Gerald Waller ©Stars and Stripes
Paris, September, 1948: Secretary of State George C. Marshall heads the U.S. delegation to a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot. In his opening speech, he noted that three years after the U.N. was founded with a goal of protecting future generations from the scourge of war, "we are confronted with the need to save not only succeeding generations, but our own." Marshall, the nation's first five-star general, was Army Chief of Staff during World War II, and also served as secretary of defense during the Korean War. But it is for the Marshall Plan, the $13-billion postwar European reconstruction program, that he is probably best known today. He was awarded the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for his part in the effort that many believe prevented mass starvation on the continent.