Truman fires MacArthur.

On this day, April 11, in 1951, President Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his duties as the U.S. commander of the Korean War. MacArthur had become famous as a war hero in World War II, and heading the Allied Pacific Command, and he presided at the signing of the peace treaties between the U.S. and Japan. He also oversaw the occupation of the defeated enemy.

Truman’s decision did not go over well. Public opinion of MacArthur was highly favorable. Truman’s approval rating sank when he fired the general. MacArthur returned to a hero’s welcome and addressed a joint session of Congress.


(A) Describe an action that Congress can take if it disagrees with the president’s actions.

(B) In the context of this scenario. explain how the action in Part A would affect the president’s action above.

(C) Explain the dynamic between the president and Congress in war making authority can lead to policy conflict. 



Here’s some background and a full lesson presented by the Harry Truman Library.