26 June-United Nations Charter

The United Nations (UN) was established in October 1945. It is an international organisation which has its headquarters in New York, USA. The headquarters was officially opened on January 9th 1951. World War II had just ended and the UN was established to prevent another such conflict.

At the founding conference of the United Nations 50 states were represented. The conference was held in San Francisco, California in June 1945. At the conference the UN Charter was drafted. It was signed by the 50 nations present at the conclusion of the conference. Today the organisation has 193 member states and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ireland applied to join the United Nations in 1946. The application was refused however, because of Ireland’s failure to support the Allies against Hitler and Nazism during World War II. Ireland eventually became a member of the United Nations on December 14th 1955. The Irish Defence Forces have a continuous presence on peace support operations since 1958. Ireland is also active in many other aspects of UN operations.

The United Nations Charter was signed by 50 nations in the year 1945 On This Day.

Danger in Falling Asleep




02 May-de Valera Condolence on Death of Hitler

The death of Adolf Hitler was announced in April 1945. Taoiseach of Ireland Éamon de Valera signed the book of condolences at the German embassy in Dublin when the announcement was made. During the visit to the embassy he also held a meeting with the German Ambassador to Ireland Edouard Hemple.

The incident gave rise to international anger, dismay and condemnation. It came as the world was trying to come to terms with the barbaric atrocities committed by Hitler and the National Socialist Party of Germany (Nazi’s) during World War II.

Just a couple of months previous to de Valera’s visit to the German Embassy, photo and film coverage had emerged of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The coverage had shown in graphic detail the horror of the Holocaust. Genocide on an enormous scale had been committed at concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The media in the US carried extensive reports of the visit by de Valera to the German Embassy. The visit was condemned as ‘neutrality gone mad’ (New York Times) and ‘moral myopia’ (Washington Post). Irish Americans were also outraged by de Valera’s actions. Angela Walsh from New York wrote: ‘Have you seen the motion pictures of the victims of German concentration camps, de Valera? Have you seen the crematoriums? Have you seen the bodies of little children murdered by Nazi hands?….Have you seen the living dead, de Valera? Skin stretched over bone, and too weak to walk?’

It was also noted that Salazar, the dictator in Portugal had flags flown at half-mast when the death of the man who had come be regarded as the enemy of the human race was announced. Other neutral counties such as Switzerland and Sweden did not offer their condolence.

Éamon de Valera, leader of Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach of Ireland went to the German Embassy in Dublin following the death of Adolf Hitler to sign the book of condolences in the year 1945 On This Day.

De Valera

Liberation of Auschwitz photo

Auschwitz-Birkenau 65 years later.

Photo by FaceMePLS




30 April-Hitler

Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria on April 20th 1889. He was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI Party), which controlled Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler was also Chancellor of Germany during those years.

In September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland. The invasion led Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany which began World War II. Hitler and his allies had conquered most of Europe and North Africa by 1941. He invaded the Soviet Union but failed to defeat the Red Army and was forced to retreat. This, together with the entry of the United States into the war, led to the defeat of NAZI Germany in 1945.

Hitler died at the age of 56 in April 1945. Over 5.5 million people of the Jewish faith and millions of others who were regarded as sub human were exterminated during the reign of the NAZI regime. Millions of civilians and soldiers also died during World War II.

Adolf Hitler died in the year 1945 On This Day.




28 April-Mussolini

Benito Mussolini was journalist and socialist politician who founded the Fascist party in Italy in 1919. He was appointed Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and ruled Italy until he was ousted from power in 1943. He was captured and executed by the Italian resistance while trying to escape in April 1945.

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was born in Dovia di Predappio, Forlì in north central Italy on July 29th 1883. He qualified as an elementary schoolteacher in 1901. Mussolini moved to Switzerland in 1902 where he became involved in socialist politics. He returned to Italy in 1904 to work for the socialist press. Following World War I Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in March 1919.

By 1922 Italy was in political chaos. Mussolini was invited by King Victor Emmanuel to form a government. Mussolini took the title of ‘Il Duce’. He gradually dismantled the institutions of democratic government and appointed himself dictator in 1925. He established a regime which was held together by strong state control. Violet Gibson from Dublin, wounded Mussolini, when she attempted to assassinate him on April 7th 1926.

As part of his efforts to form a new Italian Empire Mussolini invaded Ethiopia (then Abyssinia) in 1935. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) he provided military support for Franco who went on to become dictator of Spain. In 1939 he signed the Pact of Steel which increased cooperation with Nazi Germany. Mussolini declared war on the Allies in June 1940.

The Italian Army suffered several defeats in North Africa and the Allies landed troops in Sicily in July 1943. Mussolini was overthrown by his own Fascist party and imprisoned. He was rescued by German commandos and installed as leader of a puppet government in northern Italy. When the Allies began to advance northwards in 1945, Mussolini attempted to flee to Switzerland. He was captured and executed by Italian partisans in Mezzegra on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy.

Benito Mussolini was executed in the year 1945 On This Day.


Mussolini’s body hanging upside down in Milan


06 February-Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a singer, songwriter and musician who during his brief lifetime became an international superstar. He sold more than 20 million records during his career and was responsible for introducing reggae music to the world.

Bob Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley in Jamaica in 1945. He had an interest in music and singing from a young age and formed a band with his friends while still at school. The band, which eventually came to be known as the Wailers, had its first number 1 hit in Jamaica in 1964 with the single ‘Simmer Down’. It sold over 70,000 copies. Though the band became very popular it was not a financial success.

In 1966 Marley married Rita Anderson. Shortly thereafter he moved to the United States. He resided close to where his mother was living in Wilmington, Delaware and worked as a laboratory assistant with DuPont. After spending eight months in the US Marley returned to Jamaica. He reunited with his former band and converted from Roman Catholicism to Rastafari.

The Wailers breakthrough began in the early 70’s. They began to tour extensively and in 1975 they had their first international his with ‘No Woman, No Cry’. The Wailers disbanded and Marley went on to pursue a solo career. The release of the album Exodus in 1977 established his international reputation. With sales of over 75 million records Marley is one of the best-selling artists of all time. On July 6th 1980 he performed at a concert in Dalymount Park in Dublin.

On May 11th 1981 Bob Marley died at a hospital in Miami, Florida. He was only 36 years old and was on his way home to Jamaica. He had become an international superstar and his religious and political sentiments showed clearly in his music. Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Bob Marley was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, in the year 1945 On This Day.