The Fifteen Weeks (February 21-June 5, 1947)

The Fifteen Weeks (February 21-June 5, 1947)

The Fifteen Weeks (February 21-June 5, 1947)

The Fifteen Weeks (February 21-June 5, 1947)

Synopsis

An account of events during 1947 that led to the formulation of the Marshall Plan and the Policy of Containment.

Excerpt

The comfortable, dowdy old structure at Seventeenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, known as State, War, and Navy, was soon to lose her distinction as hostess to the Secretary of State and as center of the relations of the United States with the world. War and Navy had abandoned her long ago. Now, in early 1947, the State Department too was leaving her for new quarters, gaudier, more commodious, even air-conditioned, in a questionable part of town. After years of stubborn rearguard resistance to White House encroachments on space, the move was decided--one of George Catlett Marshall's first acts as Secretary of State. Even now files were being packed in Old State and room assignments were being made in New State at Twenty-first Street and Virginia Avenue. But on the gray Friday afternoon of February 21, 1947, Old State, unlike most of her tenants to whom the prospective parting brought anguish and a sense of personal loss, wore her regrets with silence and dignity. There was nothing that afternoon in the cables, or in circulating memoranda, or even in anybody's mind to suggest that the most revolutionary advance in United States foreign policy since 1823 would occur within the next fifteen weeks, and that the last days of State Department tenancy at Seventeenth and Pennsylvania would be a period of intense activity leading to great historical accomplishment.

Mr. Marshall had left his office earlier than usual that afternoon . . .

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