The United Nations

The first use of the words United Nations was by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was referring only to the Allies. The term soon came to mean a world body, one that would succeed — and definitely be stronger than — the failed League of Nations.

U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull was the driving force behind the organization, helping write the charter. He is often referred to as “the Father of the United Nations.” Discussions on the particulars of the U.N. took place in the late summer and early fall of 1944 at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in Washington, D.C. Attending those talks were representatives of China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Major details were worked out at this conference, paving the way for the formation of the world body. Discussions continued during the next several months, culminating in the United Nations Conference on April 25, 1945, in San Francisco. Two short months later, representatives of fifty countries signed the U.N. Charter. The United Nations officially began on October 24.

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