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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

B.R., the N.H.S., & the Berlin Airlift
In 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. Prince Charles was born in the November of the same year.

Attlee's Labour government were implementing social reforms. In January the railways were nationalised and plural voting was abolished. In April the electricity industry was nationalised and in July the National Health Service started.

The first United Nations peace keeping force was formed to cope with the situation in Palestine. It would be the longest UN peace-keeping operation of all - it remains there. The Soviet Union blocked off Berlin and American and British pilots began the Berlin Airlift flying in medical supplies and foodstuffs.

Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960)

  • Aneurin Bevan was born in Monmouthshire.
  • He was a miner's son and one of 13.
  • At 13 Bevan went to work in the pits.
  • He helped organise the Miners in the 1926 General Strike.
  • He joined the Labour Party and went to the House of Commons.
  • In 1934 he married a Scottish miner's daughter and Labour MP, Jennie Lee.
  • In Attlee's 1945 administration Bevan became Minister for Health and he is perhaps best remembered for setting up the National Health Service in 1948.
  • He resigned in 1951 over National Health charges.

did you know?
During the secret talks between Britain and America in Washington for the formation of NATO, one of the British embassy staff, Donald Mclean was spying for the Russians.

Extract From George Kennan'S Essay On American Policy Towards The Soviet Union
It would be an exaggeration to say that American behaviour unassisted and alone could exercise power of life and death over the Communist movement and bring about the early fall of Soviet power in Russia. But the United States has it in its power to increase enormously the strains under which Soviet policy must operate, to force upon the Kremlin a far greater degree of moderation and circumspection than it has had to observe in recent years, and in this way to promote tendencies which must eventually find their outlet in either the break-up or the gradual mellowing of Soviet power....

Thus the decision will really fall in large measure on this country itself. The issue of Soviet-American relations is in essence a test of the overall worth of the United States as a nation among nations. To avoid destruction the United States need only to measure up to its own best traditions and prove itself worthy of preservation as a great nation.....the thoughtful observer of Russian-American relations will find no cause for complaint in the Kremlin's challenge to American society. He will rather experience a certain gratitude to a Providence which, by providing the Americans people with this implacable challenge, has made their entire security as a nation dependent on their pulling themselves together and accepting the responsibilities of moral and political leadership that history plainly intended them to bear.

Select historical period

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1944 Butler's Education Act
1945 Attlee becomes Prime Minister
World War II ends
1946 National Insurance Act is passed
National Health Act is passed
The United Nations is founded
1947 India becomes independent
1948 Gandhi is assassinated
1949 NATO is formed
Ireland become independent
1950 Korean War breaks out
1951 Churchill becomes Prime Minister
The Festival of Britain begins
1952 Death of George VI
1953 Elizabeth II crowned

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