Profile America -- Sunday, April 3rd. One of the major programs that helped to shape history after World War II was signed into law on this date in 1948. The European Recovery Program -- far better known as the Marshall Plan, was suggested a year earlier by Secretary of State George Marshall. It had become clear that the economies of the nations battered by the war were not recovering on their own, and millions of people were not only jobless, but were also going hungry. The Marshall Plan lasted for four years, distributing some 130 billion in today's dollars, and helped many nations on the road to recovery. Recently, the U.S. has given nearly $34 billion a year in economic aid and some $15.5 billion in military aid to countries around the world. Profile America is in its 14th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 204
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 1298
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).