United Nations Day is celebrated each year on October 24, marking the day in 1945 when the Charter of the United Nations went into force. The Library of Congress holds an extensive collection of United Nations documents, dating back to that founding year of 1945, which can be found in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. Our collections include the official records produced by the main UN bodies including the Secretariat, General Assembly, Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council, as well as other working documents of the organization.
This year also marks the 75th anniversary, on December 10, 2023, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” is celebrated as a milestone in international human rights.
You can learn more about what the world thought of this broad, inclusive declaration by reading about it in newspapers from the time. The Commission on Human Rights, made up of 18 members from various backgrounds, was chaired by beloved former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, gaining much attention for it in the press.
Take a look at some of the following resources to learn more!
- Find additional news articles about the early days of the United Nations through our Chronicling America* historic American newspaper collection.
- History of the Declaration, United Nations.
- United Nations Day – A Time to Reflect on the Potential Role of the International Court of Justice, In Custodia Legis, Library of Congress.
*The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspapers Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.