Harry Truman Korea

On this day in 1950, President Harry Truman “[orders] United States air and sea forces to give the Korean Government troops cover and support.”

He stated that “The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.

In October of that same year, he remarked: “We hate war, but we love our liberties. We will not see them destroyed.”

Precepts and Problems

Below are some excerpts from his speech at a Conference of the Federal Council of Churches on March 6th, 1946. From those words, it is clear that he would authorize armed forces in the face of invasion.

“Dictatorship, by whatever name, is rounded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only thing that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the State.
The right of every human being to live in dignity and freedom, the right to worship his God in his own way, the right to fix his own relationship to his fellow men and to his Creator–these again have been saved for mankind.
… Now that we have preserved our freedom of conscience and religion, our right to live by a decent moral and spiritual code of our own choosing, let us make full use of that freedom. Let us make use of it to save a world which is beset by so many threats of new conflicts, new terror, and new destruction.”

He added: “If men and nations would but live by the precepts of the ancient prophets and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, problems which now seem so difficult would soon disappear.

That is timeless teaching.


Harry Truman Korea


Dwight D Eisenhower visits Korea 1952

On this day in 1952, president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower makes good on his campaign promise to “go to Korea” to “learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace.”

While there, he met with the troops, their commanders, and South Korean leaders.

Previously, on October 25, in his “I Shall Go to Korea Speech” Eisenhower said he would “forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean war-until that job is honorably done.”

Then, he concluded that campaign speech with a kind of testimony:

“In this trial, my testimony, of a personal kind, is quite simple. A soldier all my life, I have enlisted in the greatest cause of my life — the cause of peace. I do not believe it a presumption for me to call the effort of all who have enlisted with me — a crusade.
I use that word only to signify two facts. First: We are united and devoted to a just cause of the purest meaning to all humankind. Second: We know that — for all the might of our effort — victory can come only with the gift of God’s help.
In this spirit — humble servants of a proud ideal — we do soberly say: This is a crusade.”

Eventually, seven months after his inauguration, the Korean Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War. Even so, the Korean Peninsula remains divided today.


Dwight D Eisenhower visits Korea 1952