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1947

Jan 17   A harsh winter is aggravating Europe. There is economic stagnation, inflation, hunger and political unrest. Churchill is visiting the United States as a private citizen and asks the United States for help in policing Europe. Doing so is too much of a financial burden for Britain. 

Jan 17  A US military unit has been in China to disarm the Japanese. The court martial of a US Marine begins, accused of raping a Peiping (Beijing) university student. The rape has touched off monstrous demonstrations across China against the US military presence, targeting China's government for allowing foreign troops on Chinese territory. The Pentagon believes that US forces are no longer needed in China. The Marines will be out by the end of May.

Jan 19  In Poland, a coalition dominated by the Communist Party wins 80 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections. Stalin is succeeding for the time being in having a friendly Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany. 

Jan 21  The Soviet Union asks the UN Security Council to look into Britain's interventions in Greece and Indonesia.

Jan 28  Unhappy with the recent elections in Poland, the United States charges that the Provisional Government of Poland has "failed to carry out its solemn pledges" to conduct free and untrammeled elections as called for in the Yalta and Potsdam Agreements.

Feb 17  The US begins Voice of America radio transmissions into the Soviet Union, viewed by Russians as hostility.

Feb 28  Chiang Kai-shek, China's anti-Communist ruler, sends soldiers against rioting Taiwanese. Between 18,000 and 28,000 will be said to have been massacred. Many Taiwanese disappear.

Mar 12  To a joint session of Congress, President Truman proclaims what will become known as the Truman Doctrine. The US is to aide Greece and Turkey, to support "free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way." A few conservatives are opposed. One Congressman complains about do-gooders getting "us all broke."

Mar 19  Chiang Kai-shek's troops take control of Yenan, which had been a base for China's Communist Party. Chiang has created a National Assembly that the Communists think is bogus in that it does not have representation for those who side with them rather than with Chiang.

Mar 21 President Truman sees fears of a Communist takeover or influence on the US government as ridiculous, but he is responding to public pressure. He institutes a program of loyalty oaths for federal employees.

Mar 29  A nationalist group in Madagascar rises against French rule. The revolt spreads quickly, with some expecting help from the United States.

Apr 3  In the US, the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations is created under President Truman's Executive Order 9835. Among those on the list are 71 organizations and 11 schools viewed as "adjuncts of the Communist Party." Also on the list are the Ku Klux Klan and a patriotic society for Japanese veterans of the Russo-Japanese War.

Apr 15  Jackie Robinson begins playing baseball, at first base, for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Apr 16  With "enemies" in mind the phrase "Cold War" is invented. In his home state of South Carolina, Bernard Baruch, multimillionaire financier and adviser to presidents, says "Let us not be deceived. We are today in the midst of a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this." Some in the US would think of Russia and communists as intent on destroying the US or at least intent on helping Americans change their way of life. Some others would think it a mistake to consider philosophical or political adversaries as enemies and that the "Cold War" was fiction.

Apr 18  Father Josef Tiso, wartime "leader" in Slovakia, is hanged. 

Apr 22  In a game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, players for the Phillies shout continual abuse at Jackie Robinson, calling him "nigger" and advising him to go back to the jungle.

Jun 5  A few people in the US are concerned that hardship in Europe will bolster Marxist arguments and add to the appeal of Communism. At Harvard University, the US Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, outlines an economic recovery plan for Europe. He speaks of the need to protect political stability and peace. "Our policy, he says, "is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

Jun 30  In China, the Communists have begun mobile warfare against Chiang's government. They have crossed the Yellow River, recruiting people as they advance. 

Jul 3  Stalin is hostile toward the Marshall Plan – not yet approved by the US Congress. He accuses the Western powers of seeking to divide Europe into two hostile camps.

Jul 11  A Czech delegation returns from Moscow and announces that the decision to receive Marshall Plan assistance has been cancelled. 

Aug 14  Pakistan splits from India and gains independence from the British Empire.

Aug 15  India gains independence from the British Empire.

Sep 7  Stalin is worried about economic recovery in that part of Germany occupied by Britain, France and the United States. He proclaims that "imperialists want war."

Sep 9  In Argentina, women receive the right to vote

Sep 12  In Haifa, Palestine, a labor leader, Sami Taha, is assassinated.

Sep 13  Thousands of Arab workers form a funeral procession for Sami Taha. British authorities detain two Jewish women regarding the assassination. 

Sep 16   Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha rejects a Jewish plan for partition, saying. "Nations never concede, they fight." About the Jews fighting for partition he says "We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we'll succeed, but we'll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it's too late to talk of peaceful solutions."

Sep 19  The rightist Jewish guerrilla fighters, the Irgun, bomb a police station in Haifa, killing four British policemen, four Arab policemen, two Arab civilians and wound 46 others.

Sep 30  In the United States around 14,000 television sets are in use, and the World Series is televised for the first time.

Oct 16   Britain urges the United Nations to begin creating a suitable authority to replace the British administration of Palestine. 

Oct 27  Film stars who belong to the Committee for the First Amendment arrive in Washington D.C. They include John Huston, William Wyler, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye and Gene Kelly. They are unhappy with the committee's investigation of communism in the film industry. They are for letting artists work free of government interference. Danny Kaye claims that the motion picture industry has not been putting propaganda into its work. Gene Kelly follows, saying: "As Mr. Kaye has remarked, its pretty hard to find any propaganda in pictures." 

Nov 29  By a narrow margin, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution for the partition of Palestine. The Soviet Union and Truman administration have voted in favor. The resolution calls for Jerusalem to be under international control.

Dec 9   France has been paralyzed by a general strike, said to have been a Communist Party bid for power. The strike is considered a failure and called off.

Dec 16  William Shockley, at Bell Laboratories, invents the transistor, destined to replace glass tubes in electrical equipment.

Dec 25  The French have not yet completely suppressed the revolt in Madagascar. Around 60,000 people have died. Europeans and those friendly toward the French have been attacked and killed.

Dec 27  Greece's pro-monarchist government outlaws the country's Communist Party.

Dec 30  In Communist dominated Romania, King Michael, great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, is forced to abdicate.

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