South America 1948: Rio Pact
Following the end of World War II, suspicion and hostility grew between the United States and the Soviet Union. In this so-called Cold War, the US sought to establish anti-Communist alliances around the world to contain the Soviet threat. The first such alliance was the Rio Pact, a treaty signed between the US and the nations of Latin America to safeguard the Western Hemisphere.
7 May 1945 German Instrument of Surrender▲
Representatives of the German armed forces signed the Instrument of Surrender in Berlin, along with representatives of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom (on behalf of the Western Allies, who had also overseen a surrender ceremony in Reims earlier that day). This act brought an end to World War II in Europe.
15 Aug 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast▲
Japanese Emperor Hirohito read out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War in a radio broadcast, announcing to the people of Japan that their government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration and agreed to unconditional surrender. The speech was the first time the Emperor had spoken to the common people.
4 Jun 1946–21 Sep 1955 First Perón Presidency▲
The popular politician and former lieutenant general, Juan Perón, was elected President of Argentina in the February 1946, despite being briefly arrested by his rivals in the armed forces. Perón would be reelected in 1952, with his second term prematurely ending when he was deposed by a military coup (although he would return from exile and regain the presidency in 1973). His quest for social justice and rejection of both capitalism and communism would form the basis of the powerful Peronist movement in Argentina.
7 Mar–20 Aug 1947 Second Paraguayan Civil War▲
In 1946, six years after suspending the constitution and banning political parties, Paraguayan President Higinio Morínigo legalized political activity and formed a cabinet with the Febrerista Revolutionary Concentration and the Colorado Party. However, the Febreristas resigned from the coalition on 11 January 1947, leading a rebellion with the Liberals and Communists the following month. Despite support from the navy and four of eleven army divisions, the rebels were defeated by Morínigo by August.
12 Mar 1947 Truman Doctrine▲
In an address to United States Congress, President Harry Truman outlined his policy of supporting “free peoples” against “attempted subjugation armed minorities or by outside pressures”, insisting the US assist them “primarily through economic and financial aid”. The speech was an attack on Soviet attempts to destabilize Greece and Turkey, leading the US to give financial support to those nations. As a general policy of containing Soviet expansionism by backing those it threatened, this so-called Truman Doctrine would become the foundation of US foreign policy during the Cold War.
12 Mar 1948 Rio Pact▲
On 2 September 1947, the United States of America signed the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance with the independent countries of the Americas, excluding Canada, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The treaty considered an attack against a signatory nation to be an attack against all and came into force on 12 March 1948.
12 Mar–24 Apr 1948 Costa Rican Civil War▲
In response to President Teodoro Picado’s annulment of presidential elections in Costa Rica, the rebel National Liberation Army of José Figueres rose against the government. In a short but bloody war, the government was overthrown and Figueres took over at the head of a provisional government junta, which would abolish the military and restore democracy after one and a half years.