Did You Realize: The U.N. Was Founded Here?

Dumbarton Oaks by Mr. T in DC.

Today GM will present the second in his occasional series: Did You Realize? In the first installment, GM asked whether you realized that IBM was started in Georgetown. Today GM turns to an even grander Georgetown-born organization: the United Nations.

Like IBM, the United Nations arguably had many birthplaces. But also like IBM, the location of the most significant organizing events of the U.N. was right here in Georgetown. Dumbarton Oaks to be specific.

While the concept of a successor to the failed League of Nations was discussed prior to 1944, it was during the late summer and early fall of that year that representatives of the United States, the USSR, France, and China met at Dumbarton Oaks to establish the formal structure and principles of the U.N. At the conference, the representatives set forth who would be invited to join the U.N., the role of the Security Council, and the veto power of the Security Council’s permanent members.

In April 1945, representatives of the allies met in San Francisco to draft the U.N. charter. After six more years of additional planning and negotiating, the U.N. finally opened in January, 1951.

The role that Dumbarton Oaks played in the formation of the U.N. was immortalized by Igor Stravinsky in his Concerto in E-flat, which is better known simply as “Dumbarton Oaks.” Enjoy it here:



Filed under Did You Realize?

2 responses to “Did You Realize: The U.N. Was Founded Here?

  1. Maggie

    Has this piece ever been performed at Dumbarton Oaks? Even Georgetown? Lets add it to the summer concert series!

  2. GM

    Not sure. I’ve been going to the Friends of Music concerts at Dumbarton Oaks since 2003, and I’ve never heard a group perform this.

    I suspect somebody must have performed it in that great music room at some point (maybe it debuted there?) but I’m not personally aware of it.

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