Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On December 2

On this day in ...
... 1946, The New York Times reported that the United States had "formally offered to turn over the historic Presidio in San Francisco to the United Nations as its permanent world capital." The offer came after U.N. delegates had visited potential sites in Philadelphia, Westchester, and New York City. In the end U.N. headquarters would be established in the last of those cities, a decision decried in chapter 13 of the memoir of then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson:
When later the United Nations was looking for a site, I believed that it should be in Europe and favored Geneva or Copenhagen, but pressure grew for its headquarters to be in the United States. President Truman’s offer of the beautiful Presidio site on the shore of the Pacific at the Golden Gate seemed a perfect one, establishing its home in the city of its birth. The misplaced generosity of the Rockefeller family, however, placed it in a crowded center of conflicting races and nationalities.

Decades later a proposal to move part of UNICEF's operations to the Presidio (above left), a longtime Army base, also would go nowhere.

(Prior December 2 posts are here and here.)

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