The Conflict in Korea

From June 1950 to July 1953, the United States was engaged in conflict with North Korea and the Soviet Union in what would be known as the Korean War.

The U.S., as part of the United Nations’ forces, enacted an immediate military response to Soviet-backed North Korea’s invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950. For two months U.N. troops, led by United States general Douglas MacArthur, were forced to retreat from the border, establishing a stronghold in the southwestern portion of the peninsula.

Eventually the North Korean army was driven back across the 38th parallel—the dividing line between the two countries. For three years, U.S. troops defended South Korea’s independence and the world’s right to democracy.

On July 27, 1953, an armistice was reached. The Cold War positions adopted by the United States and Soviet Union as a result were drawn hard and fast along the tensely guarded 38th parallel.

Fighting half a world away, many Americans were disconnected from the conflict, but the effects of the Korean War were known all to well to the veterans and those who sacrificed their lives in the heat of battle. We commend all of the U.S. servicemen who answered the call of duty and fought for freedom.

In 1985, the U.S. Postal Service celebrated the brave veterans of the war with the Veterans of Korea stamps. As part of the Celebrate the Century series on the 1950s pane, a stamp honoring the Korean War was issued in 1999.

What sort of impact did the Korean War have on you and your family?

Singer Marian Anderson Lets Her Rich Contralto Soar at Lincoln Memorial

On this day in 1939 (Easter Sunday), Marian Anderson gave a historic and highly symbolic performance outdoors before 75,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial. She presented a varied repertoire, including “America,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and a group of spirituals. Her performance was broadcast on radio nationwide.

One of the greatest classically trained singers of the 20th century and an important figure in the struggle of black Americans for racial equality, Anderson opened doors for other black artists. In January 1955, she became the first black singer to appear on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera when she sang the role of the sorceress Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo in maschera.

Cultural Diary Page (click to order)

Nearing the twilight of her musical career, Anderson became more active in politics. She performed at an inaugural ceremony for President Eisenhower’s second term and for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. The U.S. Department of State made her a goodwill ambassador to Asia, and in 1958, she was appointed to the thirteenth session of the United Nations.

At the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, Anderson again sang at the Lincoln Memorial. The following December, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 2005, the U.S. Postal Service honored Anderson with the 28th stamp in the Black Heritage series.

A Global Celebration of Women

Today is International Women’s Day, observed around the globe as a day on which the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women past and present are celebrated. Since the first International Women’s Day event held in 1911, the world has taken this opportunity once a year to champion the rights of women and marvel at how far we’ve come.

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is Empower Rural Women—End Hunger and Poverty. Though great strides have been made in the name of women’s rights around the world, it’s important to remember the inequities that still exist.

In many countries, Women’s Day is a national holiday—men show their appreciation for their mothers, wives, sisters, and colleagues with flowers and gifts. The United Nations designated 1975 International Women’s Year as a way to unify the world’s efforts to advocate for women’s rights. It was during that year that March 8 was set as the official Women’s Day for all member states wishing to participate.

Today is about the celebration of women and the fight to insure safe, happy, rewarding futures for the next generations.