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05.04.2021

CBS NEWS’ “THE DEBRIEF” PODCAST REFLECTS ON 2020 AND ITS PARALLELS TO 1945, ANOTHER TUMULTUOUS TIME IN HISTORY

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In the latest episode of the CBS News podcast THE DEBRIEF, chief Washington correspondent and podcast host Major Garrett reflects on the parallels between a cataclysmic 2020 and another tumultuous year in history in the United States and around the world: 1945. Between April and October of that year, an American president died, the U.S. dropped two nuclear bombs, a world war ended, the United Nations was founded, and George Orwell published “Animal Farm.” In the five other months of that year, 75,000 Americans perished in the Battle of the Bulge, Auschwitz was liberated, U.S. forces took Iwo Jima, the Nuremberg trials began, and the first computational computer came online.

The latest episode of THE DEBRIEF is out now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever podcasts are available.

Excerpts from this week's episode:

  • The events of 1945 mark Harry Truman and his perspective for the rest of his presidency,” said Kurt Graham, the director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. “I would argue that they've also been etched into the American psyche ever since that time.”

  • Director of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Museum and Library Paul Sparrow told Major of the year 1945, “It saw the end of the most cataclysmic war in human history and the beginning of a new world order, which we are still living in today. It was the transition essentially from a militaristic, authoritarian ruled era to one where it seemed at least as though a democracy would prove resilient and long lasting.”

  • What we see in these epic years, whether it's 1944, 1945 or 2020, 2021 we see that America finds a way when it most needs it, to summon up the leadership and the resources and the willpower to prevail on great events on the world stage,” said Jay Winik, historian and author of “1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History.”

Follow Major Garrett on Twitter at @MajorCBS and THE DEBRIEF at @TheDebriefCBS. Discover more CBS News podcasts at cbsaudio.com/podcasts.

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Hugo Rojo                  CBS News Communications                     RojoH@cbsnews.com