Five star General Douglas MacArthur (18801964) commanded the Allies in the Pacific Region during World War II. America's great leader was one of the most compelling men of the 20th century.
"There is no security on this earth," he once said. "Only opportunity."
Born on this day in Little Rock, Arkansas, the youngest of three children. His father was a hero in both the Civil and Spanish-American Wars.
Young Douglas entered West Point and graduated first in his class. He built a reputation as a brave soldier who served as Army chief of staff in World War I and commanded Allied forces in World War II.
As he retreated from the Philippines, MacArthur uttered the famous words, "I shall return." He did, triumphantly, and coordinated the postwar rebuilding of Japan into a democracy that gave women the vote and outlawed war.
The MacArthur Controversy occurred when the popular general, as Commander of the United Nations military forces in the Korean War, disagreed with President Harry Truman's wish for a cease-fire at Korea's 38th parallel.
MacArthur wanted a full-blown attack of China and issued public statements about his wishes, calling Truman's policy "misguided." In response, Truman removed him from command in April 1951, citing insubordination.
Eight days after his firing, MacArthur told Congress, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away... I now close my military career and just fade awayan old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye." The famous speech was interrupted by applause and ovations.
Today, the MacArthur Memorial Museum in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, preserves the story of the life of General MacArthur's life. His Foundation perpetuates this American hero's credo: "Duty, Honor, Country."
Let honor rule.