32¢ Marshall Plan
Issue Date: June 4, 1997
City: Cambridge, MA
Printed By: Stevens Security Press for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
By the time World War II ended in 1945, much of Europe lay in ruins. Millions of refugees wandered through devastated battle areas. Disease and famine had spread rapidly. Confusion, disorder, and economic chaos had left many of these war-torn nations vulnerable to certain Communist take-over.
Realizing the political and economic stability of these nations was critical to future world peace, Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlined a four-year plan for economic assistance and recovery. The plan called for the U.S. and other allied nations to strengthen Europe through a program of mutual aid assisted by grants from the U.S. Known as the Marshall Plan, it not only helped define this century and assured the peace we enjoy today, but its success also paved the way for additional foreign aid programs, such as NATO. Today nearly every country has received U.S. aid at one time or another.
Chief of Staff of the Army during World War II, Marshall played a vital role in the Allied victory. He later went on to serve as Secretary of State (1947-49) and Secretary of Defense (1950-51). In 1953 Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in developing the Marshall Plan. He is the only professional soldier to have received this distinguished award.