Monday, September 3, 2007


Labor Day 2007: Part V, Sunday

Statue of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia.

Statue of General George C. Marshall, United States Army, on the campus of the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia.

In addition to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, one of the Virginia Military Institute's (VMI) other famous figures was George C. Marshall, who graduated from the school in 1901. Marshall, related to the distinguished jurist and Supreme Court justice, John Marshall, had an equally distinguished career as a soldier and diplomat.

Following his graduation from VMI, Marshall entered the U.S. Army where he served in numerous overseas posts. He eventually served as aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing. In addition to service in the Philippines and during World War I, Marshall entered World War II as a brigadier general. Marshall was only the second general at the time to earn five-star status. It was he who assigned Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Europe.

After World War II, Harry Truman appointed Marshall Secretary of State. In 1947, Marshall gave a speech where he outlined a plan for rebuilding Europe. The Marshall Plan helped Europe rebuild and modernize rapidly after the war that had devastated the continent. He went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Marshall would go on to be president of the American Red Cross and would briefly serve as Secretary of Defense for President Truman. Marshall died in 1959 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetary.

Zip: 24450

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential (09/07)

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