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"succeeding generations must not be allowed to forget his achievements or his example," wrote Sir Winston Churchill as he pondered the long career of a man recognized across the world as one of the truly great figures of our time, one of the towering figures of contemporary history. "There are few men whose qualities of mind and character have so impressed me as those of General George C. Marshall. He was a great American, but he was far more than that. In war he was as wise and understanding in counsel as he was resolute in action. In peace he was the architect who planned the restoration of our battered European economy and, at the same time, laboured tirelessly to establish a system of Western defense. He always fought victoriously against defeatism, discouragement and disillusion."

This wide recognition of the rare quality of true greatness in General of the Army George Catlett Marshall is the inspiration behind the establishment of the Marshall Memorial Library and Museum in Lexington, Virginia, near the Virginia Military Institute from which he graduated in 1901. By mid-1964 this modest yet impressive structure, for which funds are being sought by the George C. Marshall Research Foundation, will rise as an enduring tribute to the monumental contribution General Marshall made to the welfare of his nation and the free world. and as a gift from this generation to future Americans who may draw strength and inspiration from contemplation of General Marshall's career.

The project to profit a fitting and useful memorial to General Marshall in the lovely town of Lexington already has been received with universal approval. Only recently, President Kennedy wrote that the enterprise "merits the support of all American," thus voicing sentiments already expressed by Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. From across the country, since the Foundation was first organized, has come an outpouring of editorial comment, letters from persons in all walks of life offering their full support-and cash contributions ranging from small amounts to many thousands of dollars. The response of July of 1962, a bare six months after the first public appeal for funds, was such as to encourage the Foundation to proceed with plans for construction of the building

The Memorial Library and Museum itself will constitute a visible and fitting tribute to a man who justly earned in his lifetime the enduring admiration and gratitude of his fellow Americans. But even without the building itself, the Marshall Foundation has built an impressive record of achievement in the half-dozen years of its active existence. Few people not intimately acquainted with its affairs realize, for instance, that its total receipts now exceed $750,000 and has spent more than $200,000 on historical research, compilation of records and data, tape recordings, interviews, books, films, and a great deal of additional material which will someday make the Memorial Library and Museum one of the nation's great historical archives. Further, gifts received thus far have made possible the start on a three-volume official biography of General Marshall which will itself by an important contribution to the record of the United States before, during, and after World War II. The first volume is scheduled for publication early in 1963. 

General Marshall's innate modesty was well-known; yet his recognition of the value of such a historical project was such that when he was approached he agreed to give to the Foundation his personal papers and records, numbering many thousands of documents, to form the core of the collection. The value of General Marshall's gift cannot be estimated in dollars and cents, but it may be recalled that during his lifetime he steadfastly refused offers to write his memoirs that would have made him a wealthy man. 

When the Memorial Library and Museum is completed, it will serve as the repository not only of many items of public interest associated with General Marshall during this many-sided lifetime, but also of the additional priceless collection of historical material. 

Thus, the Memorial Library and Museum in time will be not only a memorial to a great American but a center of scholarly activities where scholars may ponder and profit from lessons to be learned from the history of our times. In the meantime, work of collecting and research is continuing under the direction of Dr. Forrest C. Pogue, a distinguished historian who is also engaged under Foundation auspices in writing the three-volume biography. 

Some idea of the Foundation's collection may be gained from the following:

It possesses enough personal possessions and memorabilia, the gift of General and Mrs. Marshall, to fill one or two large exhibit rooms. 

All of General Marshall's public papers estimated to number over 200,000 and filling fifty-eight cases. 

Material from official files, released by order of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, recorded on 175 reels of microfilm on 30,000 copied pages, and in detailed notes. 

Material presented by or offered for copying by hundreds of friends of General Marshall. 

Many tape-recorded interviews with the General conducted by the Foundation. 

NBC's tape-recorded program of General Marshall's life, "Biography in Sound", with the complete recording of 28 interviews on which it was based. 

Over 2,000 books.

Thousands of photographs, cartoons, clippings, newspapers, microfilms, and other source materials. 

The full effect of the career of General of the Army George Catlett Marshall will perhaps not be appreciated for generations. But a bare recital of his achievements and honors would be enough to show that perhaps no other American since the founding of the Republic gave of himself so selflessly and with such complete devotion to the ideals of duty and love of country. It is sufficient to say here that his entire adult lifetime was spent in the public service of his fellow Americans, despite the many opportunities he had for personal advancement and that he is regarded across the free world as the "architect of victory" in World War II. 

Construction of the Memorial Library and Museum to house this impressive collection, of course, imposes on the Foundation in the additional duty of raising a sufficient fund to endow it in perpetuity and maintain a continuing program of research. It is estimated that at least $2,000,000 will be eventually required to maintain the memorial structure properly and to enable it fully to perform its useful function. 

With these objectives in view, the Foundation invites all Americans aware of the debt of gratitude the nation owes General Marshall to take whatever part they are able. Further, the Foundation believes support should certainly come from those who are naturally closest, both geographically and in spirit, to this worthwhile project; in fact, such support already has been accorded to an encouraging degree. 

An appropriation of $50,000 from its General Assembly has been an indication in this respect of the State of Virginia's official approval. More than $23,000 has come from the citizens of Lexington and its surrounding area. VMI alumni have given another $26,000. A similar response is expected from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, General Marshall's birthplace. Other impressive gifts offer evidence of the full support accorded the Foundation's objectives by numerous other foundations and prominent persons. The Foundations' early research program was made possible by a gift of $200,000 by the late John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his widow. Three foundations connected with the Mellon family have given a total of $75,000. Hobby Foundation of Houston, Texas, contributed $15,000. The Mary W. Harriman Foundation contributed $50,000 and there have been other substantial gifts from various individuals both inside and outside of the State of Virginia. Nor can the substantial cooperation and support of the Federal government itself be overlooked.

And it is the Foundation's fervent hope that when the Memorial Library-Museum is complete, its archives will contain the names of many hundreds more of General Marshall's fellow citizens of Virginia and of the nation who through their gifts will have made it possible. 

"Succeeding generations," wrote Sir Winston, "must not be allowed to forget his achievements or his example."

Through the George C. Marshall Foundation and through the support of General Marshall's grateful fellow-citizens, Sir Winston's mandate is now being carried out. 
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