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1950

Jan 6  Britain recognizes the People's Republic of China.

Jan 9  Israel recognizes the People's Republic of China.

Jan 11  President Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

Jan 13  Finland opens diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

Jan 13  The Soviet Union's representative to the United Nations announces that the Soviet Union will not recognize the legality of Security Council actions until Chiang Kai-shek's representative on the Security Council is removed. The Soviet representative walks out of the United Nations, removing for the time being the Soviet Union's veto power on the Security Council.

Jan 23  Israel makes formal its claim of Jerusalem as its capital.

Feb 1  On Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek is re-elected president of what he still calls the Republic of China.

Feb 4  In Vietnam the French have invited Emperor Bao Dai back to Vietnam and given him the titles of premier and emperor, hoping to take nationalist sentiment away from Ho Chi Minh.  President Truman approves recognition of Bao Dai's government and aid to the French in their war against the Viet Minh.

Feb 7  In a hospital in Rome, the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman has given birth to boy. The father is Roberto Rossellini. For years Bergman had been alienated from her Swedish husband, and Rossellini was separated from his wife. Many in the United States are outraged. Theatres in various cities in the United States refuse to run the film Stromboli, a film written and directed by Rossellini, starring Bergman.  

Feb 9   Speaking to a Republican Women's club in the state of West Virginia, Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin claims that among those in the US State Department are 205 Communists.

Feb 14  The Soviet Union and People's Republic of China sign a treaty of mutual defense.

Feb 14  The politically conservative Winston Churchill, more than one year from returning as Britain's prime minister, calls for more talks with the Soviet Union – a position to be opposed by some anti-Communists in the United States. Churchill says, "It is not easy to see how things could be worsened by a parley at the summit." Climbing Mt. Everest is on the minds of people, and Churchill coins "summit" to describe talks among world leaders.

Mar 1&2  In England, Klaus Fuchs, a 39 year-old theoretical physicist who has worked at Los Alamos, New Mexico, on top-secret atom bomb projects, is convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison --  the maximum sentence for passing military secrets to a friendly nation: the Soviet Union.

Northgate shopping mall, Seattle

Northgate Shopping Mall, Seattle

Mar 7  The Soviet government denies that Klaus Fuchs has served the Soviet Union as a spy.

Mar 20  Poland's government confiscates church property.

Mar 31  In the Philippines, the Huks now number around 15,000 fighters and perhaps 150,000 collaborators. They have launched an offensive: five simultaneous attacks in five provinces near Manila.

Apr 21  In Seattle the Northgate shopping mall opens, beginning a new trend in the United States. Use of the automobile and the need to park is making shopping on main streets difficult. Modern shopping malls with huge parking lots will start to take customers away from main street.  

Apr 27  The West Bank formally becomes a part of Jordan, and Britain formally recognizes Israel. 

Kim Il-Sung

Kim il-Sung, the father of North Korea posing for his subjects

Apr 27  South Africa's parliament passes the Group Areas Act, which assigns races to different residential and business sections in urban areas. 

Apr 30  North Korea's Kim Il Sung has spent almost all of April in the Soviet Union.

May 1  In the People's Republic of China a marriage law is promulgated that abolishes marriage practices such as bigamy, concubinage, childbrides and the superiority of males over females. Marriages are to be based on the free choice of partners.

May 9  France's foreign minister, Robert Schuman, proposes some economic integration for Europe – joint management of the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany. It is the beginning of what in 1992 will become the European Union. 

Jun 17  US Secretary of State Dean Acheson has sent John Foster Dulles to South Korea. Dulles visits the 38th parallel and speaks of his country's determination to stand by South Korea.

Jun 25  With Russian tanks and other Russian military equipment, North Korea chooses to storm into South Korea. The Korean War begins.

Jun 27  The Soviet Union is still vacating its representation on the U.N. Security Council, and without its veto there the Security Council condemns North Korea's invasion and moves to create a force to defend South Korea. The Security Council asks the US to appoint a supreme commander for the U.N. force.

Jun 28  The North Koreans capture Seoul.

Jun 29  Eighteen B-26 bomber aircraft strike against the North Korea's airfield near Pyongyang.

Jun 30?  Truman has been getting advice on whether to go to Congress for approval to intervene in Korea. His Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, says that seeking a war resolution from Congress would be unnecessary. Acheson tells Truman he should act on his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief. Truman agrees. He doesn't want to set a precedent that would make it more difficult for future presidents to deal with emergencies. (David McCullough, Truman, p 789)

Jul 3-4  The aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge and the British carrier, HMS Triumph, send aircraft against various airbases in North Korea.

Jul 20  US ground forces have been rushed to Korea from Japan. They are overrun and decimated about 150 kilometers south of Seoul. Amercans are giving advice to President Truman, as follows: "We demand that you stop merdering Americn boys and Korean peope ... We have nothing to do with Korea. These people are capable of settling their own affairs." Concerning a nuclear bomb, one writes: "You did it once before. Drop one over the Kremlin and get it over with." (Quotes from David McCullough, p 791)

Aug 22  North Korea claims that air raids on Pyongyang and five other cities between July 2 and August 3  have killed 11,582 civilians.

Aug 23  Rosselini and Bergman are now married, but, in the US Senate, Rosselini is described as a fascist libertine, and the motion picture industry is warned that the Senate objects to movies made by Communists, Nazis and Fascists.

Sep 1  North Korea's forces are stalled at what has become known as the Pusan Perimeter, defended by US and South Korean troops.

Sep 15 Allied troops land at Inchon, near Seoul, behind enemy lines.

Sep 22  Truman vetoes the Internal Security Act (also known as the McCarran-Wood Act), saying it would "betray our finest traditions" and "curb the simple expression of opinion."

Sep 23  Congress overrides Truman's veto, the Macarn-Wood Act becomes law.

Sep 28  A report by the CIA holds claims that China has missed its opportunity to intervene.

Oct 3  North Korea has asked China to send troops into Korea. China fears what it sees as aggressive US imperialism. China warns the  world-at-large that if the United States crosses the 38th parallel China will intervene.

Chinese troops, October 25, 1950

Chinese Troops, October 25, skirmishing near the Yalu River

Oct 12  The CIA argues that intervention by China is unlikely because it would jeopardize China's domestic program and economy. Secretary of State Dean Acheson believes China's statement is a bluff and that the US should show no "hesitation or timidity."

Oct 15  The commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, Douglas MacArthur, and President Truman meet on Wake Island. MacArthur asks permission to pursue North Korea's military into North Korea. Truman does not want the war to spread to China and asks MacArthur about the chances of China coming into the war should U.N. forces move into North Korea. "Very little," replies MacArthur. "If the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be the greatest slaughter."

Nov 1  Indonesia becomes a member of the United Nations.

Nov 1  In Washington D.C., a couple of Puerto Ricans favoring independence attempt to assassinate President Truman.

Nov 8   Congressman Richard (Dick) Nixon, running for a seat in the US Senate, wins against Helen Gahagan Douglas, whom he has described as pink (almost communist) while she has coined the phrase "Tricky Dick."

Nov 15  The US has been attacking Chinese airbases in Manchuria. Air battles have been taking place, and Mao thanks Stalin for the heroism of Soviet pilots. 

Nov 17  A US army regiment reaches the town of Hyesan on the Yalu River, Korea's border with China.

Nov 20  A field ambulance and surgical unit from India joins the U.N. forces in Korea.

Nov 21  Egypt has demanded that Britain remove its troops from the Suez Canal Zone. The treaty by which Britain is there is not due to expire until 1956, and Britain's foreign secretary proclaims that Britain will not begin leaving until then.

Nov 22  Anti-British riots erupt in Egypt.

Nov 23  In Korea, a battalion of Dutch troops joins 11,000 troops from Britain and 1,000 from Australia.

Nov 26  Chinese forces begin crossing into Korea in large numbers.

Dec 2  In Egypt's parliament a demand is made for closer ties with Communist regimes, including the recognition of Communist China, as pressure for a British evacuation of the Suez Canal.

Dec 16  The US Army arrives back at the 38th Parallel, covering 120 miles southward in ten days. The Chinese drive is weakened because of their slow supply system, the Chinese moving by foot, oxcart, pack horse and camel.  In below freezing weather, the US Marines have walked out of the mountains in North Korea (from the "frozen Chosin" reservoir), reaching the port of Hungnan, where they are picked up by the US Navy. 

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