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Gen. George C. Marshall

Gen. George C. Marshall is Uniontown's favorite son. He was born in 1880 at the site of the current VFW on West Main Street in Uniontown where he spent the first 16 years of his life. Marshall's life is commerated across the street at Marshall Plaza.

The following synopis of Marshall's life was taken from Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. ©

George Catlett Marshall, (1880-1959), American military commander, army chief of staff during World War II; as secretary of state (1947-49) he played an important role in aiding the postwar economic recovery of Western Europe.

Marshall was born on December 31, 1880, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and was educated at Virginia Military Institute. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry in 1901 and served in the Philippine Islands from 1902 to 1903. During World War I he served as chief of operations with the U.S. First Army in France. He became a colonel in 1918 and received wide military recognition for his handling of troops and equipment during the Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operations. From 1919 to 1924 he was aide to the U.S. commander in chief, General John Pershing, and during the next three years he saw service in China. Marshall taught in various army schools and organizations from 1927 to 1936, when he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.

In 1939 Marshall was appointed U.S. army chief of staff with the rank of general. He directed U.S. preparations for war over the next two years, and after the nation's entry into World War II in December 1941 he was chiefly responsible for the training, organization, and deployment of U.S. troops in all sectors of the fighting, and for the appointment of commanders in all major operations. As one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's principal advisers on strategy, Marshall participated in the Allied conferences at Casablanca, Québec, Tehrân (Teheran), Yalta, and Potsdam. In 1944 he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army. When he retired in 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed him special representative, with the rank of ambassador, to China. He spent two years in China attempting to mediate the differences between the Chinese Communist and Nationalist leaders, but was unsuccessful. In 1947 Marshall succeeded James Francis Byrnes as U.S. secretary of state and initiated the so-called Marshall Plan, by which the U.S. provided economic assistance to strengthen anti-Communist elements in the war-torn countries of Western Europe. Marshall was secretary of defense in 1950-51. He won the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to European recovery. Marshall died in Washington, D.C., on October 16, 1959.

"Marshall, George Catlett." Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001. © 1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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