And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: July 8th, 1950, 68 years ago today … the day President Harry S. Truman named General Douglas MacArthur commander of U.S. and Allied Forces in Korea.
Communist North Korea had attacked the South just a few weeks before. Within months of taking command, MacArthur – a World War II hero – had halted and outflanked the North Korean invaders, driving them back to the border with China.
China, in turn, launched an attack of its own, forcing the U.S.-led coalition to fall back.
MacArthur lobbied President Truman for permission to bomb China. Truman, fearing a wider war, refused. And in April of 1951, he fired MacArthur for insubordination – a controversial move that stunned the nation.
Upon returning to the U.S., MacArthur delivered a farewell address to Congress, invoking the words of a familiar song: "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
General Douglas MacArthur died in 1964 at age 84.
As for the Korean War, it ended with an Armistice (not a full-fledged peace treaty) in 1953. And Korea has remained divided, and in the headlines, to this day.
- (CBS News, 06/05/00)
Story produced by Juliana Kracov.