May 22, 1987 Forty years ago today President Truman signed Public Law 75 of the 80th Congress, which provided $400 million in U.S. military assistance to Greece and Turkey. This was the first postwar commitment of the United States to provide the resources and support necessary for free countries of the world to meet the threat of Communist expansionism and brought into being the Truman doctrine.
The Truman doctrine was rooted in a fundamental assumption as true now as in 1947: A healthy democracy in the United States requires strong democratic partners in the world. Its purpose was to help the peoples of Greece and Turkey in their efforts to secure their freedom. It succeeded through the mutual efforts of the American, Greek, and Turkish people, who through their courage and perseverance met head-on and defeated the immediate postwar threat. Today Greece, Turkey, and the United States are linked together as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, freedom's strongest shield.
Today we celebrate the wisdom and courage of President Truman and those who worked so hard to make this a cornerstone of American foreign policy. We also salute our Greek and Turkish allies. Our ties are built on a proud tradition of mutual respect and support, one that we are dedicated to preserving and nurturing in the years to come.