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Memorandum Concerning the Organization of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation, Inc.

January 17, 1953

[Released January 17, 1953. Dated January 16, 1953]

Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of General Services

The Board of Visitors of the Virginia Military Institute has arranged for the organization of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation, Inc., as a non-profit Virginia corporation. The purpose of the Foundation will be to collect and receive papers and records relating to the life and public service of General Marshall, together with other historical objects and documents, and to provide a suitable building to house them at V.M.I. To assist in effectuating this, the General Assembly of Virginia has enacted legislation authorizing V.M.I. to deed land to the Foundation as a site for the building to be known as the George C. Marshall Research Center. This building will be a library and museum and will be open to the public. The Foundation project is to be financed by funds raised from private sources.

The establishment of the Foundation has been a matter of great interest to me, and I have consulted with V.M.I. officials about it over a period of more than a year. In connection with these conferences, I agreed that the United States Government would in so far as practicable make available to the Foundation documentary material relating to the activities of General Marshall as a soldier, as Secretary of State, and as Secretary of Defense. A committee composed of representatives of the White House, the Departments of State and Defense and the National Archives, has given considerable study to the procedures by which the Government can assist the Foundation in obtaining the documentary material that it will want.

I am now advised that V.M.I. officials are ready to complete the actual incorporation of the Foundation, and that they are also prepared to employ the necessary staff to begin the handling and processing of documentary material relating to the career of General Marshall. The V.M.I. library is equipped to receive and maintain such material on a temporary basis pending construction of the Research Center building.

Subject to any applicable provisions of law, I therefore direct the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the National Archives to cooperate with V.M.I. and the Foundation in procuring this documentary material, and to provide them with access to such records as they wish which can properly be made available to public inspection.

Under the supervision of the Archivist of the United States, I am hopeful that reproductions of official records relating to the career of General Marshall can be provided the Foundation.

Many of the pertinent Government records will remain classified or will be withheld from the public for a number of years. As rapidly as they can be made public, however, I hope they will be made available to the Foundation.

I am requesting each of you to bring this memorandum to the attention of your successors in office as a matter of urgency. I feel confident that they will wish to support the efforts that have been commenced to provide suitable recognition to one of the greatest Americans of our age.


Harry S Truman, Memorandum Concerning the Organization of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation, Inc. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231408

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