Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper



First Advisor

L. Marshall Hall, Jr.,


In the years between World War I and II, the United States was able to decode Japanese messages. This system, known as MAGIC, allowed them to decipher the Japanese messages that happened before Pearl Harbor. However, there was a concern among the administration that President Roosevelt may have known about the attack in Pearl Harbor before it ever happened. In the presidential election of 1944, Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey learned of these secret messages and planned to relay this information to the public. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall knew that Dewey wanted to release the information about MAGIC but intercepted as it would interfere with Douglas MacArthur’s invasion of the Philippines. Dewey did not relay the information and in the end lost the 1944 election.

There are many controversies that follow this act. Why would Dewey withhold such information and act so patriotically? Why would Marshall involve himself in political issues such as this? Was Marshall embarrassed by Pearl Harbor or was he hiding more information? These questions and others are covered in this thesis.



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