The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
After 1950 the anniversary of the declaration has been known as Human Rights Day.

Read the Declaration of Human Rights

Resolution 25

Detroit-born U.N. diplomat Ralph J. Bunche became the first Black American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.



The award was in recognition of his peace mediation during the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.


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From his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway.
“There are some in the world who are prematurely resigned to the inevitability of war. Among them are the advocates of the so-called “preventive war,” who, in their resignation to war, wish merely to select their own time for initiating it. To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honourable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions which beget further war.”

Chief Albert Luthuli, President-General of the banned African National Congress, appealed for racial equality in racially separatist apartheid South Africa after accepting the Nobel peace prize for 1960 in Oslo, Norway.

Mr. Luthuli said he considered the award “a recognition of the sacrifices made by the peoples of all races [in South Africa], particularly the African people who have endured and suffered so much for so long.”
“It may well be that South Africa’s social system is a monument to racialism and race oppression, but its people are the living testimony to the unconquerable spirit of mankind. Down the years, against seemingly overwhelming odds, they have sought the goal of fuller life and liberty, striving with incredible determination and fortitude for the right to live as men – free men.”

Albert Luthuli

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded Nobel Peace Prize

From his speech in Oslo: “After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that [civil rights] movement is profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.
Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.”

Read the speech:

Julia Butterfly Hill, age 23, climbed “Luna,” a 1,000-year-old California redwood, to protect it from loggers.



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Julia Butterfly atop Luna

ranian democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, accepted the award in Oslo, Norway “for her efforts for democracy and human rights.

IShe has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children.”

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from Peace Buttons


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