June 16, 2010

(And somehow they managed to pull it off)

We were still less than two months away from the end of World War 2, but even in June of 1945 the movement was afoot to establish the United Nations as soon as possible. Held in San Francisco, the members of the U.N. gathered and got busy hammering out a Charter, trying to succeed where the League of Nations had fallen apart.

This broadcast, part of the NBC Radio Series "Our Foreign Policy" from June 16, 1945 featured a discussion of the charter and the days activities by Undersecretary of State Archibald Macleish and Dean of Barnard College Virginia Gildersleeve who was the sole female representative from the U.S.

Dean Virginia Gildersleve: “The Human Rights Commission is expected to draft a Bill of Rights for all mankind that will be comparable to our own Bill of Rights in our own Constitution. It will investigate abuses in this field, and do continuous research, and in general serve the conscience of the United Nations.”

The irony in all this is that Gildersleeve, as Dean of Barnard College, was adamant about preventing the number of Jewish students enrolling in the college, as she was also adamant against the formation of Israel. It would appear the concept of Human Rights applied to other countries and other people, not necessarily her.

And somehow a charter was adopted.

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