United Nations in History

International Organisations: ASEAN - Commonwealth - European Union - IMF - League of Nations - NATO - OPEC - Warsaw Pact - World Bank

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 288

  • 1942-10-07 US & UK government announce establishment of United Nations

Historic Event

1942-12-10 An early report the Holocaust prepared by the Polish government-in-exile, using information obtained by Witold Pilecki, is addressed to UN member states

  • 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 San Francisco

United 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

United Nations

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

  • 1945-10-24 Charter of United Nations comes into effect
  • 1945-11-05 Colombia joins the United Nations.
  • 1945-11-16 Founding of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • 1945-12-04 Senate approves US participation in United Nations
  • 1945-12-18 Uruguay joins the United Nations
  • 1945-12-31 Ratification of United Nations Charter completed
  • 1946-01-10 UN General Assembly meets for 1st time in London
  • 1946-01-17 United Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting

Historic Event

1946-02-01 Norwegian politician Trygve Lie elected the 1st Secretary General of the United Nations

  • 1946-04-18 League of Nations dissolves (3 months after UN starts)
  • 1946-10-23 UN General Assembly 2nd session convenes (1st NYC-Flushing Meadows)
  • 1946-11-04 United Nations Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) formed

Historic Event

1946-12-03 US government asks UN to order dictator Francisco Franco out of Spain

  • 1946-12-14 General Assembly of United Nations votes to construct headquarters in New York City [1]
  • 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
  • 1947-11-20 UN General assembly begins debate on printing their own stamps
  • 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 Groundbreaking ceremony for UN world headquarters in New York

Appointment of Interest

1948-09-18 Ralph Bunche confirmed as acting UN mediator in Palestine

  • 1948-12-09 UN General Assembly unanimously approves Convention on Genocide
  • 1949-01-28 UN Security council convicts Dutch aggression in Indonesia
  • 1949-03-04 Security Council of UN recommends membership for Israel
  • 1949-10-04 United Nations' permanent NYC headquarters is dedicated
  • 1949-10-24 Construction begins on the United Nations headquarters in New York
  • 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
  • 1950-07-07 Korean War: UN Security Council establishes the United Nations Command to combat North Korean forces

Historic Event

1950-07-08 General Douglas MacArthur named commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea

  • 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
  • 1950-12-14 UN General Assembly establishes High Commission for Refugees, goes on to win Nobel Peace Prize in 1954
  • 1951-10-24 United Nations publishes its first postage stamps
  • 1952-10-14 UN General Assembly first meets at its new headquarters in New York
  • 1952-11-10 Trygve Lie resigns as 1st Secretary General of the United Nations

Historic Event

1953-03-31 UN Security Council nominates Dag Hammarskjöld for Secretary-General

Korean War Ends

1953-07-27 North Korea and the United Nations sign armistice to stop fighting and divide Korea at the 38th parallel

  • 1953-11-17 United States joins the United Nations in condemning Israel's raid on Jordan on October 4, 1953

United Nations Speech

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

  • 1954-08-07 Charles Mahoney becomes 1st US black to serve as a full UN delegate
  • 1954-09-21 Eelco Van Kleffens appointed President of the ninth session of the UN General Assembly
  • 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

United Nations

1956-11-07 Suez Crisis ends with a ceasefire as the United Nations Emergency Force is established at instigation of Canadian diplomat Lester B. Pearson and UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld

  • 1957-01-23 Indian nationalist V. K. Krishna Menon begins the longest ever speech defending India's stand on Kashmir at the UN - 8 hours over 2 days
  • 1958-01-13 9,000 scientists of 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban
  • 1958-06-11 UN Security council sends observers to Lebanon
  • 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
  • 1960-09-20 UN General Assembly admit 13 African countries & Cyprus (96 nations)

United Nations Speech

1960-09-26 Cuban leader Fidel Castro delivers a 4 hour and 29 minute long speech at the United Nations

  • 1960-10-01 Nigeria becomes the 99th member of the United Nations

United Nations Speech

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

  • 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
  • 1961-04-13 UN General Assembly condemns South-Africa's apartheid
  • 1961-09-13 Battles between UN & Katanga troops in Congo
  • 1961-10-27 Outer Mongolia & Mauritania become 102nd & 103rd members of United Nations

Election of Interest

1961-11-03 UN General Assembly unanimously elects U Thant as acting Secretary-General after the death of Dag Hammarskjöld in a plane crash

  • 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

Historic Event

1962-01-30 UN General Assembly censures Portugal over Angola

  • 1962-09-01 United Nations announces Earth's population has hit 3 billion

United Nations Speech

1962-10-23 Adlai Stevenson speaks at the United Nations about the 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 Valerian Zorin answer regarding Cuban missile bases saying "I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over"
  • 1962-11-06 UN General Assembly adopts resolution condemning South Africa
  • 1962-11-30 U Thant of Burma becomes the 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • 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

United Nations Speech

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.

  • 1965-09-21 Singapore admitted as part of the United Nations.
  • 1965-11-17 General Meeting of UN refuses admittance of People's Republic of China
  • 1965-11-20 UN Security council calls for boycott of Rhodesia

Historic Event

1966-10-05 Nigerian government presents a copy of Ben Enwonwu's sculpture "The Awakening" to the United Nations

  • 1967-06-10 Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iraq & Egypt end "6-Day War" with UN help
  • 1967-11-22 UN Security council passes resolution 242; Israel must give back occupied land
  • 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

Famous Birthdays

  • 1883-12-10 Andrej J. Vysjinski, Russian lawyer and UN ambassador, born in Odessa, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1954)
  • 1886-01-31 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), born in Honda, Colombia (d. 1959)
  • 1887-02-26 Benegal Narsing Rau, Indian lawyer and civil servant, President of UN Security Council (1950), helped draft India's constitution, born in Mangalore, India (d. 1953)
  • 1893-02-06 Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, President of UN General Assembly (1962-63), born in Sialkot, Pakistan (d. 1985)

Trygve LieTrygve Lie (1896-1968)

1896-07-16 Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), born in Oslo, Sweden–Norway

Adlai Stevenson IIAdlai Stevenson II (1900-1965)

1900-02-05 American politician (US Ambassador to UN, 1961-65; Governor of Illinois, 1949-53; Democratic presidential candidate, 1952 & 1956), born in Los Angeles, California

  • 1904-01-11 Frederick Boland, Irish diplomat/president (UN General Assembly)

Ralph BuncheRalph Bunche (1904-1971)

1904-08-07 American diplomat, UN delegate and 1st person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1950), born in Detroit, Michigan

Dag HammarskjöldDag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)

1905-07-29 Swedish public servant, 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-61) and posthumous Nobel Peace Prize winner (1961), born in Jönköping, Sweden

  • 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)

U ThantU Thant (1909-1974)

1909-01-22 Burmese politician and 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1961-72), born in Pantanaw, Burma, British India

  • 1912-08-02 Vladimir Žerjavić, Croatian economist and UN statistician, born in Križ, Moslavania, Croatia (d. 2001)
  • 1915-05-29 Gerald Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck, 6th Baron Huntingfield, British agent to UN Secreteriat (d. 1994)
  • 1917-01-03 Vernon A. Walters, American diplomat and US permanent rep to the UN (1989-91), born in NYC, New York (d. 2002)

Kurt WaldheimKurt Waldheim (1918-2007)

1918-12-21 Austrian 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1972-81) and 9th President of Austria (1986-92), born in Sankt Andrä-Wördern, Austria

Javier Pérez de CuéllarJavier Pérez de Cuéllar (1920-2020)

1920-01-19 Peruvian diplomat, 5th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1982-91) and Prime Minister of Peru (2000-01), born in Lima, Peru

Boutros Boutros-GhaliBoutros Boutros-Ghali (1922-2016)

1922-11-14 Egyptian politician and 6th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992- 96), born in Cairo, Egypt

  • 1926-11-19 Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to UN (R), born in Duncan, Oklahoma
  • 1928-06-28 Hans Blix, Swedish head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission 2000-2003, born in Uppsala, Sweden
  • 1929-03-11 Erskine Childers, Irish writer and United Nations civil servant official, born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1996)
  • 1931-06-22 Hennadiy Udovenko, Ukrainian politician and diplomat (UN General Assembly President, 1997-98), born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine (d. 2013)
  • 1932-03-12 Andrew Young, US ambassador to UN (1977-79)/(Mayor-D-Atlanta)

Kofi AnnanKofi Annan (1938-2018)

1938-04-08 Ghanaian diplomat and 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), born in Comassie, Gold Coast

  • 1938-04-13 John Weston, British diplomat, representative for NATO (1992-95) and UN (1995-98)
  • 1939-09-22 Timothy Wirth, American politician (Rep-D-CO, 1975-87), President of United Nations Foundation, born in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • 1940-09-17 Jan Eliasson, Swedish diplomat (4th Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations), born in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1942-02-01 Muna Wassef, Syrian actress (The Message) and UN Goodwill ambassador, born in Damascus, Syria

Ban Ki-moonBan Ki-moon (78 years old)

1944-06-13 South Korean politician and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-16), born in Injō, Japanese Korea

  • 1947-02-09 Carla Del Ponte, Swiss UN prosecutor
  • 1947-09-16 Dumisani Kumalo, South African anti-apartheid activist and UN ambassador, born in KwaMbunda, South Africa (d. 2019)

António GuterresAntónio Guterres (73 years old)

1949-04-30 114th Prime Minister of Portugal (1995-2002) and 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations (2017-), born in Lisbon, Portugal

Helen ClarkHelen Clark (72 years old)

1950-02-26 New Zealand Prime Minister (Labour: 1999-2008) and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (2009-17), born in Hamilton, New Zealand

  • 1956-03-09 Shashi Tharoor, Indian politician and diplomat (United Nations Under-Secretary General), born in London
  • 1961-07-15 Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector in Iraq
  • 1962-02-24 Kelly Craft, American diplomat, US ambassador to the UN (2019-), born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1962-08-14 Mark Robert Isfeld, Canadian soldier and United Nations peacekeeper, born in Zweibrücken, Germany
  • 1972-01-20 Nikki Haley, American politician & diplomat (Governor South Carolina, 2011-17; US UN Ambassador, 2017-), born in Bamberg, South Carolina

Famous Weddings

Joe Biden

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

Peter Boyle

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, Swedish diplomat (UN mediator for Palestine), assassinated by Zionist group at 53
  • 1954-11-22 Andrej J. Vysjinski, Russian lawyer and UN ambassador, dies at 70
  • 1955-07-23 Cordell Hull, American Secretary of State (1933-44) who established United Nations (Nobel Peace Prize 1945), dies at 83
  • 1958-06-26 Andrija Štampar, Croatian physician and United Nations diplomat (b. 1888)
  • 1959-11-20 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), dies at 73

Dag HammarskjöldDag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)

1961-09-18 Swedish public servant, 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-61) and posthumous Nobel Peace Prize winner (1961), dies in a plane crash over Congo at 56

Adlai Stevenson IIAdlai Stevenson II (1900-1965)

1965-07-14 American politician (US Ambassador to UN, 1961-65; Governor of Illinois, 1949-53; Democratic presidential candidate, 1952 & 1956), dies at 65

Trygve LieTrygve Lie (1896-1968)

1968-12-30 Norwegian politician and 1st Secretary-General of the United Nations (1946-52), dies at 72

Ralph BuncheRalph Bunche (1904-1971)

1971-12-09 American diplomat, UN delegate and 1st person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1950), dies at 67

U ThantU Thant (1909-1974)

1974-11-25 Burmese politician and 3rd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1961-72), dies in NY of lung cancer at 65

  • 1996-08-25 Erskine Childers, Irish writer and United Nations civil servant official, dies at 67
  • 2001-09-05 Vladimir Žerjavić, Croatian economist and UN statistician, dies at 89
  • 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)

Kurt WaldheimKurt Waldheim (1918-2007)

2007-06-14 Austrian 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1972-81) and 9th President of Austria (1986-92), dies at 88

  • 2010-08-12 Guido de Marco, 6th president of Malta, 45th President of the United Nations General Assembly (b. 1931)
  • 2013-02-12 Hennadiy Udovenko, Ukrainian politician and diplomat (UN General Assembly President, 1997-98), dies at 81

Kofi AnnanKofi Annan (1938-2018)

2018-08-18 Ghanaian diplomat and 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), dies at 80

  • 2019-01-20 Dumisani Kumalo, South African anti-apartheid activist and UN ambassador, dies at 71