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1951

Jan 3  Asian and Arab nations are trying for a peaceful settlement in Korea.

Jan 10   A committee of 100 Republicans say that the United Nations has failed and urges the US to quit the organization.

Jan 17  Working their way southward, Chinese and North Korean forces recapture Seoul.

Jan-Feb  At a dinner party in New York City, Margaret Sanger, age 72, meets biologist Gregory Pincus. He tells her that it might be possible to create the birth control pill she has been dreaming about. To do it, he says, he would need significant funding.

Feb 1  The UN General Assembly declares China the aggressor in the Korean War since the end of December 1950. .

Feb 26  The US Constitution is amended to limit presidents to two terms.

Mar 7  General Matthew Ridgway has been army commander in Korea since late December when, in Tokyo, Douglas MacArthur, over-all commander of the UN forces, told him, "The Eighth Army is yours, Matt. Do what you think best." Ridgway has planned a new offensive, and MacArthur flies to Korea for some showmanship. He upstages Ridgway at a news conference, announcing falsely that he, MacArthur, had "just ordered a resumpton of the offensive."

Mar 14   United Nations forces recapture Seoul.

Mar 14  In the United States, a Gallup Poll shows Truman's public approval rating at 26 percent. United States deaths in Korea are around 50,000. Many in the US think the President has been too weak vis-à-vis the Communists, but also, according to a Gallop Poll the previous month, 49 percent of those polled thought the war was a mistake. Truman has defied those calling for more money to be spent on the military. He has endeavored instead to maintain the nation's strength through a balanced budget.

Mar 15   Ridgway's forces have turned the war around and have been advancing against Chinese and North Koreans, and today Ridgway and his troops retake what is left of the city of Soeul. Morale in Washington DC is said to be reviving.

Mar 30  India considers Kashmir as its territory but holds only half of it. Pakistan and China hold other parts. Pakistan claims the part that India holds, Jammu-Kashmir, because a majority of the people there are Muslim. The UN Security Council passes Resolution 91 which calls for a free and impartial plebiscite in Jammu-Kashmir and demilitarization of the State prior to the plebiscite.

Apr 1   In Greece, women are given the right to vote.

Apr 5   Ethel and Julius Rosenberg receive the death penalty for having conspired to commit espionage. 

Apr 9   General MacArthur has defied President Truman. Truman wants a ceasefire in Korea with Korea divided as before at the 38th parallel. MacArthur has written a letter to the Republican House Minority Leader, Joseph Martin, criticizing Truman. Men around President Truman agree that MacArthur is a problem, and the armed services Joint Chiefs of Staff decide unanimously that MacArthur should be relieved of his command. 

Apr 11   President Truman fires General MacArthur.

Apr 12   In Europe, MacArthur's dismissal is considered good news. In the US, Republicans meet and call for Truman's impeachment. The Chicago Tribune agrees. Senator Nixon demands that MacArthur be reinstated. In New York, two thousand longshoremen protest MacArthur's firing.

Apr 20   President Truman appears at a big-league game to open the baseball season and is loudly booed.

May 14  The government of South Africa removes the right of people of mixed race ("colored") to vote. 

Jun 13   The Communists propose negotiations for Korea. UN troops have driven north of the 38th parallel and are ordered to hold their positions. Fighting is now to become skirmishes over outposts and hills been lines, shellings, aircraft bombing by US forces and small unit actions and a lot of talk by the world's political figures. 

Jun 18   The French have defeated a major Viet Minh campaign, the Viet Minh having lost 10,000 killed and wounded, and they withdraw from the Red River Delta.

Jun 25   Truman says he does not want a wider war and says that he is ready to see the war end with a division of the two sides at the 38th parallel. 

Jul 5   William Shockley extends on the transistor invented in 1947 by inventing the junction transistor, bringing Silicon to what will become known as Silicon Valley. 

Jul 10  In Korea, armistice negotiations begin while violence at the front continues. Facing each other on a line that runs east and west across Korea are 459,000 Communist troops, more than half of whom are Chinese forces. On the UN side are approximately 554,000. South Korea has 273,000 in the field, the US 253,000, and the rest are from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Britain, Greece, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the Union of South Africa.

Jul 16  Riad Bey al-Solh, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, has been assassinated in Amman, where rumors were circulating that Lebanon and Jordan were discussing a joint separate peace with Israel.

Jul 19  Pakistan has not agreed on conditions for a plebiscite in Jammu-Kashmir.  Prime Minister Nehru tells Pakistan to stop its war talk, that India is not concentrating troops on Pakistan's border and wants peace.

Jul 20  Abdullah, the Hashimite King of Jordan, a moderate toward Israel, is in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral of Riad Bey al-Solh. He is shot while attending Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock in the company of his grandson, Prince Hussein.

Jul 24   India makes Sheik Mohammad Abullah, leader of the area's largest political party, the prime minister of Jammu-Kashmir and agrees to Jammu-Kashmir autonomy within India.

Aug 1   China is burdened economically by its participation in the Korean War and by China's recent civil war, but a majority of Chinese are proud to see their country "standing up" to the "imperialist" powers. Meanwhile, since October 1950, the Communist government has executed around 28,000 "counter-revolutionaries." 

Sep 9  India has been hoping to ward off Chinese control over Tibet. So too has the United States, which has been sending arms there through Calcutta. On this day, Chinese troops march into and take control of Tibet's capital city, Lhasa.

Sep 5  In Korea, the UN command have decided to chastise the Communist side for its failures at the negotiating table and it launches a limited offensive, with the objective of taking higher ground in mountainous territory. In fighting for what is called "Bloody Ridge," an estimated 15,000 North Koreans and 2,700 UN soldiers have been killed, wounded or captured.

Sep 13  The North Koreans have moved from Bloody Ridge to what will become known as Heartbreak Ridge. US commanders decide to take Heartbreak Ridge also. Soon to be labeled by the Americans as a fiasco.

Sep 19  Yours truly begins a three-year enlistment in the Marine Corps.

Sep 20   At the close of their conference in Ottawa, all twelve members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization accept Greece and Turkey as fellow members – a move that does not please the Soviet Union, while in the US some ask where the Soviet Union is going to strike next, in Asia or Europe.

Sep 26-28   Ash from a forest fire in Canada turns the sun blue for Europeans. 

Oct 25  In Korea, truce talks reconvene. The fighting for Heartbreak Ridge is at an end. United Nations forces have suffered over 40,000 casualties. The Communist forces have suffered more, some of it from air power, which has blasted and burned their high ground bare. A lot of high ground in Korea is without vegetation. 

Oct 26    In Britain, conservatives do well in elections and Winston Churchill is re-elected Britain's prime minister.

Nov 10   In the United States people can now dial directly for coast-to-coast telephone calls.

Nov 11   Hard times in Argentina have created a tense presidential campaign in Argentina. One candidate has been arrested and another shot. Eva Perón has claimed that anyone not voting for Peron is a traitor. Her husband, Juan Perón, is re-elected.

Dec 24   Another colony ends. Libya becomes a constitutional monarchy, the constitution proclaiming "by the will of God" a democratic and sovereign state that guarantees national unity, domestic tranquility, secures the establishment of justice, guarantees the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and that promotes economic and social progress and the general welfare, "trusting in God, Master of the Universe."

Dec 31   Japan's Gross National Product is half that of West Germany's and a third that of Britain, but production in Japan has surpassed its prewar level.

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