What was going on in 1949?

* Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO (Apr. 4).

* Communist People's Republic of China formally proclaimed by Chairman Mao Zedong (Oct. 1).

* South Africa institutionalizes apartheid.

* Britain recognizes the independence of the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland remains a part of the United Kingdom.

* German Federal Republic (West Germany) established (Sept. 21).

* US recognizes the state of Israel.

* Truman proposes Point Four program to help world's less developed areas (Jan. 20).

Source: Year by Year