On This Day, Jan 17, 1961 – Ike Warns Nation of Rise of the ‘Militarty-Industrial Complex’

1961 – In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the rise of “the military-industrial complex.”

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.

Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House.

As NPR’s Tom Bowman tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Eisenhower used the speech to warn about “the immense military establishment” that had joined with “a large arms industry.”

Here’s an excerpt:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Since then, the phrase has become a rallying cry for opponents of military expansion.

In his remarks, Eisenhower also explained how the situation had developed:

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.”

Eisenhower gave the address after completing two terms in office; it was just days before the new president, John F. Kennedy, would be sworn in.


1562 – French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.

1773 – Captain Cook’s Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.

1806 – James Madison Randolph, grandson of President Thomas Jefferson, was the first child born in the White House.

1852 – The independence of the Transvaal Boers was recognized by Britain.

1871 – Andrew S. Hallidie received a patent for a cable car system.

1882 – Thomas Edison’s exhibit opened the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London.

1893Hawaii‘s monarchy was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.

1900 – The U.S. took Wake Island where there was in important cable link between Hawaii and Manila.

1900 – Yaqui Indians in Texas proclaimed their independence from Mexico.

1900 – Mormon Brigham Roberts was denied a seat in the House of Representatives for his practicing of polygamy.

1905 – Punchboards were patented by a manufacturing firm in Chicago, IL.

1912 – English explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by one month. Scott and his party died during the return trip.

1916 – The Professional Golfers Association was formed in New York City.

1928 – The fully automatic, film-developing machine was patented by A.M. Josepho.

1934 – Ferdinand Porsche submitted a design for a people’s car, a “Volkswagen,” to the new German Reich government.

1945 – Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.

1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Wallenberg was credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews.

1946 – The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting.

1966 – A B-52 carrying four H-bombs collided with a refuelling tanker. The bombs were released and eight crew members were killed.


1970 – The Doors played the first of several shows at the Felt Forum in New York City. The shows were recorded for use on their “Absolutely Live” album. 


1977 – Double murderer Gary Gilmore became the first person to be executed in the U.S. in a decade. The firing squad took place at Utah State Prison.

1994 – The Northridge earthquake rocked Los Angeles, CA, registering a 6.7 on the Richter Scale. At least 61 people were killed and about $20 billion in damage was caused.

1995 – More than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.

1997 – A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country’s history.

1997 – Israel gave over 80% of Hebron to Palestinian rule, but held the remainder where several hundred Jewish settlers lived among 20,000 Palestinians.

1998President William Clinton gave his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him. He was the first U.S. President to testify as a defendant in a criminal or civil lawsuit.

 

Source: NPR.org; On-This-Day.com