1950 December 16

Truman Declares National Emergency to Combat “Communist Imperialism”


President Harry Truman issued Proclamation 2914 on this day, declaring a national emergency as a result of the threat of international Communism. The Korean War had broken out in June 1950. Truman’s proclamation contained no specific provisions regarding the powers of the president during the emergency.

The National Emergency remained in effect for 28 years and was not terminated until September 14, 1976, following passage of the 1976 National Emergencies Act. That law was designed to limit presidential power and to prevent declarations of national emergency that had no time limit.

Truman’s Proclamation: “Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, president of the United States of America, do proclaim the existence of a national emergency, which requires that the military, naval, air, and civilian defenses of this country be strengthened as speedily as possible to the end that we may be able to repel any and all threats against our national security and to fulfill our responsibilities in the efforts being made through the United Nations and otherwise to bring about lasting peace.”

Read the entire Proclamation: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=13684

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