Things to celebrate this weekend: The Liberation of Paris
On August 25, 1944, the occupying German garrison in Paris surrendered after a six day battle. The French provisional government headed by Charles De Gaulle was given civil administration of Liberated France.
Photo: Soldiers of the 4th U.S. Infantry Division look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, after the French capital had been liberated on August 25, 1944.
More World War II history from the FDR Library: Day by Day
The G.I. Bill of Rights
June 22 marks the 68th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the GI Bill of Rights.
Although World War II was far from over, FDR was determined to plan ahead for a smooth transition to peace, both abroad and at home. The President proposed to Congress a way to level the economic impact of the war’s end and to integrate returning veterans back into American society.
The result was the GI Bill. Now widely credited with creating the post-war middle class, the GI Bill of Rights provided returning veterans with educational benefits, work training, hiring preferences, and subsidized loans for buying homes, businesses and farms.
Here is the White House Stenographer’s Diary from June 22, 1944. FDR signed the Bill at 11:30 AM.
In Case of Failure D-Day Message
Following the decision to invade the beaches of Normandy, General Eisenhower jotted down a press release to be used only if the operation failed. Ike’s handwritten note is mistakenly dated “July” 5 instead of “June” 5.
The invasion had been delayed for several years so that adequate forces and landing craft could be built up in Britain. Intricate planning took into account calculations for optimal tide, moon, and weather conditions. Even after Allied forces embarked on June 5, dicey weather required waiting one more day until June 6, 1944.
You can follow the course of D-Day through more photos and documents to come.
-from the Eisenhower Library