This Day In International Law – September 19th

By: Aaron Murphy

September 19th, 1946

In a speech at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, Sir Winston Churchill lamented Europe’s seemingly eternal “series of frightful nationalistic quarrels” that “wreck the peace and mar the prospects of all mankind.” Sobered by the devastation of the Second World War and desperate to permanently suffocate the sectarian flames that engulfed the continent on such an alarmingly regular basis, Churchill called for large-scale solidarity and greater political cohesion.

“We must build a kind of United States of Europe,” he said.

Churchill’s clarion call planted the seeds for the Council of Europe and presciently wove the prospect of a unified Europe into the future of the continent.  Today, the Council counts forty-seven nations among its members, dedicating itself to the promotion of human rights and the development of legal standards and rule of law initiatives among the countries of Europe.

September 19th, 1959

September 19th of 1959 found Nikita Khruschev barred from entering Disneyland due to “security concerns.” One wonders if the Cold War would have ended much sooner had Khruschev been allowed to frolick through The Most Magical Place On Earth for a solid twenty-four hours. In any case, the mental image of a joyfully intoxicated Soviet Premier floating through the delightful environs of “It’s A Small World” certainly lifts the spirits.

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