March 1946

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March 5, 1946: Former British Prime Minister Churchill delivers the "Iron Curtain speech"
March 6, 1946: Jackie Robinson (#30), Negro player signed into Brooklyn Dodgers farm system
March 10, 1946: The Aga Khan is given his weight in diamonds

The following events occurred in March 1946:

March 1, 1946 (Friday)

  • North Korea's Communist Party leader and future President, Kim Il Sung, was saved from assassination by an alert Soviet officer. Y.T. Novichenko caught a hand grenade that had been thrown at Kim during a rally.[1]
  • Operation Coronet, the greatest amphibious invasion ever planned, had been tentatively scheduled for "Y-Day", March 1, 1946. The invasion by 25 divisions of Allied forces of Honshū, the main island of Japan, would have been resisted by the Japanese in Operation Ketsu-Go, and would have followed the November 1, 1945, invasion of Kyūshū. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, Olympic, Coronet and Ketsu-Go became unnecessary.[2]
  • Born: Jan Kodeš, Czech tennis player (French Open 1970–71, Wimbledon 1973), in Prague

March 2, 1946 (Saturday)

  • The United Nations would not be welcome to locate permanently in Greenwich, Connecticut, the UNO's first choice for a site. In a special referendum, the vote was 4,540 to 2,019 against letting the UNO build in Greenwich and its surrounding area.[3] The U.N. headquarters was built instead in New York City.

March 3, 1946 (Sunday)

  • An American Airlines DC-3 crashed into a mountain at 7:53 am PST as it approached San Diego on a flight from Tucson, killing all 27 persons on board.[4] Flight 6-103 had originated in New York, with multiple stops on the way to San Diego.[5]

March 4, 1946 (Monday)

March 5, 1946 (Tuesday)

  • Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The former British Prime Minister was accompanied by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, and the speech – which was entitled "The Sinews of Peace" was part of a program that began at 3:30 pm CST, after an invocation and introductory remarks by Westminster's President McCluer and by President Truman.[10] Churchill surprised the world with his attack on the spread of Soviet Communism, as he said "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." [11] Using the metaphor of an iron curtain (used at theaters for fire protection), to refer to the sealing off of a conquered area, was not invented by Churchill,[12] nor did he first use it at Westminster College.[13]
  • Died: Gertrude Pinsky, David Guzik and eight other persons on a mission for the Jewish relief organization JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) were killed in a plane crash near Prague. One of the few women assigned overseas by JDC, Ms. Pinsky had overseen the aid to thousands of Jewish displaced persons during the Second World War.

March 6, 1946 (Wednesday)

March 7, 1946 (Thursday)

  • The 167 residents of the Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, were evacuated from their South Pacific island in order for atomic testing to begin. A report to the U.S. Congress calculated loss-of-use damages fifty years later at $278,000,000.[16]
  • Five days after the March 2 deadline had passed for Soviet troops to leave Iran, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow served a diplomatic note on the Soviet Foreign Ministry, calling on the Soviets to honor their agreement.[17]
  • Born: Peter Wolf, American rock musician (The J. Geils Band), as Peter W. Blankfield, in the Bronx, New York

March 8, 1946 (Friday)

March 9, 1946 (Saturday)

March 10, 1946 (Sunday)

March 11, 1946 (Monday)

  • Rudolf Höss, the Nazi Commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, was located and arrested by British military police near the northern German town of Flensburg, where he had been working on a farm under the alias "Franz Lang". Höss, who confessed to overseeing the murder of millions of prisoners, mostly Jewish, was himself executed at Auschwitz on April 16, 1947.[23]
  • In New York, Sylvia Lawry and 20 neurologists founded the Association for Advancement of Research in Multiple Sclerosis, now the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.[24]

March 12, 1946 (Tuesday)

March 13, 1946 (Wednesday)

March 14, 1946 (Thursday)

March 15, 1946 (Friday)

  • Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declared in the House of Commons the government's intention to grant British India its independence. "India herself must choose as to what will be her future situation and her position in the world," said Attlee, adding that "If ... she elects for independence—and in our view she has a right to do so—it will be for us to help make the transition as smooth and easy as possible." [31]
  • The Soviet Constitution was amended to increase the number of republics in the U.S.S.R. from 11 to 16, and to give the head of each republic a position in the Supreme Soviet.[32]
  • Romulo Betancourt, President of Venezuela, granted women, for the first time, the right to vote in that nation.[33]
  • Born: Bobby Bonds, American MLB star, in Riverside, California (d. 2003)

March 16, 1946 (Saturday)

March 17, 1946 (Sunday)

March 18, 1946 (Monday)

  • Lavrentiy Beria was elected a full member of the Soviet Communist Party Politburo, and then promoted to the Council of Ministers in charge of state security.[37]
  • The deadline for Korean residents of Japan to apply for repatriation to Korea expired. Out of 1.1 million, there were 614,000 who moved to Korea, and all but 10,000 to the south.[38]
  • Sixty-three women were hired as the first female law enforcement officers in the history of Japan.[39]

March 19, 1946 (Tuesday)

March 20, 1946 (Wednesday)

March 21, 1946 (Thursday)

March 22, 1946 (Friday)

  • The United Kingdom and the Emirate of Transjordan signed the Treaty of London, giving Transjordan its independence while Britain would continue to maintain military bases in the country.
  • The United States Army made its first successful launch of an American-built rocket out of the atmosphere, using a combination of American and German scientists in adapting the German V-2 rockets seized after the Allied victory in World War II. The Army rocket reached an altitude of about 50 miles.[49]
  • Died: Clemens von Galen, 68, German bishop who had been made a Roman Catholic cardinal by Pope Pius XII the previous month.

March 23, 1946 (Saturday)

  • The Rochester Royals defeated the Sheboygan Redskins, 66–48, to sweep the best of five championship of the National Basketball League.[50] Both teams would become charter members of the National Basketball Association. The Rochester franchise moved three times and is now the Sacramento Kings.
  • President Truman sent an ultimatum to Joseph Stalin demanding that the Soviets comply with their agreement to withdraw their troops from Iran.[51]
  • Argentina extended its claims over Antarctica, adding a claim of sovereignty over the portion from 68°34' W to 74°W. Argentine Antarctic Territory is claimed from 25° W to 74°W.[52]
  • Indonesia Tentara Republik Indonesia (Armed Forces of Republic Indonesia) or TRI evacuated Indonesian citizens from the city of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. In an operation called "bumihangus" or "scorched earth", TRI and over 200,000 civilians purposely burned their homes in an attempt to prevent incoming Allied forces and the Netherlands-Indies Civil Administration (NICA) from being able to easily set up an army base. The event is commemorated as "Bandung Lautan Api", or "Bandung, Sea of Fire".[53]
  • Died: Gilbert N. Lewis, 70, American chemist who discovered the covalent bond, died (of natural causes) while carrying out an experiment on fluorescence in his laboratory.

March 24, 1946 (Sunday)

March 25, 1946 (Monday)

  • A confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union was defused when the Soviet government made the announcement, broadcast on Moscow Radio, that it would withdraw all troops from Iran within six weeks.[58]
  • The United Nations moved to its new location in New York City, not in Manhattan but in the Bronx, on the campus of Lehman College, part of the City College of New York system. Lehman and its buildings were the site of the 51-member international body for almost five months, until August 15, 1946.[59]

March 26, 1946 (Tuesday)

March 27, 1946 (Wednesday)

March 28, 1946 (Thursday)

  • The results of the first general election in India were certified. Over a four-month period, voting was conducted for the Provincial Assemblies in each of the eleven provinces of British India. The Congress Party formed the majority in the legislatures for Bombay, Madras, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, the Central Provinces, Orissa, Assam and the North West Frontier; while the Muslim League won power in Bengal and the Sind. In Punjab, a coalition of Unionists, Congress and Sikhs formed a ministry.[64]
  • Born: Alejandro Toledo, President of Peru 2001–06, in Cabana

March 29, 1946 (Friday)

March 30, 1946 (Saturday)

  • The longest official (soccer) football game in history took place at Edgeley Park, when Stockport County F.C. hosted Doncaster Rovers F.C. for a replay of a playoff game in Division Three of The Football League. The teams had played to a 2–2 tie at Doncaster, and were tied 2–2 at the end of 90 minutes regulation time and the extra 30 period. The "golden goal" rule then applied, with the first team to score winning in sudden death. A goal by Les Cocker of Stockport after 53 minutes was disallowed by the referee, and play continued. By 7:00 pm, the game was called after 3 hours 23 minutes of play. Doncaster won the next replay at home, 4–0, on April 3.[67]
  • Oxford won the 92nd Boat Race against Cambridge.

March 31, 1946 (Sunday)

  • A roundup of Nazi activists was carried out throughout the American and British zones of Germany, with 7,000 Allied soldiers carrying out arrests. What was described as "a well-financed attempt to revive Nazism" was foiled after the December 1945 capture of ringleader Arthur Axmann.[68]
  • Greek legislative election, 1946: Under the supervision of Allied observers, the first elections in Greece since 1936 took place. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) refused to participate, and a coalition led by the People's Party won 206 of the 354 seats available. Konstantinos Tsaldaris became Prime Minister of the new government.[69]
  • Russia, one of three Soviet members of the United Nations, paid its U.N. dues of $1,725,000 and ended concern that the Soviets were planning to withdraw from the international organization.[70]
  • Died: John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, 59, British Field Marshal


  1. ^ Andrei Lankov, From Stalin to Kim Il Sung: The Formation of North Korea, 1945–1960 (Rutgers University Press 2002), p25
  2. ^ Philip S. Jowett and Stephen Andrew, The Japanese Army, 1931–45 (Osprey Military, 2002), pp22–23; "Invasion of Japan That Never Happened"
  3. ^ "Greenwich Vote Against UNO", Salt Lake Tribune, March 3, 1946, p1
  4. ^ "Airliner Crash Kills 27 On Peak Near San Diego", Salt Lake Tribune, March 4, 1946, p1
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Battle of Azerbaijan", by Robert Rossow, Jr., Middle Eastern Journal (Winter 1956), p17
  7. ^ "Mannerheim Quits Finn Presidency", Salt Lake Tribune, March 5, 1946, p1
  8. ^ "U.S., Britain, France Call For Removal of Franco", Salt Lake Tribune, March 5, 1946, p1
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Churchill's Fulton Speech on KWOS Tomorrow at 3:30", Jefferson City Post-Tribune, March 4, 1946, p1
  11. ^ "Churchill Rips Into Soviet Policies", San Antonio Express, March 6, 1946, p1; text
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Mr. Churchill's Speech", Milwaukee Sentinel, August 22, 1945, p6
  14. ^ "Vietnamese Victory: Dien Bien Phu, 1954" by General Vo Nguyen Giap, in Gettleman, Vietnam and America: A documented history (Grove Press, 1995) p53
  15. ^ "Brooklyn Squad Beats Montreal; Robinson Plays", Spartanburg (SC) Herald, March 7, 1946, p9
  16. ^ "CRS Report for Congress", August 12, 2005
  17. ^ "U.S. Demands Russ Quit Iran, Charges Violation of Treaty", Salt Lake Tribune, March 8, 1946, p1
  18. ^ Donald M. Pattillo, A History in the Making: 80 Turbulent Years in the American General Aviation Industry (McGraw-Hill, 1998) p66; Helicopter History Site
  19. ^ "33 Die, Scores Hurt in Collapse of British Stadium Barriers", Salt Lake Tribune, March 10, 1946, p1; "Have They Forgotten Bolton?", by Norman Baker, The Sports Historian (May 1998), pp120–151
  20. ^ "Moslems Give Aga Khan His Weight in Gems", Salt Lake Tribune, March 11, 1946, p1
  21. ^ Salt Lake Tribune, March 11, 1946, p1
  22. ^ "Russian Orthodoxy and Western Christianity", by Theodore Pulcini, in Russia and Western Civilization: Cultural and Historical Encounters (Russell Bova, ed.; M.E. Sharpe 2003) p91
  23. ^ Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz (by Rudolf Höss, edited by Steven Paskuly, Da Capo Press, 1996), pp179, 197
  24. ^ T. Jock Murray, Multiple Sclerosis: The History of a Disease (Demos Medical Publishing, 2005), p506
  25. ^ "Chetnik Chief Mihailovic Seized by Tito Forces" Salt Lake Tribune, March 25, 1946, p1; John K. Cox, The History of Serbia (Greenwood Press, 2002), p96
  26. ^ "G M Strike Ends; Union Accepts 18.5-Cent Hike", Salt Lake Tribune, March 14, 1946, p1
  27. ^ "CIO Walkout Ends at G.E. Plants"Salt Lake Tribune, March 14, 1946, p1
  28. ^ "War-Jittery World Waits Russ Reply on Iran Issue"; "Russ Cavalry, Tanks Near Iran's Capital"Salt Lake Tribune, March 13, 1946, p1
  29. ^ "Canada Arrests Lawmaker as Russ Atom Spy", Salt Lake Tribune, March 15, 1946, p1
  30. ^ Alan West, Blacks in the Caribbean: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press, 2002) p93
  31. ^ Rajendra Prasad, India Divided (Hind Kitabs Ltd., 1947) pp399–400; "British Offer India Chance For Full Independence", Salt Lake Tribune, March 16, 1946, p1
  32. ^ "The Evolution of the Soviet Federal System", by Gregory Gleason, in The Soviet Nationality Reader: The Disintegration in Context (Westview Press, 1992) p111
  33. ^ Judith Ewell, Venezuela: A Century of Change (Stanford University Press, 1984), p97
  34. ^ Andrew Montgomery, On the Road: America's Legendary Highways (Motorbooks International, 2004), p18
  35. ^ Murry R. Nelson, The National Basketball League: A History, 1935–1949 (McFarland & Co., 2009), p246
  36. ^ "Russ Leaving Danish Isle" Salt Lake Tribune, March 18, 1946, p1
  37. ^ Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk, Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945–1953 (Oxford University Press, 2004) p28
  38. ^ Sonia Ryang, North Koreans in Japan: Language, Ideology, and Identity (Westview Press, 1997) p80
  39. ^ Maya Majumdar, Encyclopaedia of Gender Equality Through Women Empowerment (Sarup & Sons, 2005), p193
  40. ^ "Kalinin Steps Down", Salt Lake Tribune, March 20, 1946, p1
  41. ^ Nick Nesbitt, Voicing Memory: History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2003) p6; "Departmentalization at Sixty", International Journal of Francophone Studies (Spring/Summer 2008)
  42. ^ "Brazil's Worst Rail Crash Kills 185" Salt Lake Tribune, March 21, 1946, p1
  43. ^ "26 Die in Plane; Fear 7 Killed in Another", Chicago Tribune, March 20, 1946, p1
  44. ^ Benjamin B. Ringer, "We the People" and Others: Duality and America's Treatment of Its Racial Minorities (Tavistock, 1983) p883
  45. ^ National Museum of the US Air Force
  46. ^ Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
  47. ^ Charles K. Ross, Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League (New York University Press, 2001) p82
  48. ^ "Francium (Atomic Number 87), the Last Discovered Natural Element" Archived 2013-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., by Jean-Pierre Adloff†and George B. Kauffman, The Chemical Educator (2005)
  49. ^ "The Army Goes to the Moon", by Pamela Cheney,, December 6, 2009
  50. ^ "Rochester Clips Skins, Wins Title", Milwaukee Sentinel, March 24, 1946, p12
  51. ^ Abbas Milani, Eminent Persians: The Men and Women who Made Modern Iran, 1941–1979 (Syracuse University Press, 2008), p14
  52. ^ William J. Mills, Exploring Polar Frontiers: A Historical Encyclopedia (Vol. 1, ABC-CLIO 2003), pp34–35
  53. ^ Wikipedia - "Bandung Lautan Api" Bandung Lautan Api
  54. ^ R.S. Chaurasia, History of Modern India: 1707 A.D. up to 2000 A.D. (Atlantic Publishers, 2002) p286
  55. ^ "The BBC Story – 1940s"
  56. ^ The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
  57. ^ "Alekhine's Death" by Edward Winter,
  58. ^ "Russ Withdrawing From Iran"; "U.S. Officials Cheer Russ Action in Iran"; "Iran Premier Waits Exit Of Russ Army" Salt Lake Tribune, March 26, 1946, p1; "This Day in History", The History Channel
  59. ^ "Lehman: Center of the Diplomatic Universe" CUNY Matters (Winter 1995–96)
  60. ^ Misrahi JJ, Foster JA, Shaw FE, Cetron MS. "HHS/CDC legal response to SARS outbreak", Emerging Infectious Diseases (2004 February), Centers for Disease Control
  61. ^ "Moscow calling: a view of the BBC Russian Service", by Lyubov Borusyak,, 12 March 2009
  62. ^ "Airlines of the World" Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., by Michael Katz
  63. ^ "Oklahoma Aggies Win NCAA Title", Pittsburgh Press, March 28, 1946, p22
  64. ^ Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press, 2007) p45
  65. ^ ITAM History Archived 2009-09-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  66. ^ Maxine N. Lurie and Marc Mappen, Encyclopedia of New Jersey (Rutgers University Press, 2004) p850
  67. ^ "Edgeley's Longest Day" Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine., Stockport County F.C. website
  68. ^ "Allies Corral 1000 in Nazi Plotting", Salt Lake Tribune, March 31, 1946, p1
  69. ^ Richard Clogg, Parties and Elections in Greece: The Search for Legitimacy (Duke University Press, 1987), p18
  70. ^ "Russia Pays Full UN Assessment, Dispelling Fear of Permanent Split" Syracuse Post-Standard April 1, 1946, p1
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