On June 1, 1942, the United States began to send Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union. The Lend-Lease Act, passed in March 1941 after two months of vigorous public debate, provided new legal authority for the U.S. president to offer war supplies to the country’s allies, thereby pushing the United States closer to full participation in World War II. The enactment of the Lend-Lease Act marked a victory for the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a defeat for his opponents. These included isolationists and pacifists, who had succeeded during the 1930s in passing neutrality laws designed to keep America out of foreign wars. Between the beginnings of World War II in Asia and Europe in the late 1930s and the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Lend-Lease Act was the biggest step taken by the United States toward entry into the global conflict.
Click here for our full coverage of the Lend-Lease Act, including in-depth analysis by the historian Mark R. Wilson of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.