MACARTHUR, Douglas (1880-1964), U.S. Commander in Chief, Pacific. Typed manuscript signed (Douglas MacArthur"), "Aboard U.S.S. Missouri, 2 September 1945. 4 pages, large 8vo, typed on rectos only of four sheets of good-quality paper, boldly signed in blue ink at bottom of page 4. Fine.
"TODAY THE GUNS ARE SILENT": MACARTHUR PROCLAIMS THE END OF WORLD WAR II
One of MacArthur's most important wartime speeches, delivered on board the U.S.S. Missouri immediately after Japan formally capitulated to the Allies, ending World War II: "Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won...The Holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific...I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster...As I look back on the long tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that he has given us the faith, the courage, and the power from which to mold victory..." Invoking the good intentions of his predecessor, Commodore Matthew Perry, MacArthur proclaims that "a new era is upon us," especially in light of "progressive advances in scientific discovery," which radically "revised the tradition concept of war." He asserts America's commitment to the Potsdam Declaration of Principles, and predicts that "the energy of the Japanese race, if properly directed, will enable expansion vertically rather than horizontally." In fact "to the whole Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march...in Asia as well as in Europe...And so, my fellow countrymen, today I report to you that your sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully with the calm, deliberate, determined fighting spirit of the American soldier and sailor...Their spiritual strength and power has brought us through to victory. They are homeward bound--take care of them."
No other copy of MacArthur's historic message has been offered at auction since at least 1975, according to American Book Prices Current.