27 July 1953
Armistice Signed Ending Korean War
The failure of the Truman administration to bring a victory in Korea, or to negotiate an honorable peace, was one of the leading factors behind Truman’s decision not to run for another term in 1952. The Republican candidate that year was General Dwight David Eisenhower, the man who had orchestrated the Normandy invasion of 1944, and he based much of his campaign on a promise that if elected he would travel to Korea personally to work toward a satisfactory end to the war. He won in a landslide.

More important than the election of Eisenhower, however, was the death of Stalin in March 1953. A struggle quickly emerged among the top leadership of the Soviet Union as to who would succeed him, and none of the contenders wanted to be distracted by events in Korea. That summer the Chinese abruptly dropped their demand for forcible repatriation of prisoners of war, paving the way for a cease-fire that went into effect on July 27. The 38th parallel was reaffirmed as the boundary between North and South Korea, and a demilitarized zone was established on either side of the line. The fighting came to an end, but U.S. troops would remain in South Korea. To this day no formal peace treaty has been signed.

Documents:
- Presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower makes 1952 campaign pledge, “I shall go to Korea”

- Public opinion on the Korean War, 1953

- Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Korea, October 1, 1953