FDR Library marks United Nations’ 70th anniversary with panel discussion & light show

Eleanor Roosevelt holds a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Archives)

Eleanor Roosevelt holds a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. (Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Archives)

October 24 is United Nations Day, the anniversary of the international diplomacy organization’s founding. And this year marks the 70th anniversary of this body, conceived during World War II by Franklin D. Roosevelt and shepherded in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, which strives to mediate disputes and foster human rights around the globe – and occasionally even succeeds.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is commemorating this milestone with three events this weekend. The original 1945 Charter of the United Nations will go and display at the Roosevelt Library, on loan from the National Archives in Washington, DC and viewable by regular museum admission through November 23. On Saturday evening, October 24, the Roosevelt Library building will be illuminated in blue light as part of the international “Turn the World UN Blue” initiative. Citizens are invited to share their “Turn the World UN Blue” images on social media using the hashtag #UN70.

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The centerpiece of the celebration is the Library’s annual fall public forum, beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Henry A. Wallace Center. “The Roosevelts’ United Nations: Then & Now” will explore the creation and history of the UN, its successes and failures and ways in which it may best face the challenges of tomorrow. The panel of experts leading the discussion will include Stephen C. Schlesinger, Century Foundation fellow and author of Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations, and Gillian Sorensen, senior advisor and national advocate for the United Nations Foundation and assistant secretary-general for external relations at the UN from 1997 to 2003. Linda Fasulo, UN correspondent for NPR News and author of An Insider’s Guide to the UN, will be the moderator.

Admission to the forum is free, but preregistration is required; call (845) 486-7745 to register. The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site is located at 4097 Albany Post Road (Route 9) in Hyde Park. For more information, visit www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/publicprograms/calendar.html.

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