Terra Alta in Preston County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
World War II divided Korea into a Communist, Northern half and an American-occupied Southern half, divided at the 38th Parallel. The Korean War (1950-1953) began when the North Korean Communist Army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded non-Communist South Korea. General Douglas Macarthur commanded the US Forces which now began to hold off the North Koreans at the southernmost tip of Korea. Although Korea was not strategically essential to the United States, the political environment did not want to appear "soft on Communism." With the US/UN and South Korean (ROK) Forces pinned against the sea at Pusan, Macarthur orchestrated an amphibious assault on Inchon , and recaptured Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Instead of being satisfied with his rapid reconquest of South Korea, Macarthur crossed the 38th Parallel and pursued the North Korean Army all the way to North Korea. Afraid that the US was interested in taking North Korea. as a base the People's Republic of China secretly sent an army across the Yalu River. This Chinese Army attacked the US/UN/ROK forces.
President Truman hoped to end the war quickly and pressed Macarthur to be more tactful, the brilliant strategist went against presidential orders and continued his hopes to reunify Korea. After gaining the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Truman relieved Macarthur of command. The move was extremely unpopular in America; Macarthur was perceived as a popular war hero. Only the support of the JCS saved Truman from impeachment.
Ridgway took Macarthur's command and held off the Communists with strong fortifications and entrenchments just North of the 38th Parallel. Peace negotiations dragged on. The US tried to intimidate the Communists into negotiating a peace treaty, but they wouldn't budge, particularly on the issue of POW repatriation. Neither side wanted to appear weak, and so the talks went on. Only after Eisenhower, who was a war hero and was unafraid of criticism became president, could a 1953 a peace treaty was signed at Panmunjom that ended the Korean War, returning Korea to a divided status essentially the same as before the war. Neither the war nor its outcome did much to lessen the era's Cold War tension.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed War, Korean. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1953.
Location. 39° 26.591′ N, 79° 32.513′ W. Marker is in Terra Alta, West Virginia, in Preston County. Marker is on East State Avenue (West Virginia Route 7) just west of East High Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Terra Alta WV 26764, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vietnam War (here, next to this marker); World War II (here, next to this marker); Gulf War (here, next to this marker); In Memory Of All American Veterans (here, next to this marker); World War I (here, next to this marker); In Flander's Field by John McCrae / Buddy Poppy (within shouting distance of this marker); Everett Wayne "Budd" Sell (within shouting distance of this marker); Terra Alta Community Honor Roll (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Terra Alta.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 98 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 13, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.