As the celebrations of VE day wound down, the news from San Francisco was about the assembly of allied nations, getting together to form an organization in which to iron out differences and prevent the possibility of another war.
Ironically, there was still a war going on – the War in Europe had only finished days before. And there was still the war in the Pacific – with Japan hanging on and fighting continuing. It was only a question of time before Japan capitulated and peace would once again come to the embattled planet.
But what kind of peace was it going to be? And could a group of nations get together – in some cases working out differences and in other cases banding together to provide strength and resources in times of crisis. It was an optimistic goal – a goal to make up for the one destroyed when The League Of Nations fell apart during the early days of the War. This one was going to be different – this United Nations would be pledged to peace and the constitution being drawn up had to reflect that.
And so the nations got together at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco to discuss, to work on and eventually come up with, a blueprint – a workable solution. No easy task – with so many nations, so many different languages and so many ideologies to work with. The faint beginnings of the Cold War which would envelop and preoccupy. The myriad committees and sub-organizations being considered – the bylaws and the constitution to adopt.
As part of their commitment to keep the public informed – NBC Radio ran a daily recap of events going on at The Opera House, and to report on progress. Hosted by Assistant Secretary of State Archibald MacLeish, the discussion took place between Alger Hiss, director of State Department office of Special Political Affairs and was serving as Secretary General of The United Nations assembly. Dean Virginia Gildersleeve of Barnard College, a member of the U.S. delegation. William G. Carr of the National Education Association.
Here is that discussion and rundown of the days events, from May 12, 1945 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.