March 5: In a speech in Fulton, Mo., Winston Churchill speaks
of an "iron curtain" in Europe and calls for an American-British
July 11: Secretary of State James Byrnes offers to merge the
economy of the American zone in Germany with the economies of the
other zones; Britain agrees, but France and the Soviet Union spurn
Jan. 20: In a White Paper, the British government calls
Britain's economic problems "very serious."
Jan. 22: Gen. George C. Marshall becomes secretary of state.
Jan. 25: The first of a string of blizzards buries Britain -
and any hope of economic recovery.
Feb. 21: The British inform the United States that they can no
longer prop up Greece and Turkey against communist expansionism.
March 5: Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson asks the
State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee to see which other nations
March 10: In Moscow, the foreign ministers of the United
States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France open a meeting to
decide the future of Germany.
March 12: President Harry S Truman asks Congress to aid Greece
and Turkey - and any country threatened by aggression. His proposal
is dubbed "the Truman Doctrine."
April 24: Unable to agree after 43 sessions at their Moscow
meeting on Germany's future, the four foreign ministers call it
April 28: Marshall returns from Moscow disillusioned with the
Soviets and worried about Europe; he says, "The patient is sinking
while the doctors deliberate."
April 29: Marshall orders the State Department to form a Policy
Planning Staff immediately and draw up a plan of action for Europe.
April-May: William Clayton, undersecretary of state, tours
Europe's devastation and tells Marshall urgent action is needed.
May: The communists take over in Hungary.
May 6: In Mississippi, the State Department's Acheson says
Europe's problems are also America's.
May 15: Congress approves aid to Greece and Turkey.
May 23: The State Department study group outlines what becomes
the Marshall Plan.
May 28: Marshall agrees to speak at Harvard's graduation on
June 2: Quietly, Acheson alerts British reporters in Washington
to the import of Marshall's address.
June 5: In the speech that gives birth to the Marshall Plan,
the secretary of state invites Europe to petition the United States
June 6: British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin summons his staff
to an emergency Sunday session.
June 11: The Ukrainian edition of Pravda calls Marshall's
speech further evidence of a U. …