United Nations Day 2019

Today, October 24th, we celebrate the creation of the United Nations on its 74th year of operation. The international organization was created in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries. The purpose of the UN is to maintain international peace and security. Member countries are also trying to improve relations among nations to create social progress, better living standards and human rights. Here at Lehigh University Special Collections we have a pamphlet from 1948 called “World Peace through the United Nations” by Thomas J. Watson.

Watson was an American businessman who served as the chairman and CEO for International Business Machines (IBM) from 1914 to 1956. He developed the IBM management style and corporate culture, growing it into one of the biggest corporations in the world. While at IBM, Watson was a member of the Newcomen Society of North America, an educational foundation dedicated to celebrating the history of engineering and technology. This pamphlet focuses on the United Nations’ effectiveness after World War II, with Watson’s speech detailing ways to help maintain this peace. The ideas presented by Watson were to highlight opportunities for business leader to maintain economic peace through the the United Nations. It was stated as “World Peace through World Trade” that would strengthen the economic foundation of the world. The idea and slogan were originally produced by Watson for The International Chamber of Commerce, but World War II broke out before his plans could be put into effect. The idea was for businesses to operate as a unified entity across separate states. 

Lehigh University is now a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the United Nations, just the sixth university in the world to achieve such recognition.

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