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Thursday, April 12, 2001

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dated April 12, 1951: Gen. MacArthur dismissed

The U.S. President, Mr. Truman, dismissed Gen. MacArthur from his post as Supreme Commander of the U.N. forces in Korea and all other Commands in the Far East. The White House released with the President's statement a memorandum showing the differences between Gen. MacArthur's statements and actions and the Presidential policy. The President's announcement was made at a special press conference in New York on April 11 to which correspondents were summoned early. The time of 1 a.m. (local time) was fixed to coincide as nearly as possible with the delivery to Gen. MacArthur at Tokyo of an order relieving him of all his commands ``effective at once.''

Mr. Truman named Gen. Ridgway as Gen. MacArthur's successor. Lt. Gen. James A. Van Fleet was appointed to succeed Gen. Ridgway as Commander of the Eigth Army. President Truman said: ``Military commanders must be governed by the policies and directives of the Government and in time of crisis this consideration is particularly compelling.'' The following was the text of Mr. Truman's order to Gen. MacArthur relieving him of his commands: ``Order to Gen. MacArthur from the President: I deeply regret it becomes my duty as President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States military forces to replace you as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Commander-in-Chief United Nations Command, Commanding Generals, U.S. Army, Far East. You will turn over your commands effective at once to Lieutenant Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway. You are authorised to have issued such orders as are necessary to complete desired travel to such place as you select...'' Gen. MacArthur was expected to return to the United States on whose continental soil he had not set foot since 1937.

Manilal Gandhi's fast

``My father is very tired and very weak,'' said Ms. Sita Gandhi, 22-year-old daughter of Mr. Manilal Gandhi, when she was asked whether he could take a telephone call in Durban, on April 10. Mr. Gandhi, second son of Mahatma Gandhi, was in the fifth day of his proposed 14-day fast to ``purify'' himself before he deliberately contravened one of the Government's Apartheid laws as a protest against the Government's racial policy. He was fasting at his home in Phoenix, near Durban, where his father founded a settlement many years ago.

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