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Today in history: A general's insubordination
In 1951, President Truman fired a popular general for his comments about the Korean War
General MacArthur signs the Japanese surrender document in 1945, on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.
General MacArthur signs the Japanese surrender document in 1945, on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. Keystone/Getty Images


April 11, 1951: President Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur for what Truman considered insubordinate comments about the Korean War. MacArthur wanted to intensify the fight against China (which entered the war in November 1950) and POTUS refused. MacArthur's firing was controversial. The general, a World War II hero who commanded Allied forces in the Pacific, and was later put in charge of the occupation of Japan, was very popular, and many Americans disagreed with the president's decision. But Truman, who disagreed with the general's recommendation, was incensed that MacArthur made a series of public remarks that contradicted administration policy.

Quote of the day

"It sure is hell to be president." — Harry Truman

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