The Texas City Disaster

Today in History, April 16, 1947:

The Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial disaster in US History.

A French ship, the SS Grandcamp, loaded with 2300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in the port city of Texas City, across from Galveston, explodes in the channel leading to Houston, devastating the docks and the town.

All but one of the town’s firefighters were killed, and several other fires were ignited on other ships and in the oil town in the following days. Most of the city was destroyed, and at least 581 people were killed.

Hoover Saves the World…Again

Today in History, March 11, 1947:

Democrat President Truman writes a letter to former Republican President Herbert Hoover, thanking him for his efforts in helping to save Europe…for the second time.

It is so interesting looking at history absent the biased perspective we’ve grown accustomed to.

Most of us know Hoover…you know, “Hooverville’s” full of starving people, the man who was asleep at the switch and helped caused the great depression.

The story is never as simple as we are told.

Hoover made it to the Presidency because after WWI, he organized the assistance of a starving war-torn Europe, demonstrating his abilities.

As WWII ended, the same disastrous conditions, magnified, existed.

Truman, who had been a young artillery officer as Hoover was doing is good deeds in 1917, called upon his 71-year-old friend to repeat his actions.

Hoover worked tirelessly to create the conditions to feed a starving Europe and end their dependence upon America.

Truman then assigned the former chief executive to head the “Hoover Commission” to organize an objective Truman (D) and Hoover (R) shared…to limit the power of the Executive Branch and streamline the government.

Thus we find that a decent man, Truman, called upon another decent man, Hoover, to aid in helping the world and America.

And Hoover’s legacy should be different than what he has been given. I wonder what GW’s legacy will be in half a century, once the political expedience of demonizing him has passed.

War to Peace…Gen. George Marshall

Today in History, June 5, 1947:

George Catlett Marshall, Jr, who as Chief of Staff of the US Army during WWII was instrumental in defeating the Axis powers, is now US Secretary of State.

On this date he gives a speech at Harvard University and outlines the reasons that the US should provide monetary and physical support to the European nations decimated by the war. Germany and the other nations of Europe were struggling to rebuild their economies, their infrastructure and their ability to operate as governments.

These same countries had been left to fend for themselves after WWI, and radicals like Hitler took advantage of their desperation to bring the world into WWII. The new “bad influence” was communism and Marshall recognized that the same thing could happen all over again. Congress acted on his recommendations and passed the Economic Cooperation Act, or The Marshall Plan. By 1952 the US had spent over 12 Billion dollars to rebuild Europe, likely preventing another global conflict.