In 1947, Princeton was full of vim and vigor. The nation was at peace, the University was completing the celebration of its 200th birthday, and a record turnout of nearly 4,000 alumni, family members, and students came to the Feb. 22 Alumni Day festivities at Baker Rink.
But the day’s keynote speaker, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, warned that the rest of the world had not bounced back from the war as quickly as the United States:
“… In Europe and Asia fear and famine still prevail. Power relationships are in a state of flux. Order has yet to be brought out of confusion. Peace has yet to be secured. And how this is accomplished will depend very much on the American people.
“Most of the other countries of the world find themselves exhausted economically, financially, and physically. If the world is to get on its feet, if the productive facilities of the world are to be restored, if the democratic processes in many countries are to resume their functioning, a strong lead and definite assistance from the United States will be necessary.”