On this day, August 8, 1945 ..
President Harry Truman signed the United Nations Charter. This completed American ratification of the document. With Secretary of State James F. Byrnes also signing, the United States became the first country to ratify the charter.
When President Truman signed the document there was little celebration. He did not even use one of the ceremonial pens to sign, instead using an ordinary desk pen.
For many people at the time, the event gave them hope that international disagreements could be settled by ways other than war. World War II was barely over, and a Cold War with Russia was beginning. Some people looked to the United Nations for peace amongst all member nations
Much drama has occurred in the U.N. over the years. Intense arguments between members of different nations. This is how the Charter began:
We The Peoples of The United Nations Determined
- to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
- to regain faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
- to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
After two world wars, people had much to think about,,,and much to hope for.