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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 05, 1950

The UK recognizes the People’s Republic of China, and in response the Republic of China (Taiwan) cuts diplomatic ties with the UK.

January 12, 1950

On January 12, 1950 Secretary of State Dean Acheson in a speech to the National Press Club defined America’s defensive perimeter in Asia without including Korea. Shortly thereafter on January 19, the Congress rejected a $60 million aid bill for South Korea.

Key documents


February 15, 1950

The USSR and China sign a mutual defense pact, signalling the strong ties between the two communist nations. This strong relationship would begin to falter in coming years, however.

March 11, 1950

Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek officially moves capital to Taipei, Taiwan, which sets up long-term stand-off with People’s Republic of China.

April 14, 1950

US National Security Council issues NSC-68, a top secret policy paper arguing for the adoption of containment as the cornerstone of United States foreign policy. It would dictate US policy for the next twenty years.

Key documents

May 09, 1950

Robert Schuman declares goal of United Europe, marking start of creation of the European Community. This event became known as the "Schuman Declaration"

Key documents

June 25, 1950

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At approximately 4 a.m. on a rainy Sunday morning Democratic People's Republic of Korea Army (North Korea) artillery and mortars open fire on Republic of Korea (South Korea) Army positions south of the 38th Parallel. At 11 a.m. North Korea announced a formal declaration of war. North Korea claimed ROK forces on the Ongjin Peninsula attacked North Korea in the Haeju area (west) and their declaration of war was in response to this attack. This claim was bogus.

Key documents

June 30, 1950

Gen. MacArthur receives permission to employ US ground support forces and to carry the war into North Korea and the waters offshore but to stay well clear of the Manchurian and Soviet borders. Later in the day he receives permission to deploy one (1) Regimental Combat Team (RCT) to Korea to establish a defense line in Pusan area. A few hours after this the order was expanded to 2 combat divisions and with permission to employ these forces against North Korean forces in the Suwon area.

July 07, 1950

The United Nations issued Resolution 84, which created a United Nations Command which would be led by General Douglas MacArthur.

September 11, 1950

Truman approved National Security Council (NSC) Report 81/1. The report endorsed plans for UN forces to occupy all of North Korea so they could eventually be reunited.

September 15, 1950

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At 6:33 a.m., following an intense air, rocket and naval gunfire bombardment, landing craft carrying the first wave of Marines from the 3rd Battalion Landing Team, 5th Marine Regiment, reached "Green Beach," located on the north arm of Wolmi-do. It was the first amphibious assault by American forces since Okinawa in 1945. A half hour or so after the initial landing a group of Marines raised the American flag on the peak of the island although scattered fighting continued for several more hours.

September 21, 1950

Liberation of Seoul (1st return) 21-30 Sept 1950.

October 01, 1950

October 15, 1950

President Truman and General Douglas MacArthur met on October 15 on Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. Truman met with MacArthur to voice his concerns over the possibility of China entering the war. MacArthur reassured Truman that he did not think the China would enter the war, and he also said he expected the war to be over by Thanksgiving, and that national elections might even be held in January of 1951.

October 19, 1950

UN forces moved into and captured the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on October 19th. The capture of the city came as UN forces under the command of Douglas MacArthur have pushed North Korean forces steadily back almost to the Yalu River.

November 01, 1950

The intervention of Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) against US X Corps in northeast North Korea was neither as massive nor as successful as its offensive against EUSA. The most intense combat in the X Corps sector occurred in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir. There, following the ROK 3d Division's unsuccessful attempt to clear the area of the CCF, the US.1st Marine Division waged a stubborn six-day battle from Nov. 2 to Nov. 7. The Marines dislodged the CCF and dug in.

November 27, 1950

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Battle of the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir (Nov. 27 - Dec. 9). The encircled 1st Marine Division fights its way southward from the Chosin Reservoir to the port city of Hungnam.

November 30, 1950

The 1st Marine Division begins its famous fighting withdrawal from Chosin Reservoir. The Fifth and Seventh Marine Regiments begin fighting their way to the First Marine Division command post at Hagari. They finally make it Dec. 4 after fighting their way in subfreezing temperatures. They airlift more than 4,300 casualties out of Hagari, and receive 537 replacements by air. Most of their casualties are frostbite victims.

December 23, 1950

Gen. Walton H. Walker, commander of Eighth Army, is killed in a vehicle accident. The jeep the general was riding in smashed into a truck that pulled out of a side road while the General's jeep was trying pass a northbound convoy. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Army deputy chief of staff, is named to take over Eighth Army. He has been the point man on Korea for Army Chief of Staff Gen. J. Lawton Collins, and has been involved in mobilizing the Army for Korea.

December 24, 1950

Hungnam Operation is complete— The 3d Infantry Division sails for Pusan from Hungnam, completing the evacuation of the port city. In all, ships evacuated 105,000 Americans and South Korean soldiers, 91,000 civilian refugees, 17,500 vehicles and about 350,000 tons of cargo. Aircraft have flown out about 3,600 men, along with 196 vehicles and 1,300 tons of supplies.