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Speech Heard Round the World

Arthur Vandenberg

Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan issued a celebrated “speech heard round the world” on January 10, 1945, marking his conversion from isolationism to internationalism and launching his quest for a bipartisan foreign policy. In the 1930s Vandenberg had been determined to keep the U.S. out of war, but the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the war that followed, altered his views. “World War II has put the gory science of mass murder into new and sinister perspective,” Vandenberg explained. “Our oceans have ceased to be moats which automatically protect our ramparts.” A rallying cry for bipartisan cooperation, this speech called on America to assume the responsibilities of world leadership.