State (Acheson) still opposed relieving the so called "great" General. Defense (Marshall) had read all the messages over the years to and from the President and MacArthur, and had come to the conclusion that he should be relieved.

Then I told the four of them that I'd intended to fire him when we first met but that I expressed no opinion because I wanted the unbiased opinions of the men I trusted.

Britain nor anyone else ever entered the picture.

State (Acheson) still advised that the uproar would be terrific and that I should consider the matter further.

I fired MacArthur for insubordination and a misstatement of the facts to me at Wake.

Of course truth means not one thing to Roy Howard or your snotty little News-but these are the facts.

Harry S. Truman

John T. O'Rourke, Editor Washington Daily News.


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