On This Day in Military History: April 11th
On 11 April 1951, U.S. President Harry S. Truman relieved General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of his commands after MacArthur made public statements which contradicted the administration's policies. MacArthur was a popular hero of World War II who was then the commander of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, and his relief remains a controversial topic in the field of civil-military relations.
An apolitical military was an American tradition, but one that was difficult to uphold in an era when American forces were employed overseas in large numbers. The principle of civilian control of the military was also ingrained, but the rising complexity of military technology led to the creation of a professional military. This made civilian control increasingly problematic when coupled with the constitutional division of powers between the President as commander-in-chief, and the Congress with its power to raise armies, maintain a navy, and wage wars. In relieving MacArthur for failing to "respect the authority of the President" by privately communicating with Congress, Truman upheld the President's role as pre-eminent. Read more @ Wikipedia