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Douglas MacArthur

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ANNCR:

Now, the VOA Special English program PEOPLE IN AMERICA. TodayRich Kleinfeldt and Sarah Long tell about one of the most unusualand successful American military leaders, General Douglas MacArthur.

((THEME))

VOICE ONE:

General Douglas MacArthur was a most unusual man. He wasextremely intelligent and very demanding. He expected his orders tobe followed exactly. Yet he had problems all his life following theorders of those who were his commanders.

Douglas MacArthur was very intelligent and could remember thingsthat others would easily forget. He could design battle plans thatleft the enemy no choice other than surrender and defeat. His battleplans defeated the enemy and saved as many of his own men aspossible.

At other times, he would make simple mistakes that made himappear stupid. He often said things that showed he felt important.Many people made jokes about him. Some of his soldiers sang songsthat made fun of him. Others believed he was the best general everto serve in the United States military.

General Douglas MacArthur was extremely brave in battle, sometimes almost foolish. It often seemed as if he believed he could notbe killed. He won him every medal and honor the United States cangive a soldier. However, at the end of his life, he rejected war andwarned American political leaders to stay away from armed conflict.

(((MUSIC BRIDGE)))

VOICE TWO:

Douglas MacArthur was born to be a soldier. His father, ArthurMacArthur, was a hero of the American Civil War and continued toserve in the army after the war ended in Eighteen-Sixty-Five. Hebecame the top officer of the army in Nineteen-Oh-Six.

Douglas was born on an Army base near the southern city of LittleRock, Arkansas in January, Eighteen-Eighty. He grew up on army baseswhere his father served. He said the first sounds he could rememberas a child were those of the Army ... the sounds of horns, drums andsoldiers marching.

VOICE ONE:

There was never been any question about what Douglas MacArthurwould do with his life. He would join the army. He wanted to enterthe United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. TheAcademy is a university that trains officers for the United StatesArmy. School officials rejected him two times before he wasaccepted. He finished his four years at West Point as the beststudent in his class.

VOICE TWO:

Douglas MacArthur began his service in the Army by traveling toseveral Asian countries including Japan, and to the Philippines,then an American territory. He also served at several small bases inthe United States. He became a colonel when World War One began. Heled troops on very dangerous attacks against the enemy. He won manyhonors for his bravery and leadership. After that war, he served ashead of the West Point Military Academy. He became a general. Duringthe Nineteen-Thirties, President Herbert Hoover appointed him Chiefof Staff of the Army, one of the most important jobs in the Americanmilitary.

In Nineteen-Thirty-Five, General MacArthur was appointed militaryadvisor to the Philippines. He was to help the government build anarmy for defense purposes as the Philippines began planning forindependence. He had retired from the army. He was the chiefmilitary advisor to the Philippine military forces when the UnitedStates entered World War Two in December, Nineteen-Forty-One.

VOICE ONE:

Japanese aggression in the Pacific developed very quickly.Japanese troops began arriving in the Philippines on DecemberEleventh, Nineteen-Forty-One. The fighting was extremely fierce.

The Japanese were defeating the Philippine and American forces.General MacArthur had been recalled to active duty by PresidentFranklin Roosevelt. President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to leavethe Philippines to command American forces in the South Pacific.General MacArthur finally agreed to leave for Australia before thePhilippines surrendered to Japan. But he made a promise to thePhilippine people. He said, "I shall return."

VOICE TWO:

Military history experts continue to study General MacArthur'sdecisions during World War Two. He won battle after battle in theSouth Pacific area. Often, he would pass islands with strong enemyforces, cut off their supplies and leave them with no chance tofight. In Nineteen-Forty-Four, he returned to the Philippines ...with an army that defeated the Japanese.

VOICE ONE:

MacArthur was chosen to accept the Japanese surrender inSeptember, Nineteen-Forty-Five. He was appointed Supreme Commanderof the Allied Powers, the leader of the occupation forces that wouldrule Japan. As an American soldier, he had to follow the orders ofthe government in Washington. But in Japan, General MacArthur ruledlike a dictator.

VOICE TWO:

The Japanese expected severe punishment. They saw MacArthur as avery conservative ruler who would make Japan suffer.

MacArthur did charge some Japanese leaders with war crimes. Buthe did not try to punish the Japanese people.

General MacArthur told the Japanese they must change, bothpolitically and socially. He began with education. Before the war,female children in Japan received little if any education. MacArthursaid education would be for everyone, including girls and women.

He said women must have the right to vote in elections, and bepermitted to hold political office. He said Japanese women would nowhave the same legal rights as men. And he said that every person hadthe same legal protection under the law.

VOICE ONE:

General MacArthur told the Japanese people they were now free toform political parties. And he ended the idea of an officialgovernment religion. Religion would be a matter of individualchoice. He also said the Japanese government would no longer becontrolled by a few powerful people.

MacArthur told Japan it would now be ruled by a parliament thatwas freely elected by the people. He helped the people of Japanwrite a new constitution for a democratic form of government.

(((MUSIC BRIDGE)))

VOICE TWO:

On June Twenty-Fifth, Nineteen-Fifty, North Korean troops invadedSouth Korea. Within two days, the United States decided to sendarmed forces to aid South Korea.

Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander of the United Nationsforces in South Korea. As the weeks passed, the North Korean armyforced the South Korean Army and its allies to retreat to thesouthern city of Pusan.

Many military experts said South Korea was lost. GeneralMacArthur did not agree. He wanted to attack from the sea, deepbehind the enemy troops at the city of Inchon. MacArthur said theenemy would not be prepared. Most other military leaders believedthis would be extremely dangerous. American Marines did attackInchon September Fifteenth. It was a complete success. MacArthur hadbeen right.

VOICE ONE:

General MacArthur often disagreed with political leaders.President Truman warned him several times not to disagree withgovernment policy. General MacArthur continued to disagree and toldreporters when he did. He often gave orders that were not approvedby the president.

MacArthur called for a total victory in Korea. He wanted todefeat communism in East Asia. He wanted to bomb Chinese bases inManchuria and block Chinese ports. President Truman and his militaryadvisers were concerned World War Three would start.

In April, Nineteen-Fifty-One President Truman replaced MacArthuras head of the U.N. forces in Korea. Douglas MacArthur went home tothe United States. It was the first time he had been there in morethan fifteen years. He was honored as a returning hero. He wasinvited to speak before Congress. There was a huge parade to honorhim in New York City.

VOICE TWO:

General MacArthur retired again. Some political leaders wantedhim to compete for some political office, perhaps for president.Instead, he lived a quiet life with his wife and son. He died at theage of eighty-four on April fifth, Nineteen-Sixty-Four.

Today, many Americans have forgotten Douglas MacArthur. However,the people of the Philippines built a statue to honor him forkeeping his promise to return. And, many Japanese visitors go toGeneral MacArthur's burial place in Norfolk, Virginia to rememberwhat he did for Japan.

((THEME))

ANNCR:

This Special English program was written and produced by PaulThompson. Your narrators were Rich Kleinfeldt and Sarah Long. I'mShirley Griffith. Listen again next week for another PEOPLE INAMERICA program on the Voice of America.


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