In this overview of the key events of 1948, we take a closer look at the unlikely presidency of Harry S Truman. Presidential challengers Republican Thomas Dewey, Progressive Henry Wallace, & Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond collectively wanted to know, "do we defeat Truman?" in the '48 presidential election. Meanwhile, Americans successfully faced down the most serious challenge of the Cold War so far, overcoming a Soviet blockade of Western forces with a massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin. Congress passes the Selective Service Act, requiring all American males to register for a potential military draft. The British departure from Palestine meant that the foundation of the nation of Israel would be a matter of long-term geopolitical importance & short-term electoral strategy for the US administration. President Truman issued an executive order desegregating the American military. Plus, ailing writer George Orwell completed his final dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four
, offering a lasting warning to the world about the dangers of totalitarian government.
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