Today in United Nations History

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Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 181

  • 1942-10-07 US & British government announce establishment of United Nations
  • 1943-06-03 United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration forms
  • 1945-02-12 SF selected for site of UN Conference
  • 1945-04-25 45 countries convene UN Conference on Intl Organization in SF

AgreementUnited Nations Charter

1945-06-26 United Nations Charter signed by 50 nations in San Francisco

  • 1945-07-06 Nicaragua becomes 1st nation to ratify the Charter of the United Nations
  • 1945-07-28 US Senate ratifies United Nations charter 89-2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945-08-08 President Harry Truman signs the United Nations Charter

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1945-10-24 Charter of United Nations comes into effect
  • 1945-11-05 Colombia joins the United Nations.
  • 1945-12-04 Senate approves US participation in United Nations
  • 1945-12-31 Ratification of United Nations Charter completed
  • 1946-01-17 United Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting
  • 1946-02-01 Trygve Lie, a Norwegian socialist, becomes 1st Sectary General of the United Nations
  • 1946-04-18 League of Nations dissolves (3 months after UN starts)
  • 1946-12-03 US government asks UN to order dictator Franco out of Spain
  • 1946-12-14 UN General Assembly votes to establish UN HQs in NYC
  • 1946-12-16 Thailand joins the United Nations
  • 1947-07-08 Demolition begins for UN HQ in NYC
  • 1947-08-05 Netherlands ceases political action in Indonesia, due to UN pressure
  • 1947-11-30 Day after UN decree for Israel, Jewish settlements attacked
  • 1948-04-07 World Health Organization formed by the United Nations
  • 1948-09-14 Ground breaking ceremony for UN world headquarters
  • 1948-09-18 Ralph J Bunche confirmed as acting UN mediator in Palestine
  • 1949-03-04 Security Council of UN recommends membership for Israel
  • 1949-10-04 United Nations' permanent NYC headquarters is dedicated
  • 1950-06-27 North Korean troops reach Seoul, UN asks members to aid South Korea, Harry Truman orders US Air Force & Navy into Korean conflict
  • 1950-06-27 South Africa heeds United Nations call to assist Korea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950-07-08 Gen Douglas MacArthur named commander-in-chief, UN forces in Korea

WW2 General Douglas MacArthur
WW2 General
Douglas MacArthur
  • 1950-09-01 13 North Korean divisions open assault on UN lines
  • 1950-09-15 During Korean conflict, UN forces land at Inchon in South Korea
  • 1951-10-24 United Nations publishes its first postage stamps
  • 1953-04-07 Dag Hammarskjoeld of Sweden elected 2nd UN general-secretary
  • 1953-07-20 The United Nations Economic and Social Council votes to make UNICEF a permanent agency.
  • 1953-07-27 North Korea & UN sign armistice
  • 1953-11-17 United States joins the United Nations in condemning Israel's raid on Jordan on October 4, 1953

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953-12-08 Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his "Atoms for Peace" speech at the UN in New York.

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1954-08-07 Charles Mahoney becomes 1st US black to serve as a full UN delegate
  • 1955-12-14 16 countries join the United Nations, including Austria, Finland, Italy, and Spain
  • 1956-07-25 Jordan attacks UN Palestine force
  • 1956-11-02 Hungary appeals for UN assistance against Soviet invasion
  • 1958-01-13 9,000 scientists of 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban
  • 1960-06-15 Argentina complains to UN about Israeli illicit transfer of Eichmann
  • 1960-07-18 1st UN troops reach Congo
  • 1960-08-06 The UN Security Council lay down rules which would allow UN forces to enter Congo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-09-26 Longest speech in UN history (4 hrs, 29 mins, by Fidel Castro)

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-10-12 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev bangs his shoe on his desk at UN General Assembly session

Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev
Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Nikita Khrushchev
  • 1960-11-14 Belgium threatens to leave UN due to criticism on its policy on Congo
  • 1960-12-18 General Meeting of UN condemns apartheid
  • 1961-09-13 Battles between UN & Katanga troops in Congo
  • 1961-11-11 Congolese soldiers murder 13 Italian UN pilots
  • 1961-11-28 General Meeting of UN debates New-Guinea
  • 1961-11-30 USSR vetoes Kuwaits application for UN membership
  • 1962-10-23 Adlai Stevenson speaks at UN about Cuba crisis
  • 1962-10-25 110th member of UN admitted (Uganda)
  • 1962-10-25 US Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson demands USSR UN rep Zorin answer regarding Cuban missile bases saying "I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over"
  • 1962-11-30 U Thant of Burma elected 3rd Secretary-General of UN unanimously
  • 1963-05-14 Kuwait is 111th member of the United Nations
  • 1963-07-18 The United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid releases its second interim report pressing for international sanctions against South Africa, particularly the supply of arms, ammunition and petroleum
  • 1964-02-12 Fighting breaks out between Turks and Greeks over dispute islands in Cyprus and 16 are killed; the UN responds the following month by sending a peacekeeping force
  • 1964-06-30 Last UN troops leave Congo

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964-12-11 Che Guevara speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown terrorist fires a mortar shell at the building during the speech.

Argentine Revolutionary Che Guevara
Argentine Revolutionary
Che Guevara
  • 1965-09-21 Singapore admitted as part of the United Nations.
  • 1965-11-17 General Meeting of UN refuses admittance of China PR
  • 1967-06-10 Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iraq & Egypt end "6-Day War" with UN help
  • 1968-04-24 Mauritius becomes a member state of the United Nations.
  • 1969-03-29 14th Eurovision Song Contest: Salome for Spain ("Vivo cantando"), Lulu of United Kingdom ("Boom Bang-a-Bang"), Lenny Kuhr of Netherlands ("De troubadour"), and Frida Boccara of France ("Un jour, un enfant") all win in Madrid
  • 1970-02-15 Nationalists disrupt UN session on Congo
  • 1970-03-17 US casts their 1st UN Security Council veto (Support England)
  • 1970-12-05 Premiere of Dario Fo's Morte accidentale di un anarchico.
  • 1971-02-26 Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.
  • 1971-04-03 16th Eurovision Song Contest: Severine for Monaco wins singing "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" in Dublin
  • 1971-08-25 Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party Gerry Fitt presents a number of allegations of brutality by the security forces in Northern Ireland to representatives of the United Nations
  • 1971-10-25 General Meeting of UN agrees to admit China PR
  • 1971-11-23 China People's Republic seated in UN Security Council
  • 1971-12-04 The UN Security Council calls an emergency session to consider the deteriorating situation between India and Pakistan.
  • 1973-07-21 France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Atoll un the Pacific
  • 1974-11-12 South Africa suspended from UN General Assembly over racial policies

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1975-11-10 PLO leader Yasser Arafat addresses UN in NYC

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
  • 1976-06-23 The U.S. vetoes Angola’s application for membership of the United Nations Security
  • 1976-07-09 Uganda asks UN to condemn Israeli hostage rescue raid on Entebbe
  • 1977-06-10 International Labour Organisation and United Nations meet to discuss apartheid in South Africa and potential actions to prevent further violence and state repression.
  • 1979-08-15 Andrew Young resigns as US ambassador to the United Nations
  • 1979-08-31 Donald McHenry named to succeed Andrew Young as UN ambassador
  • 1980-11-20 United Nations Gulf War mediator Olof Palme makes first unsuccessful peace shuttle between Tehran and Baghdad
  • 1981-09-15 Vanuatu becomes a member of the United Nations.
  • 1981-10-27 Andrew Young, former UN Ambassador, elected mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1981-12-10 The United Nations General Assembly approves Pakistan's proposal for establishing nuclear free-zone in South Asia.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1982-06-17 US President Reagan's 1st UN General Assembly address "We must serve mankind through genuine disarmament."

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1982-06-26 US vetos UN Security Council resolution for a limited withdrawal from Beirut of Israeli & Palestine Liberation Organization forces
  • 1982-10-16 Shultz warns US will withdraw from UN if they vote to exclude Israel
  • 1983-09-12 USSR vetoes UN resolution deploring its shooting down of Korean plane
  • 1985-02-04 20 countries (but not US) sign UN treaty outlawing torture
  • 1986-09-09 NYC jury indicts Gennadly Zakharov (Soviet UN employee) of spying
  • 1988-02-17 Lebanese terrorists kidnap UN truce observer Lt Col William Higgins
  • 1988-12-13 Arafat addresses UN in Geneva

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990-06-22 Nelson Mandela addresses the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid in New York, saying that nothing, which has happened in South Africa, calls for a revision of the position that the Organisation has taken in its struggle against apartheid; he adds that a democratic, non-racial SA is within reach

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 1990-09-18 Liechtenstein becomes a member of the United Nations.
  • 1990-09-27 Deposed emir of Kuwait address UN General Assembly

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990-11-21 French President François Mitterrand voices support of a proposed UN resolution that would authorize the use of force in the Persian Gulf

21st President of France Francois Mitterrand
21st President of France
Francois Mitterrand

Famous Birthdays

  • 1886-01-31 Alfonso Lopez, Colombia, statesman (Pres UN security council-1948)
  • 1887-02-26 Benegal Narsing Rau, India, President of UN Security Council (1950)
  • 1893-02-06 Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, President of UN General Assembly (1962-63)
  • 1896-07-16 Trygve Halvdan Lie, Norway, 1st UN secretary general (1946-52)
  • 1905-07-29 Dag Hammarskjoeld, Sweden, 2nd UN Sect-General (1953-61) (Nobel 1961)
  • 1908-05-23 Max Abramovitz, US architect (Lincoln Center, UN Building)
  • 1908-08-08 Arthur J Goldberg, Ill, UN ambassador/Supreme Court justice (1962-65)
  • 1909-01-22 [Sithu] U Thant, Burma, 3rd UN sec-genl (1962-72)
  • 1915-05-29 Lord Huntingfield, British agent to UN Secreteriat
  • 1918-12-21 Kurt Waldheim, Nazi/4th UN Sec-Gen (1972-81)/Austrian pres (1986-92)
  • 1920-01-19 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peruvian United Nations Secretary General
  • 1922-11-14 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992- 96), born in Cairo (d. 2016)
  • 1926-11-19 Jeane J Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to UN (R), born in Duncan, Oklahoma
  • 1928-06-28 Dr Hans Blix, Swedish head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission 2000-2003
  • 1932-03-12 Andrew Young, US ambassador to UN (1977-79)/(Mayor-D-Atlanta)
  • 1942-02-01 Muna Wassef, Wassef is a well known Syrian/Arab movie star and a United Nations Goodwill ambassador.
  • 1947-02-09 Carla Del Ponte, Swiss UN prosecutor
  • 1956-03-09 Shashi Tharoor, Indian author & United Nations Under-Secretary General
  • 1960-02-23 Maria Gloria von Schoenberg-Glauchau, wife of prince Thurn un Taxis
  • 1961-07-15 Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector in Iraq

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

1977-06-17 Senator Joe Biden of Delaware (34) weds Jill Jacobs (26) at the Chapel at the United Nations in New York City

47th Vice President of the United States Joe Biden
47th Vice President of the United States
Joe Biden

HeartWedding of Interest

1977-10-21 Actor Peter Boyle (42) weds Loraine Alterman at the United Nations chapel in Manhattan

  • 1996-03-24 Former Atlanta mayor and UN ambassador Andrew Young (64) weds Carolyn Watson (49) in South Africa
  • 2003-06-08 "The Sopranos" actor Dominic Chianese (72) weds United Nations conference planner Jane Pittson (56) in Manhattan

Famous Deaths

  • 1948-09-17 Count Folke Bernadotte, UN mediator for Palestine, assassinated
  • 1954-11-22 Andrej J Vysjinski, Russian UN ambassador, dies at 70
  • 1958-06-26 Andrija Štampar, Croatian physician and United Nations diplomat (b. 1888)
  • 1961-09-18 Dag Hammarskjoeld, UN Sect Gen, dies in an air crash over Congo at 56
  • 1968-12-30 Trygve Halvdan Lie, 1st UN sect-general (1946-53), dies at 72

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1971-12-09 Ralph Bunche, UN delegate/Nobel Prize winner, dies at 67

Diplomat and Nobel Laureate Ralph Bunche
Diplomat and Nobel Laureate
Ralph Bunche
  • 1974-11-25 [Sithu] U Thant, UN Sec-General (1961-72), dies in NY of cancer at 65
  • 1996-08-25 Erskine Childers, UN official/civil servant, dies at 67
  • 2001-09-05 Vladimir Žerjavić, Croatian UN statistician (b. 1912)
  • 2003-05-12 Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French UN High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
  • 2003-07-17 David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector (b. 1944)
  • 2010-08-12 Guido de Marco, 6th president of Malta, 45th President of the United Nations General Assembly (b. 1931)
  • 2016-02-16 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992- 96), dies at 93