I want to share with you a story told by Rosa Parks. It has been affirmed by others. B-ham, AL (Birmingham, AL ) was one of the most viciously segregated cities in America. Whites bombed a church there, killing 4 little black girls. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was holding a convention in the city…
…instinct to defend himself from attack.
Ambassador Ralph Bunche?
(Hold on…WHAT?!). He was the first African American to be so honored.
- He was involved in the formation and administration of the United Nations and played a major role in numerous peacekeeping operations sponsored by the UN.
(THAT’S CRAZY TALK. WHAT ELSE DID THIS AMERICAN DO!???)
- In 1963, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President John F. Kennedy.
- Bunche served on the US delegation to both the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in 1944, and the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco in 1945 that drafted the UN charter.
- Bunche served on the American delegation to the first session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946.
- In 1948 he became an acting mediator for the Middle East, negotiating an armistice between Egypt and Israel.
- For this success he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 (The year I was born!)
- He continued to serve at the United Nations, working on crises in the Sinai (1956), the Congo (1960), Yemen (1963), Cyprus (1964) and Bahrain in 1970, reporting directly to the UN secretary general.
- He also chaired study groups dealing with water resources in the Middle East. In 1957 he was promoted to Undersecretary for special political affairs, having prime responsibility for peacekeeping roles.
- In 1965 he supervised the cease-fire following the war between India and Pakistan. He retired from the UN in 1971.
On January 15, 1969 – One year after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
As one of his final acts as president, Lyndon Johnson sent the Apollo 8 “Earthrise” photo to nearly every head of state. Much to his surprise, he received a thank-you card from North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh—a singular exchange during the Vietnam War.
Boy-howdee! It’s a small World after all.