MacArthur Podcast Season One

Episode One: MacArthur and the Bonus March

(July 2010)

This month, we take a look at the Bonus March of 1932 and MacArthur’s actions and decision making during this controversial event.  In popular culture, MacArthur has played the role of villain of the Bonus March – he did after all help to evict homeless and jobless World War I veterans from Washington, D.C. where they had been pressing Congress for benefits.  But is there more to the story?   (24:33)

Selected Documents:

Excerpt, C.B. Marshall Oral History  (reproduced with permission of the Harry S. Truman Library)

Article on John T. Pace Testimony
Episode 1 MacArthur and the Bonus March
Episode Two: MacArthur and the Atomic Bomb

(August 2010)

On the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we take a look at MacArthur and the atomic bomb – how and when he found out about the bomb, what he knew about the potential targets, and how he reacted to its use on both cities.  As with many things about MacArthur, his thoughts on the bomb were complex.   (22:11)

Selected Documents:

Operation Olympic Casualty Estimate

MacArthur Letter to Professor Carl L. Shermer
Episode 2: MacArthur and the Atomic Bomb
Episode Three: Selling Inchon: MacArthur and the 5000 to 1 Gamble

(September 2010)

The amphibious invasion at Inchon in September of 1950 was General MacArthur’s greatest battlefield triumph.  It completely surprised the North Korean forces and altered the momentum of the Korean War.  Although the invasion was ultimately successful, in the beginning there was little support for it and many were convinced that Inchon would be a disaster.  This month, we take a look at how MacArthur ultimately packaged and sold the idea of landing at Inchon to its critics.   (18:58)

Selected Documents:

The Joint Chiefs to MacArthur, Sept. 7, 1950

MacArthur to the Joint Chiefs, Sept. 8, 1950
Episode 3: Selling Inchon: MacArthur and the 5000 to 1 Gamble
Episode Four: The Meeting at Wake Island

(October 2010)

On October 15, 1950, President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur met on Wake Island.  Five and a half years into Truman’s presidency, it was their first meeting.  Given the extreme differences that ultimately emerged between both men, many look to the meeting at Wake Island for hints of the drama to come.  This month’s podcast will address why the meeting took place and what actually happened there.   (19:57)

Selected Documents:

Secretary of Defense Marshall Informing MacArthur of the Meeting, Oct. 10, 1950 

Instructions for Explaining the Meeting to the Press, Oct. 11, 1950
Episode Four: The Meeting at Wake Island
Episode Five: Arthur MacArthur Jr. and the Civil War

(November 2010)

Decades before Douglas MacArthur became a household name during World War II and the Korean War, his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr. achieved almost equal military fame during the Civil War. Although he was initially ridiculed by the men of his command at the beginning of his military career in 1862, by the time the Civil War ended he was a recognized war hero and a 20 year old Colonel, affectionately known as the “Boy Colonel.” Arthur MacArthur’s Civil War service would have a major impact on his son Douglas, who was driven throughout his own career to emulate if not surpass his father’s success.   (20:56)

Selected Documents:

Arthur MacArthur’s Brevet Promotions

Saturday Evening Post Article on Arthur MacArthur
Episode 5 Arthur MacArthur Jr. and the Civil War
Episode Six: Nine Hours To Disaster - MacArthur’s Pearl Harbor

(December 2010)

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against the United States of America at Pearl Harbor. While December 7th is a date etched in the minds of many Americans, few are aware that a similar attack on American forces took place in the Philippines on December 8, 1941. At the time, General MacArthur was commander of US forces in the Philippines. This month we are going to examine MacArthur’s response to the attacks – something that has bewildered scholars for decades.   (19:36)

Selected Documents:

Warning of Potential Japanese Surprise Attack, Nov. 24, 1941

MacArthur’s Report to the War Department, Dec. 8, 1941
Episode 6: Nine Hours To Disaster - MacArthur’s Pearl Harbor