Newstalgia Reference Room - Free-For-All At The UN - 1961


In an episode never before seen at the United Nations, violence erupted on the floor of the General Assembly while U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson delivered a Foreign Policy Address. The violence, stemmed from protests to the actions of the Belgian government over the situation in the former colony of the Congo, and the death of a much loved leader Patrice Lumumba, sparked a demonstration that turned nasty and forced Stevenson to step down from the podium while the protesters were removed.

Stevenson is 15 minutes into his address when the violence breaks out, and the tapes kept rolling.

Here is a special report, aired some 45 minutes after the incident occurred on February 22, 1961.

Who said the UN was boring?


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