The Marshall Plan was the primary plan of the United States for
rebuilding Europe after World War II. The initiative was named for
United States Secretary of State George Marshall and was largely the
creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton
and George F. Kennan. The reconstruction plan was developed at a
meeting of the participating European states in July 1947. The Soviet
Union and the states of Eastern Europe were invited, but Joseph Stalin
saw the plan as a threat and did not allow the participation of any
countries under Soviet control. The plan was in operation for four
fiscal years beginning in July 1947. During that period some $13
billion of economic and technical assistance - equivalent to around
$130 billion in 2006, when adjusted for inflation - was given to
help the recovery of the European countries which had joined in the
Organization for European Economic Cooperation. By the time the plan
had come to completion, the economy of every participant state, with
the exception of Germany, had grown well past prewar levels. Over the
next two decades Western Europe as a whole would enjoy unprecedented
growth and prosperity.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral and his crew became the
first Europeans to sight Brazil.
The U.S. Congress authorized the minting of a two-cent coin, the first
U.S. coin to bear the words "In God We Trust".
The Bolshevik newspaper Pravda was first published in Saint
Babe Ruth played his first professional baseball game as a pitcher for
the Baltimore Orioles.
Chlorine gas was released as a chemical weapon in the Second Battle of
Ypres, the first large-scale use of poison gas in World War I.
Wikiquote of the day:
"I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express
would not have been expressed, had I not known more." -- Vladimir