Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu
February 1, 1950 (Wednesday)
- U.S. President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 10104, adding another level of nondisclosure to United States government information. The first three levels ("restricted", "confidential" and "secret") were kept, but an even higher classification — "top secret" — was used for the first time.
- The United States Senate voted 64-27 in favor of a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would change the method of selecting the Electoral College. Under the proposal, which received the required 2/3rds majority, a state's electoral votes would be divided in proportion to the percentage of the popular vote that a presidential candidate received, rather than the winner in an individual receiving all of the electoral votes in that state. The "Lodge-Gossett" bill failed a few months later to get approval in the U.S. House of Representatives.
February 2, 1950 (Thursday)
- The French Assembly approved the Saigon Convention, granting sovereignty and promising eventual independence to the State of Vietnam, under the leadership of former Emperor Bao Dai.
- The game show What's My Line? began a 17-year run on the CBS television network, and would continue until September 3, 1967.
- Died: Constantin Carathéodory, 74, Greek mathematician
February 3, 1950 (Friday)
- Nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs was arrested by agents of Scotland Yard and charged with having provided American atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union.
- Morgan Fairchild, American actress, as Patsy Ann McClenny in Dallas
- Zaynab Alkali, Nigerian novelist, in Biu
- Sir Lionel Cripps, 86, Rhodesian politician and the first Speaker of Rhodesia's colonial legislative assembly
- Sid Field, 45, British comedian
- Émile Borel, 85, French mathematician
February 4, 1950 (Saturday)
- U.S. Army Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves testified in a closed hearing before a joint congressional committee in Washington that, as a result of the secrets that Dr. Klaus Fuchs had provided to the U.S.S.R., the Soviet Union had not only begun development of an atomic bomb arsenal, but that the U.S. was in a race against the Soviets on the development of the hydrogen bomb.
- Died: Montagu Collet Norman, 78, British financier, Governor of the Bank of England 1920-1944, nicknamed "The Sphinx of Threadneedle Street".
February 5, 1950 (Sunday)
- The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China signed a treaty in Moscow, for the return of the Port Arthur naval base territory to Chinese control. Located in Manchuria, Port Arthur had been under Russian control until 1905, when it was captured by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War and renamed Ryojun. The U.S.S.R. recaptured the port in 1945 during World War II, and would finally be turned over to China in 1955.
- Totocalcio the football pool for betting on soccer football matches in Italy, had its first big winner, when a miner from Sardinia, Giovanni Mannu, won 77,000,000 Italian lire for predicted all 12 of that weekend's matches correctly. The amount, worth $123,000 American at the time, would be equivalent to $1.1 million (or €850,000) in 2010.
- Born: Kate Braverman, American novelist, in Philadelphia
February 6, 1950 (Monday)
- The Air Force of the Republic of China, flying from the island of Taiwan made a successful bombing raid on the Communist Chinese mainland, striking the People's Republic's largest city, Shanghai; the 17 aircraft, including two B-29 bombers, targeted the power plants of Shanghai's electrical power plants, shutting down the electricity in 90% of the city. According to the PRC, 500 people were killed, 600 were injured and 50,000 were left homeless by the raid.
- Born: Natalie Cole, American singer, in Los Angeles (d. 2015)
- Died: Georges Imbert, 65, German chemist
February 7, 1950 (Tuesday)
- The United States gave diplomatic recognition to the newly established French-supported governments in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with the aim to help "the establishment of stable, non-Communist governments in areas adjacent to Communist China".
- Died: D. K. Broster, 72, British historical novelist
February 8, 1950 (Wednesday)
- The credit card was used for the first time, after loan company executive Frank X. McNamara and lawyer Ralph E. Schneider persuaded 14 New York City restaurants to accept the Diners Club card rather than cash. The 200 Diners Club members who had cards would be billed each month by the Club, which would pay the participating restaurants for the debt incurred. Journalist Matty Simmons accompanied McNamara and Schneider to what is called, in credit card histories, "The First Supper" (actually, lunch) at Major's Cabin Grill, adjacent to the Empire State Building. At the end of the mail, McNamara handed the waiter a piece of cardboard, Diners Club card #1,000 and charged the meal; Schneider carried #1,001 and Simmons #1,002.
- In East Germany, the Ministerium fur Staatssicherhetsdienst, a secret police organization more commonly known as the "Stasi" rather than the MfS, was established. For nearly 40 years, the Stasi would spy, and maintain files, on every resident of the German Democratic Republic.
February 9, 1950 (Thursday)
- In a speech to the Ohio County Republican Women's Club at the McClure Hotel in Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy opened the era of "McCarthyism" as he told listeners that Communists had infiltrated the U.S. State Department. Underscoring his point, McCarthy held up a piece of paper and said, "While I cannot take the time to name all of the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205- a list of names that were known to the Secretary of State, and who, nevertheless, are still working and shaping the policy in the State Department." The speech had been written by Ed Nellor of the Washington Times-Herald, whom McCarthy had approached to compose a short talk. Nellor had a list, obtained from Congressional staffer Robert Lee, of 57 State Department employees who were still being investigated by the House Appropriations Committee as possible security risks.
- Element 98 was created for the first time by a team of physicists at the University of California at Berkeley. Glenn T. Seaborg, Albert Ghiorso, Stanley G. Thompson and Kenneth Street, Jr., having named Element 97 berkelium, gave the name californium to the new element.
February 10, 1950 (Friday)
- The Maudheim Station was established, by the Norwegian–British–Swedish Antarctic Expedition, on a floating thick ice shelf at Queen Maud Land.
- The CIA sent a report to U.S. President Truman that concluded that the Soviet Union would have a stockpile of 100 atomic bombs by the end of 1953, and 200 by the end of 1955. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had estimated that the Soviets would have as many as 20 A-bombs by the end of the year, and between 70 and 135 by mid-1953.
- Mark Spitz, American Olympic swimmer, 7 time gold medalist in 1972, 2 in 1968, in Modesto, California
- Luis Donaldo Colosio, Mexican presidential nominee, in Magdalena de Kino (assassinated in 1994)
February 11, 1950 (Saturday)
- Author Kurt Vonnegut was published for the first time, as his story "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" appeared in Collier's magazine.
- Died: Kiki Cuyler, 51, American MLB baseball player and Hall of Fame enshrinee
February 12, 1950 (Sunday)
- The European Broadcasting Union was founded at a conference in the English coastal resort of Torquay, by representatives of 23 Western European broadcasting stations. In 1993, the EBU would incorporate OIRT, the International Radio and Television Organization
- Michael Ironside, Canadian actor, in Toronto
- Steve Hackett, British songwriter and guitarist, former member of rock group Genesis, in the City of Westminster
February 13, 1950 (Monday)
- A U.S. Air Force B-36 bomber with a nuclear weapon crashed off of Canada's Pacific coast near Vancouver. According to reports declassified and released in 1977, the Mark 4 nuclear bomb casing contained "no functional nuclear explosive" and exploded on impact with the ocean. Twelve of the 17 crewmen were rescued by a fishing boat, while the others were missing and presumed dead.
- Jim Thorpe was voted "the greatest male athlete of the half century" in a poll of American sportswriters and broadcasters by the Associated Press, named in first place by 252 of 393 voters, well ahead of Babe Ruth (86) and Jack Dempsey (67). The next day, Babe Didrikson Zaharias was voted the greatest female athlete of the half century by the panel, with 319 of 361 first place votes. Tennis star Helen Wills Moody was a distant second.
- Born: Peter Gabriel, British rock musician (Sledgehammer) and former member of rock group Genesis, in Chobham, Surrey
- Died: Rafael Sabatini, 74, Italian novelist
February 14, 1950 (Tuesday)
- The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the two largest Communist nations on Earth, signed a 30-year mutual defense treaty, pledging to come to each other's aid in the event either nation was attacked. The treaty also contained a provision that it would renew for an additional five years if not cancelled one year prior to its expiration.
February 15, 1950 (Wednesday)
- Walt Disney released his 12th animated film, Cinderella, with a premiere in Boston, followed on February 22 in other major cities. The very successful film marked a "profitable return to the fairy tale" for Disney after the losing money on Fantasia and Bambi.
- Sardi's, a restaurant in the Theater District of Manhattan, began the tradition of hosting opening-night parties for plays premiering on Broadway, starting with a celebration for the cast and crew following Come Back, Little Sheba.
- Come Back, Little Sheba made its debut on Broadway, as the first play for William Inge. Actors Shirley Booth and Sidney Blackmer would both win Tony Awards for their performances in the play, which ran for 190 performances, and Booth would win an Academy Award two years later when she reprised her role as "Lola" in the film version of the play.
- Born: Tsui Hark (Tsui Man-kong), Hong Kong film director, in Haifeng, China
February 16, 1950 (Thursday)
- Electoral reform was enacted by Turkey's Grand National Assembly, adopting for the first time the secret ballot, open counting of ballots, and oversight of the selection of election judges. In the next election three months later, the Republican People's Party would lose its majority in Parliament after 27 years.
- France requested American economic and military assistance to aid French efforts in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
- Roman Tam, renowned Hong Kong singer nicknamed "Godfather of Cantopop", in Guiping, China (d. 2002)
- Peter Hain, British cabinet minister, Leader of the House of Commons 2003 to 2005, in Nairobi, Kenya, British East Africa
- Charles "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy, 79, American cyclist who was the first person (in 1899) to ride a bicycle at more than 60 miles an hour
- S. Otis Bland, 67, U.S. Representative for Virginia since 1918
February 17, 1950 (Friday)
- In the worst railroad accident in the New York metropolitan area, 29 commuters were killed and 105 injured in the collision of two Long Island Railroad trains. At 10:38 pm, eastbound Train No. 192 ran through a red light signal and crashed head on into the westbound Train No. 175 at Rockville Centre, New York. Together, the two trains carried "about 1,000 passengers" and were ripped down the center of the cars.
- King Abdullah I of Jordan and Mossad Director Reuven Shiloah of Israel met at the King's winter palace at El Shuneh, where the King presented a seven-point treaty proposal.
- Mao Zedong, the leader of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China, returned home from the Soviet Union after a stay of two months. Mao had arrived in Moscow on December 16, 1949, and remained there for nine weeks.
- Died: "Judy", 12, pointer dog for the British ship HMS Grasshopper, credited with saving the lives of its crew during World War II
February 18, 1950 (Saturday)
- U.S. businessman Robert A. Vogeler, a telephone company executive in Hungary, pleaded guilty to charges of espionarge and told a Budapest court that he had tried to help atomic scientists escape from the Communist-controlled nation. Three days later, Voegeler, who had asked the court for mercy, was given a 15-year prison sentence. Vogeler would finally be released on April 27, 1951, after "concessions" were made by the United States, and would write a book about the experience, I Was Stalin's Prisoner.
- John Hughes, American film director, producer, and writer, in Lansing, Michigan (d. 2009)
- Cybill Shepherd, American film and TV actress, in Memphis, Tennessee
- Bebe Moore Campbell, American novelist, in Philadelphia
February 19, 1950 (Sunday)
- The United States broke diplomatic relations with Bulgaria in the first American withdrawal of representatives since World War II. The move followed Bulgaria's refusal to drop espionage charges against American foreign officer Donald R. Heath. The 12 members of the Bulgarian mission in Washington were ordered to leave, and the 38 American diplomats in Sofia were directed to leave as soon as possible.
- The demotion of Soviet Communist Party Politburo member Andrey Andreyevich Andreyev began when an unsigned editorial appeared in the official Party newspaper, Pravda. Entitled "Against Distortions in the Organization of the Kolkhoz", the article criticized Andreyev for his attempt to change the format of collective farming by advocating smaller groups of laborers ("links") instead of the larger "brigades", making him the scapegoat for a policy that had been in place since 1939.
February 20, 1950 (Monday)
- U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy elaborated on his charges of Communism in the U.S. State Department, giving a five-hour speech on the floor of the Senate in Washington, D.C. In the speech read into the Congressional Record, McCarthy revised his charge of 205 or 57 Communists in the State Department, to 81.
- Born: Tony Wilson, English music producer, in Salford, Greater Manchester (d. 2007)
- Died: Sarat Chandra Bose, 60, Indian independence fighter
February 21, 1950 (Tuesday)
- The first International Pancake Race was staged between competitors at Olney, Buckinghamshire (which had started the tradition in 1445) in England, and in Liberal, Kansas, in the United States. The President of the Jaycees service club in Liberal had read about the race and had written to the vicar of St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church in Olney, with the housewives in both towns trying to make the best time in the race. The two towns have competed on every Shrove Tuesday since then.
- WOI-TV began broadcasting from studios at Iowa State University in Ames, becoming the first regular broadcaster of educational television. As the first TV station to cover most of Iowa, WOI also carried some programming from commercial networks; the first fully noncommercial educational TV station would be KUHT of the University of Houston, which would sign on May 25, 1953.
February 22, 1950 (Wednesday)
- Egypt and Israel signed a General Armistice Agreement at Auja al-Hafir, a town on the border between the two nations. The Agreement defined the boundaries of the Gaza Strip as a neutral zone between the Muslim and Jewish countries, which had fought a war less than two years earlier.
- The National Intercollegiate Recreational Sports Association was created by agreement of representatives from eleven historically black colleges (Albany State College, Arkansas A&M College, Bethune-Cookman College, Dillard University, North Carolina College, Southern University, Texas Southern University, Tillotson College, Tuskegee Institute, Wiley College, and Xavier University).
- Julius Erving, American pro basketball player nicknamed "Dr. J" as a star in the ABA and the NBA, in Roosevelt, New York
- Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan 2011-2012, in Amman
- Julie Walters, English stage actress, in Smethwick
- Miou-Miou (Sylvette Herry), French actress, in Paris
February 23, 1950 (Thursday)
- In elections for the United Kingdom's House of Commons, the Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Clement Attlee, retained its majority despite losing 78 seats. Labour went from having 393 of the 617 seats to a slim majority of 315 of 617. Winston Churchill's Conservative Party increased its share from 197 to 282. Attlee was able to form a new government and continue as Prime Minister.
- Asteroid 1950 DA was first discovered by astronomers only five million miles from Earth, then tracked for 17 days as the distance increased. On December 31, 2000, the last day of the 20th Century, it would be seen again and measured as 0.7 miles in diameter. The trajectory of 1950 DA was calculated by NASA's Near Earth Object Program from the two appearances, and the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on March 16, 2880, with a chance of 1 in 300 of a collision, the highest probability so far noted of any possible impact.
February 24, 1950 (Friday)
- The Regents of the University of California voted 12-6 to require all employees of the university system to sign a loyalty oath that included a statement specifically disavowing support of Communism, and to dismiss, by June 30, any faculty member or other employee who refused to agree. The 31 professors who were dismissed would bring suit, and the oath would be overturned by the California Supreme Court on October 17, 1952, in the case of Tolman v. Underhill.
- China's Communist government issued the "Circular on Strict Prohibition of Opium and Drug Taking", outlawing the manufacture, transportation, trafficking and use of narcotics, as well as cigarettes. Users were required to register with the local authorities and to give up their addictions with a specified time, or face punishment. The punishment of drug dealers was, at first, lenient.
- Construction began on the "Beijing City Local Qinghe State Farm", promoted as a "model labor camp" that would house 5,000 inmates.
- Representatives of Israel and Jordan initialed a five-year peace treaty that provided for joint control of Jerusalem and commerce between the two nations, but the pact was not approved by either side.
February 25, 1950 (Saturday)
- NBC premiered a 90-minute comedy variety show that was telecast live every Saturday night, with a different guest host each week and a regular cast of comedians. The program, originally called Saturday Night Revue was soon called Your Show of Shows.
- The final issue of Great Britain's The Strand Magazine reached newsstands, after publishing monthly since 1894. The Strand had introduced the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the H.G. Wells' novel The First Men in the Moon.
- Neil Jordan, Irish film director, writer, and producer (The Crying Game), in Sligo
- Néstor Kirchner, 51st President of Argentina 2003-2007, in Río Gallegos (d. 2010)
- George Minot, 64, American physician, 1934 Nobel Prize laureate
- Nikolai Luzin, 66, Soviet mathematician
February 26, 1950 (Sunday)
- Hungarian-American nuclear physicist Leó Szilárd appeared with other atomic scientists on the NBC Radio program University of Chicago Round Table, and first described the cobalt bomb, whose radioactive cobalt-60 fallout cloud could spread across the world and destroy all life on Earth.
- Yunnan Province, the last Nationalist Chinese stronghold in "Mainland China", as Communist Chinese troops marched into the provincial capital, Kunming.
- Born: Helen Clark, 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008), in Hamilton
- Died: Harry Lauder, 79, Scottish entertainer
February 27, 1950 (Monday)
- An unidentified 8-year-old boy from the Letchworth Village institution near Otisville, New York, became the first test subject for the prototype of the oral polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Hilary Koprowski. After the boy showed no signs of side effects, Dr. Koprowski expanded the experiment to another 19 children.
February 28, 1950 (Tuesday)
- U.S. Undersecretary of State John Peurifoy testified to a Senate subcommittee that most of the 91 U.S. State Department employees who had been dismissed as security risks, weren't barred because of Communist leanings, but because they were homosexual. The result was a wave of investigations and dismissals of gays and lesbians from federal government employment.
- Morris Fidanque de Castro was appointed as the first native-born Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, after the assembly of the U.S. territory passed a resolution asking U.S. President Truman to select "one of their own" to fill a vacancy in the office.
- Died: Dai Wangshu, 44, Chinese poet
In February 1950, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Soviet Union signed a strategic alliance treaty in Moscow. Only eight months later, China entered the Korean War to "resist America and assist (North) Korea." How was the Sino-Soviet alliance made? Was the Sino-Soviet alliance related to the coming of the Korean War? What role did the Sino-Soviet alliance play in China's decision to enter the war? In what sense did China's entry into the Korean War, in turn, influence the foundation and future direction of the Sino-Soviet alliance?
These questions, certainly relevant to a deeper understanding of Communist China's foreign policy as well as the Cold War in Asia, have not been properly answered in the past largely (but not exclusively) because of the scarcity of Chinese source materials.
With the support of recently-released Chinese sources, this paper will try to shed some novel lights on (1) the making of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, (2) the Sino-Soviet connection with the outbreak of the Korean War, and (3) contacts between China and the Soviet Union during the days when the CCP leadership made the final decision to enter the Korean War.
Even more so than in the Army, the history of racial equality in the Marine Corps demonstrates the effect of the exigencies of war on the integration of the armed forces. The Truman order, the Fahy Committee, even the demands of civil rights leaders and the mandates of the draft law, all exerted pressure for reform and assured the presence of some black marines. But the Marine Corps was for years able to stave off the logical outcome of such pressures, and in the end it was the manpower demands of the Korean War that finally brought integration.
In the first place the Korean War caused a sudden and dramatic rise in the number of black marines: from 1,525 men, almost half of them stewards, in May 1949, to some 17,000 men, only 500 of them serving in separate stewards duty, in October 1953.1
Whereas the careful designation of a few segregated service units sufficed to handle the token black representation in 1949, no such organization was possible in 1952, when thousands of black marines on active duty constituted more than 5 percent of the total enlistment. The decision to integrate the new black marines throughout the corps was the natural outcome of the service's early experiences in Korea.
Ordered to field a full division, the corps out of necessity turned to the existing black service units, among others, for men to augment the peacetime strength of its combat units. These men were assigned to any unit in the Far East that needed them. As the need for more units and replacements grew during the war, newly enlisted black marines were more and more often pressed into integrated service both in the Far East and at home.
Most significantly, the war provided a rising generation of Marine Corps officers with a first combat experience with black marines. The competence of these Negroes and the general absence of racial tension during their integration destroyed long accepted beliefs to the contrary and opened the way for general integration. Although the corps continued to place special restrictions on the employment of Negroes and was still wrestling with the problem of black stewards well into the next decade, its basic policy of segregating marines by race ended with the cancellation of the last all-black unit designation in 1951.
Hastily embraced by the corps as a solution to a pressing manpower problem, integration was finally accepted as a permanent manpower policy.
This transformation seemed remote in 1949 in view of Commandant Clifton B. Cates's strong defense of segregation. At the time Cates made a careful distinction between allocating men to the services without regard to race, which he supported, and ordering integration of the services themselves .
"Changing national policy in this respect through the Armed Forces, " he declared, "is a dangerous path to pursue as it effects [sic] the ability of the Military Establishment to fulfill its mission. "2
Integration of the services had to follow, not precede integration of American society.
The commandant's views were spelled out in a series decisions announced by the corps in the wake of the Secretary of the Navy's call for integration of all elements of the Navy Department in 1949. On 18 November 1949 the corps' Acting Chief of Staff announce a new racial policy: individual black marines would be assigned in accordance with their specialties to vacancies "in any unit where their services can be effectively utilized," but segregated black units would be retained and new ones created when appropriate in the regular and reserve components of the corps. In the case of the reserve component, the decision on the acceptance of an applicant was vested in the unit commander. 3
On the same day the commandant made it clear that the policy was not to be interpreted too broadly. Priority for the assignment of individual black marines, Cates informed the commander of the Pacific Department, would be given to the support establishment and black officers would be assigned to black units only. 4
Further limiting the chances that black marines would be integrated, Cates approved the creation of four new black units. The Director of Personnel and the Marine Quartermaster had opposed this move on the grounds that the new units would require technical billets, particularly in the supply specialties, which would be nearly impossible to fill with available enlisted black marines. Either school standards would have to be lowered or white marines would have to be assigned to the units. Cates met this objection by agreeing with the Director of Plans and Policies that no prohibition existed against racial mixing in a unit during a period of on-the-job training. The Director of Personnel would decide when a unit was sufficiently trained and properly manned to be officially designated a black organization.[18-5]
Footnote 18-5: DP&P Study 119-49, 14 Nov 49, sub: Designation of Units for Assignment of Negro Marines, approved by CMC, 2 Dec 49.(Back)
The Director of Personnel would decide when a unit was sufficiently trained and properly manned to be officially designated a black organization.
In keeping with this arrangement, for example, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division reported in February 1950 that his black marines were sufficiently trained to assume complete operation of the depot platoon within the division's service command.
Cates then designated (p. 462) the platoon as a unit suitable for general duty black marines, which prompted the Coordinator of Enlisted Personnel to point out that current regulations stipulated "after a unit has been so designated, all white enlisted personnel will be withdrawn and reassigned."[18-6]
Memo, CG, 2nd Marine Div, for CMC, 18 Feb 50, sub: Assignment of Negro Enlisted Personnel;
Memo, CMC to CG, 2nd Marine Div, 28 Mar 50, sub: Designation of the Depot Platoon, Support Company, Second Combat Service Group, Service Command, for Assignment of Negro Enlisted Marines;
MC Routing Sheet, Enlisted Coordinator, Personnel Department, 27 Mar 50, same sub.(Back)
So what happened?
Nor were there any plans for the general integration of black reservists, although some Negroes were serving in formerly all-white units. The 9th Infantry Battalion, for instance, had a black lieutenant. As the assistant commandant, Maj. Gen. Oliver P. Smith, put it on 4 January 1950, black units would be formed "in any area where there is an expressed interest" provided that the black population was large enough to support it.[18-7]
7 Ltr, Smith to Franklin S. Williams, Asst Special Counsel, NAACP, 4 Jan 50, AO-I, MC files.
When the NAACP objected to the creation of another all-black reserve unit in New York City as being contrary to Defense Department policy, the Marine Corps justified it on the grounds that the choice of integrated or segregated units must be made by the local community "in accord with its cultural values."[18-8]
8 Ltr, Roy Wilkins to SecDef, 27 Feb 50;
Memo, SecNav for SecDef, 17 Apr 50, sub
Activation of Negro Reserve units in the U.S. Marine Corps;both in SecDef 291.2. See also Ltr, Asst CMC to Franklin Williams, 7 Feb
Notwithstanding the Secretary of the Navy's integration order and assignment policies directed toward effective utilization, it appeared that the Marine Corps in early 1950 was determined to retain its system of racially segregated units indefinitely.
But the corps failed to reckon with the consequences of the war that broke out suddenly in Korea in June. Two factors connected with that conflict caused an abrupt change in Marine race policy. The first was the great influx of Negroes into the corps. Although the commandant insisted that race was not considered in recruitment, and in fact recruitment instructions since 1948; contained no reference to the race of applicants, few Negroes had joined the Marine Corps in the two years preceding the war.[18-9]
9 Ltr, CMC to Walter White, 2 Jul 51.
In its defense the corps pointed to its exceedingly small enlistment quotas during those years and its high enlistment standards, which together allowed recruiters to accept only a few men. The classification test average for all recruits enlisted in 1949 was 108, while the average for black enlistees during the same period was 94.7. New black recruits were almost exclusively enlisted for stewards duty.[18-10]
10 Memo, Div of Plans and Policies for Asst Dir of Public Info, 4 Jun 51, sub: Article in Pittsburgh Courier of 26 May 51.
Two months later, General Roberts reported that the Korean
Coast Guard’s requirements had been included among
KMAG recommendations for additional MDAP aid for Korea
for fiscal year 1950. In order to keep the program within
a ceiling of twenty million dollars, it had been necessary to
forego the aircraft requested by Ambassador Muccio in October
and have the Koreans purchase with their own foreign exchange
funds the hulls and main engines of three patrol craft
(for which the United States had borne repair and refitting
expenses) and one patrol craft complete. General Roberts also
noted that the condition of the Coast Guard was “a matter
of growing concern,” and asked that the additional advisors
requested by Mr. Muccio be sent without delay.
1949/12 - Mao arrived in Moscow for 2-month visit with Stalin, resulting in Feb. 1950 Sino-Soviet alliance; Stalin invited Ho Chi Minh to join Mao in Moscow in Feb. 1950: "Let's add to China's population of 475 million, the populations of India, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines."
In February 1950 all Korean units in the Chinese Manchurian Army assembled in Honan Province. They numbered about 12,000 men drawn from the CCF 138th, 140th, 141st, and 156th Divisions. Some of them had participated in the Chinese Communist advance from Manchuria to Peiping, and all were veteran troops.