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Truman-MacArthur controversy

A dispute between President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur in 1951, during the Korean War. MacArthur, who commanded the troops of the United Nations, wanted to use American air power to attack the People's Republic of China. Truman refused, fearing that an American attack on China would bring the Soviet Union into the war. When MacArthur criticized Truman's decision publicly, Truman declared MacArthur insubordinate and removed him as commanding general. MacArthur returned to the United States, received a hero's welcome, and told Congress, “Old soldiers never die; they only fade away.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.