In his State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman announced his “Fair Deal,” a series of proposed domestic reforms, including the expansion of many New Deal policies. Truman’s proposals included social security expansion, a minimum-wage increase, labor law changes, aid for education, and health insurance reform.
George Kennan, a US diplomat serving in Moscow, sent his “Long Telegram” to Washington. In it, Kennan proposed a policy of containment for handling diplomatic matters with the Soviet Union. Kennan’s ideas about containment and the Soviet Union shaped US foreign policy throughout the Cold War.
The House Un-American Activities Committee began an investigation of Communism in the American film industry, demanding to know, “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” A group of screenwriters, directors, and producers known as the “Hollywood Ten” refused to answer the committee’s questions concerning their political beliefs. They were sentenced to prison terms of up to a year for contempt and many were blacklisted from the film industry for decades.
The United States exploded a hydrogen bomb on Eniwetok, an island in the Pacific Ocean. The detonation destroyed the island in a three-mile wide mushroom cloud. The successful test marked a new era in the arms race.
President Truman signed the Marshall Plan (or European Recovery Program) into law. The plan, introduced by Secretary of State George C. Marshall in June 1947, outlined American assistance in the physical and economic rebuilding of Western Europe in the wake of World War II. Fearing that poverty and other conditions created by the war might make Europe susceptible to Communism, the American government funneled about thirteen billion dollars into Western Europe to rehabilitate and stabilize countries affected by war.
Congress passed the Internal Security Act over President Truman’s veto. Also known as the McCarran Act or the Subversive Activities Control Act, it strengthened laws against espionage, allowed investigation and deportation of immigrants who were suspected of subversive activities or of promoting communism or fascism, and allowed the limitation of free speech for national security reasons. President Truman vigorously opposed the law that he believed “would make a mockery of our Bill of Rights [and] would actually weaken our internal...
The National Security Council issued the classified report NSC-68, which outlined a plan that would shape American Cold War policy for years to come. It advocated the worldwide containment of Communism and major rearmament. The report emphasized the need for an American commitment to fighting Communism globally, not just in Europe, and pointed to military intervention as the most effective form of containment.
The United States began a voluntary nuclear test moratorium in hopes that the USSR would agree to do the same. The Soviets resisted at first, completing tests on November 1 and 3, before beginning a self-imposed twelve-month ban.