1942: General Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to take on the role of Supreme Commander of Allied forces in the South Pacific. Read some background on how MacArthur shaped Japan after the war on HistoryNet.com.

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High-ranking Australian Army and Navy officials greet General Douglas MacArthur (right, facing camera) upon his arrival in Melbourne, Australia, March 21, 1942, to take over supreme command of forces in the southwest Pacific.
Photo Credit: AP

Also today in history: 

  • 1898: John Philip Holland successfully tested his motorized submarine off Staten Island. Here's a photo of Holland in his sub, on HistoryNet.com.
  • 1939: The Battle of Nanchang began between 200,000 Kuomintang troops under General Xue Yue and 160,000 Japanese army Lt. Gen. Yasuji Okamura. It raged on until May 9, ending in Japanese victory with 51,328 Chinese casualties to 24,000 Japanese.
  • 1960: President Dwight D. Eisenhower formed an anti-Castro Cuban army-in-exile under the supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency.