List of Contenders


Capitals of the World


At the height of world capital boosterism in December 1945, the United Nations and newspaper accounts typically reported that between thirty and fifty suggestions for the headquarters site had been received.  That size and scope of interest has since been repeated in historical accounts. The more extensive list below has been compiled from the United Nations Archives, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, the Congressional Record, various local newspapers, local government records, and collections of personal papers. The range and scope of proposals indicates the previously unexplored public fascination with the prospect of creating a “capital of the world” and offers a source base for investigating the evolving relationship between local, regional, and national identity, and global consciousness.

Additions to this list subsequent to the publication of Capital of the World are noted in blue.


1. Anchorage (suggestion) – In November 1945, an editorial in the Anchorage Daily Times suggested that Anchorage could meet all of the UN’s requirements as well as offer land already owned by the federal government and favorable business conditions. The suggestion was ridiculed in the San Francisco Chronicle, whose reporter noted that the town “recently added a few cement walks” and could be counted upon to provide “a magnificent one-story world capitol of slat board, modern even to the extent of inside toilet facilities.” 1


2. Douglas (suggestion)  – James L. Kennedy, a private citizen, wrote to the UN on December 24, 1945, to suggest Douglas’s location on the “dividing line between the Spanish Republics and the English-speaking countries of the Western hemisphere” and its position “midway between the capital of China on the West, and the capital of U.S.S.R. on the East.”  He also pointed out the climate, water supply, and access to rail transportation. 2

3.  Grand Canyon (suggestion) – Governor John Dempsey advocated this location beginning in July 1945. Lee F. Jones of Pasadena, California, also wrote to President Harry S. Truman on December 3, 1945, to suggest that the UN headquarters be placed “within the depths of the Grand Canyon.” 3


4.  Intersection of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (suggestion) – An Oklahoma City man, Henry T. Miller, wrote to President Truman on December 29, 1945, to suggest that the UN be placed on a tract of land at this location, which he proposed to rename as “Roosevelt, I.D.” (International District). 4


5.  Berkeley (invitation) – In a resolution passed during the UN’s first conference in San Francisco in May 1945, the Berkeley City Council argued that because of “close proximity to San Francisco, the birthplace of the United Nations charter, it would be exceedingly appropriate to have the [world] Capital situated in this City.” 5

6.  Catalina Island (suggestion) – A resident of Los Angeles, Maria Wolters, wrote to Governor Earl Warren on February 27, 1946, to suggest Catalina Island. 6

7.  Crystal Springs (campaign) – Sites north and south of the Crystal Springs chain of lakes were offered in October 1946 as San Francisco boosters sought counterparts to the UN’s favored but controversial suburban sites near New York City. 7

8.  Los Angeles (suggestion) – Although the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Chamber of Commerce endorsed San Francisco’s campaign, Los Angeles appeared among suggestions from individuals. Interest in making L.A. the world capital was reported by the Philadelphia Record on March 30 1945; an individual from Santa Monica wrote to the UN in December 1945 to suggest Los Angeles County for its association with Spanish missionaries, its friendly people, transportation services, climate, and varied environment; and in October 1946, local resident R.A. Vanderlinde wrote to Governor Earl Warren to suggest L.A.’s Elysian Park. 8

9.  Marin County – San Pablo Bay (suggestion) – A real estate agent in Berkeley, Calif., E.E. Webster, suggested the northern shore of San Pablo Bay in Marin County to Governor Earl Warren in a letter on November 13, 1945. 9

10. Monterey Peninsula (suggestion) – S.F.B. Morse, president of Del Monte Properties Company, suggested Monterey on the basis of its climate, beauty, resort hotels, and location 100 miles from San Francisco. “The city of Monterey is the most historically important town in California,” he stated in a letter on October 27, 1945. “It was the capital of this region both under the Spanish and Mexican regimes, and is situated dead center of the state.” A resident of Los Angeles, Jack Brunt, also suggested to the Governor of California that the UN be placed “somewhere along the 17-mile drive between Monterey and Carmel by the sea.” The Monterey Peninsula was discussed by visiting site inspectors a year later but rejected as too distant from San Francisco. 10

11. Moraga Valley / Contra Costa County  (campaign) – Interest in Contra Costa County was reported by the press as early as March 30, 1945, and a campaign to bring the UN to the Moraga Valley was endorsed by the Contra Costa Supervisors and underway by September. The campaign called attention to large expanses of land in the valley as well as its accessibility by highway from San Francisco. The Moraga Valley idea revived a year later as part of San Francisco’s efforts to offer regional locations, but site inspectors eliminated this East Bay site in favor of other possibilities closer to San Francisco. 11

12. Palm Springs (invitation) – The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce delivered an early invitation for a UN headquarters to President Roosevelt in March 1945, but additional interest emerged in connection with an elaborate plan to create a peace memorial called the “Tower of Civilization and World Unity” in Palm Springs. The promoter of the memorial project, Parker W. Meade of San Diego, submitted an extensive proposal to expand his memorial plans into a world capital, with a world university, to be located near San Francisco. 12

13. Palo Alto (suggestion) – Andrew Swanson, a resident of San Francisco, suggested to California Governor Earl Warren on January 6, 1946, that the UN locate in Palo Alto to be close to Stanford University. 13

14. Pleasanton (suggestion) – The “old Hearst ranch” in Pleasanton, east of San Francisco, was suggested by the ranch manager, John A. Marshall, in a letter to Governor Earl Warren on November 20, 1946. 14

15. “Redwood Empire” (invitation) – In an early move to secure the UN in California, the California Legislature passed a resolution on April 7, 1945, to place the headquarters in the “Redwood grove in the West’s Redwood Empire.” 15

16. San Francisco (campaign) – Extensive efforts to retain the UN at the site of its first conference were initiated by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in March 1945 and followed up by offers of countryside sites near Crystal Springs on the San Francisco Peninsula and in Contra Cost County later in the year. UN site inspectors also took interest in the Presidio, but ultimately rejected the West Coast as being too distant from European capitals. (See Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, and 9).

17. San Simeon (suggestion) – Despite the strong isolationist position of William Randolph Hearst, a resident of San Francisco, Jerome Landfield, suggested the Hearst Estate at San Simeon because of its magnificent buildings and available land. “I take it for granted that [Hearst] must realize what a white elephant San Simeon would be after his death, since it is not suited to any public use and that it is most unlikely that anyone could be found able and willing to acquire it for a residence,” Landfield wrote to Governor Earl Warren on March 12, 1946. 16

18. Santa Barbara (suggestion) – A private citizen, Mary M. Simpson, proposed Santa Barbara in a letter to Governor Earl Warren on November 21, 1946. “Where is there a more cultural, educational atmosphere, wonderful climate, winter sports, beaches, etc., etc., than in Santa Barbara?” she asked, reflecting some of the UN diplomats’ expectations for a world capital. 17

19. Santa Clara County (invitation) – The chairman of the Board of Supervisors, C.P. Cooley, wrote to the UN on January 9, 1946, to invite consideration of Santa Clara County on the basis of its climate and available sites. 18

20. Santa Rosa (suggestion) – A private citizen, Leo B.F. Jenkins, wrote on January 18, 1946, to urge consideration of this location where “God has seen fit to create the fairest and most beautiful valley in all the world.” 19

21. Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island (suggestion) – Harold French, a resident of Oakland, suggested these “world known” islands near San Francisco to California Governor Earl Warren in a letter on November 12, 1945. Man-made Treasure Island was the site of the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939-40, and nearby Yerba Buena Island served as the connecting point for the two spans of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, completed in 1936. 20


22. Colorado Springs (suggestion) – Robert Barnstone of the Colorado Sterling Silver Company wrote to President Truman and to Adlai Stevenson in December 1945 to promote Colorado Springs as “a quiet restful town with America’s most healthful climate.” He described Colorado Springs as having “the charm and peace of Geneva plus the best of American living.” Officially, however, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce endorsed Denver’s bid to become the world capital.  21

23. Denver (campaign) – James A. Marsh, an attorney and Democratic National Committeeman, launched the campaign in October 1945 to make Denver “the Geneva of the Western Hemisphere.” With the backing of Mayor Benjamin Stapleton and the Denver Chamber of Commerce, University of Colorado President Robert L. Stearns carried the case directly to the UN in London, but all sites west of the Mississippi River were eliminated because of their distance from Europe. (See Chapters 5 and 6.)  22

24. Dolores (suggestion) – On the letterhead of “New Age Gardens,” private citizen Parker C. Kendall wrote to President Truman and to his “fellow world citizens” in November and December 1945, to suggest this location in the San Juan Basin, offering also “our Light of Reason on any debatable question.”  23

25. Una (suggestion) – The idea to transform this small community into a new city for the UN  came from Anna C. Hoyt, an employee of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass., who wanted the new world capital to be called “Una,” for “United Nations Association.” She discovered that Una already existed on the Colorado River between the De Beque and Grand Valleys. 24


Governor Raymond E. Baldwin invited UN site inspectors to review possible locations in Connecticut in a telegram on December 31, 1945, following the diplomats’ decision to focus on areas near New York City and Boston.  The site inspection group included parts of Fairfield County in its tour and ultimately ignited a public controversy by selecting a site that included parts of Greenwich. (See Chapters 7 and 8.)  25

26. Hartford (invitation) – Following a suggestion by Hartford resident Fred L. Rice that appeared in the Hartford Courant in July 1945, the idea of the Connecticut state capital as a world capital gained official attention in October 1945, when former Mayor Thomas J. Spellacy urged Mayor William H. Mortensen to seek the prize. Spellacy called attention to Hartford’s founding by Pilgrims from Massachusetts and the precedent of the first frame for government, the Fundamental Orders. Mortensen’s successor, Mayor Cornelius A. Moylan, carried the idea forward with a telegram to the UN on December 24, 1945, in which he called the UN’s attention to Hartford’s  location midway between Boston and New York and indicated the organization could locate in the city or in one of the nearby small towns. Along with climate, transportation, and educational institutions, Hartford was one of the few world capital hopefuls to mention its “high class industries.”  26

27. New Haven (invitation) – Charles A. Williams, president of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce, wired the UN on December 18, 1945, to call attention to New Haven’s rail connections to major U.S. cities, its “equable climate,” available sites, and the experts in international law, politics, and economics at Yale University.  27

28. New London / Waterford (invitation) – Mayor James A. May and other city officials wrote to Edward Stettinius on December 29, 1945, to promote the “Greater New London area,” including New London, Waterford, and Groton, as a location between New York and Boston with railroad connections and “no labor troubles.”  28

29. New Milford (suggestion) – Secretary of State James F. Byrnes received the suggestion of New Milford from George Harvey, a local resident and former borough president of Queens County, New York.  29

30. Ridgefield (invitation) – Ruth “Sunny” Cutten offered her estate known as Sunset Hall in an invitation relayed to the UN by U.S. Senator Brien McMahon on December 15, 1945, and she dispatched a representative to London to issue a personal appeal. In January 1946, the UN inspection group toured her property during its circuit of suburban locations north of New York City.  Chamber of Commerce officials 15 miles to the south in Norwalk, Connecticut, encouraged the UN to consider Cutten’s property together with about a dozen other estates as the setting for its headquarters. (See Chapters 5 and 7).  30

31. Stamford (invitation) – A local real estate developer, Arthur I. Crandall, conceived of the idea of Stamford as world capital, leading to a formal invitation from the Stamford Board of Selectmen on December 1, 1945. Stamford’s invitation drew attention to a larger site including parts of nearby Greenwich, the UN’s first controversial choice for its headquarters.  31


32. Jacksonville (invitation) – Pointing out that Florida had an international heritage including France, Spain, England, and the United States, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce invited the UN to place the world capital on St. John’s Bluff, where “Admiral Jean Ribault of the French Navy established a settlement in 1562.” The invitation, sent to the UN on  September 12, 1945, called attention to Jacksonville’s location “on the main line of world aviation” as well as its railroads and steamship lines.  32

33. Miami (campaign) – In Miami, which served as a World War II hub for military transportation, housing, training, and hospitalization, the campaign to attract the UN originated with a Navy officer, Rear Admiral C.D. Leffler Jr. In addition to offering an East Coast location with a favorable climate year-round, the Miami Chamber of Commerce argued that as a resort city, Miami would spare the UN any entanglements with industrial labor conflicts. In a promotional booklet filled with statistics and photographs of seaside hotels and grand estates,  the boosters suggested that the UN place its headquarters in Villa Vizcaya, the Bicayne Bay estate of the late James Deering, an International Harvester executive. U.S. Senator Claude Pepper made a personal appeal for Miami while in London in December 1945, but the city was eliminated with all other contenders in the South.  33


34. Warm Springs (suggestion) – An Atlanta lawyer, Piromis Bell, wrote of his idea for creating a world capital at Warm Springs as a memorial to Franklin Roosevelt in correspondence in May 1945 with his friend Chase S. Osborn, the former governor of Michigan.  34


35. Honolulu County (campaign) – After learning of the developing competition at the National Governors Conference in July 1945, Governor Ingram M. Stainback initiated a campaign to attract the UN to Honolulu. (Earlier, President Roosevelt also commissioned a secret inquiry into the possibility of placing the UN on the Hawaiian island of Niihau.) In contrast to other contenders who stressed their proximity to world capitals, the Hawaiians stressed the advantages of being “far enough removed from any of the potentially explosive situations of the world.” Aided by a public relations firm, the Kudner Agency, Hawaii’s bid included a 55-pound, large-format promotional book delivered to London in October 1945.  35


36. Farragut (suggestion) – Clark Collins of the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce and E.G. Younger of the Coer d’Alene Chamber of Commerce wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to recommend the U.S. Naval Training Station on Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho. 36


37. Champaign County (invitation) – A local attorney, John Appleman, first suggested Champaign County to the United Nations on the basis of its central location, rural location with accessibility to Chicago, new airport, excellent railroad and highway facilities, the University of Illinois library, the beautiful cities of Champaign and Urbana, the recreation and entertainment venues, and healthy climate.  He was joined in issuing a formal invitation on December 3, 1945, by Champaign County Board of Supervisors Chairman C.C. Haworth, Champaign Mayor George Babb, Urbana Mayor George Hurd, and University of Illinois President Arthur C. Willard. 37

38. Chicago (campaign) – In June 1945, Mayor Edward Kelly initiated a vigorous campaign to create a world capital in Chicago on the site of the Century of Progress Exposition.  Chicago appealed directly to the UN in London, but the city was eliminated with the rest of the Midwest region because of its reputation for isolationism. (See Chapter 3, 5, and 6.)

39. Morris (suggestion) – Jo Ann Chally, a local resident, wrote to President Harry Truman to suggest this location in November 1945. 38

40. Springfield (invitation) – Following a suggestion in the Illinois State Journal, Mayor John W. Kapp invited the UN to Springfield because of its inspirational heritage as the home and burial place of Abraham Lincoln and its “liberty-loving people.” 39


Indiana took the unusual booster stance of stressing the advantages of being typical, along with calling attention to some particular attributes. Governor Ralph F. Gates initiated a campaign to bring the United Nations to Indiana, writing to the UN on October 17, 1945, that “Indiana is the typical state of the United States containing the center of population.”  He also called attention to the state’s transportation facilities and its residents’ sacrifices for the war effort.  As possible sites, Indiana offered several of its parks (described below). Lieutenant Gov. Richard T. James traveled to London to present Indiana’s claims, but the state was eliminated with the rest of the Midwest, which diplomats viewed as too isolationist. (See Chapters 5 and 6). 40

41. Dunes State Park (campaign) – If the UN desired a site near a city, Indiana officials offered Dunes State Park, located on Lake Michigan only 14 miles from downtown Chicago. Such a site “will be only a few minutes from the Illinois metropolis when hydroplane service is established,” an Indianapolis newspaper columnist imagined. 41

42.  French Lick Springs (suggestion) – While promoting Indiana’s parks for the UN’s consideration, Governor Ralph F. Gates also suggested the possibility of this “internationally famous spa.”  Earlier, French Lick also was mentioned as a contender for the UN’s first conference by Secretary of State Edward Stettinius Jr., who thought it could be useful to hold such a meeting in an isolationist section of the country. 42

43. Indianapolis (suggestion) – An editorial in The Indianapolis News on May 15, 1945, suggested that Indiana’s capital city should be promoted to the UN because its facilities could  match anything being offered by Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Setting aside this early suggestion, Indiana officials looked instead to state parks as potential sites for the UN. 43

44. Lincoln State Park (campaign) – Indiana’s governor described this park northeast of Evansville as a location with “both a practical and symbolic appeal” because of its scenic beauty and its association with Abraham Lincoln “and the tremendous blow which he struck for human freedom.” 44

45. Madison (suggestion) – Overlooking the Ohio River, Madison’s bluffs should be offered to the UN as “Riviera of America,” a resident of Indianapolis, John Coulter, suggested to Governor Ralph Gates in November 1945. Other sites near Madison mentioned in Indiana’s proposals, but not among the featured offers of the campaign, included Clifty Falls State Park and the government-owned Jefferson Proving Ground. 45

46. Michigan City / International Friendship Gardens (campaign) – At the instigation of its public relations director, F.I. Lackens, International Friendship Gardens became a featured site in the Indiana governor’s appeal to the UN and nearby Michigan City considered itself a contender by virtue of proximity. Governor Ralph F. Gates described the gardens as “100 acres of land dedicated to the various nations of the world” and noted the project’s origins at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933. He called attention to the gardens’ location just one hour from Chicago by train or highway. 46

47. Pokagon State Park (campaign) – The governor of Indiana promoted this state park as a possible UN location on the basis of its available acreage and the recreational opportunities of Lake James.  He noted the land was “once ruled by the powerful Potawatomi Indian tribes.” 47

48. South Bend (invitation) – The executive secretary of the South Bend Association of Commerce, E.L. Bach, invited the UN to consider his city’s location on cross-country transportation routes and its cultural, educational, and medical facilities. “South Bend is typically American and middle-west in character and would offer much insight to visitors of other nations,” he wrote on November 9, 1945. “In turn, the middle-west of this country would be further enlightened by the proximity of such an international institution.” His view of the Midwest differed from UN diplomats, who eliminated all prospects in the region because of its reputation for isolationism. 48

49. Straw Town (suggestion) – Clara J. Nuzum, the manager of the Auto License Branch in Elwood, Indiana, wrote to her governor to suggest this location on October 19, 1945.  She described Straw Town, northeast of Indianapolis, as ideal: “It is almost the geographical center of the state; it lacked only one vote when the site of the state capital was chosen; transportation facilities are available; there is all the room wanted for great airports; White River at that spot offers opportunity for scenic effects, natural and artificial; it does not encroach upon existing cities in carrying out the plan of making the peace city an entirely new one.” She suggested naming the new city Gates, after the governor. 49


50. Princeton (invitation) – The Princeton Boosters Club offered a twenty-acre site overlooking the Mississippi River and sent its president to New York to personally lobby the UN. 50


51. Lebanon (suggestion) – Forest R. Rees, president of the American Explorers organization, wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to nominate Lebanon, the U.S. “geographical center.” Mrs. Ira Lauderdale of Austin, Texas, also wrote to President Truman to urge that the UN “be located somewhere in the state of Kansas as that is the geographical center of the United States.” 51

52. Newton (suggestion) – A real estate salesman, Jacob J. Regler, wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt on October 24, 1946, to suggest his town as a location for an underground headquarters to protect the UN from atomic bombs. Regler wrote that Newton would be ideal for this purpose because of its deep water table and lack of earthquakes. 52

53. Olathe (invitation)  – Blanche Worrell Nicholson of Clearfield, Utah, wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to offer a 42-acre site at Olathe, which she identified as the “exact geographical center” of the United States. The President’s staff noted that “she owns it and would give it gratis.” 53

54. Topeka (suggestion) – Proposed to the UN by U.S. senator Arthur Capper. 54


55. New Orleans (campaign) – The New Orleans Association of Commerce campaigned for the UN’s consideration beginning in October 1945. The boosters promoted their city as “the most centrally located city in this country with reference to all the Americas,” especially Latin America. They also called attention to the city’s French and Spanish heritage and plans for other international projects such as a Pan-American exposition or Olympic Games. They proposed two possible sites: on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain within the city limits, or on the north shore of the Lake on property including parts of the parishes (counties) of St. Tammany, Washington, and Tangipahoa. Unable to make air travel arrangements in time to make a pitch personally to the UN, the boosters relied on presentation delivered by a journalist, foreign correspondent Frederick Oechsner, a former resident of New Orleans. Like all other southern hopefuls, New Orleans lost its chance when the diplomats excluded the South because of expectations of racial discrimination. (See Chapters 5 and 6). 55


56. Bar Harbor (invitation) – Although Governor Horace Hildreth stated publicly that Maine did not have the educational or housing facilities the UN needed, he nevertheless relayed an invitation from Bar Harbor stressing its qualities as a summer resort and accessibility “via great circle route [from Europe] only thirteen hours by air.” UN delegates discussed the invitation but concluded that Bar Harbor was too far away from major metropolitan areas.  (See Chapter 6.) 56

57. Lucerne (suggestion) – Responding to reports that the British desired “a small town in the East,” the Bangor Daily News on December 20, 1945, suggested Lucerne, a town nine miles from Bangor with “a touch of the old world in the new with scenery beyond compare.” The newspaper pointed out that Bangor’s airport would permit travel from London within twelve hours’ time. 57

58. Presque Isle (invitation) – In a telegram on December 30, 1945, the local Chamber of Commerce invited the UN to consider the accessibility of the Presque Isle Army Air Field. 58

59. Sanford (suggestion) – A woman who signed her letter “Mary Elizabeth” wrote to the UN on December 27, 1945, to suggest Sanford. “We do not have the worldlyness of our great cities to offer you,” she wrote. “We have only one air port, the best on the east coast. Yet God has given us the most wonderful gifts of nature.” She closed her letter with a prayer for peace. 59

60. York (invitation) – The Selectmen of York invited the UN with a telegram on January 2, 1946, that promoted their town’s advantages from an unspecified “historical, cultural, geographic, and practical standpoint.” 60


61. Baltimore (invitation) – Mayor Theodore R. Keldin extended an invitation by writing to the U.S. Secretary of State on July 25, 1945. The Baltimore City Council followed up with a resolution on October 8, 1945, that promoted the city’s proximity to the national capital and other major metropolitan areas as well as its location on the Chesapeake Bay and its “world renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, Medical School, and University.” 61

62. Kent Island (suggestion) – A resident of Kent Island wrote to U.S. Senator Millard Tydings on February 5, 1946, to suggest a property south of his farm as more affordable than the Connecticut site recommended by the UN site inspectors. 62


Efforts to bring the UN to Massachusetts originally focused on Boston, but in late December 1945 and early January 1946, the UN’s interest in a Boston-area location triggered interest in numerous cities and towns.

63. Andover (invitation) – With UN site inspectors on the way to Boston, the Andover Town Selectmen notified Governor Maurice Tobin of their desire to offer a site in Andover. 63

64. Auburn (invitation) – Frank H. Allan, chairman, Board of Selectmen extended Auburn’s invitation on Christmas Day, 1945, with promises of access to an airport, railroad center, four colleges, and golf courses. 64

65. Belmont (invitation) – A committee of civic leaders chaired by Harvard history professor Donald C. McKay presented Governor Maurice Tobin with a map identifying 315 acres of Belmont and suggested that this might be connected with additional property in Lexington, Waltham, and Concord to provide a sufficient site for the UN. 65

66. Barnstable (invitation) – Unattributed invitation reported by the Boston Globe.

67. Beverly (campaign) – A civic committee including Mayor Daniel E. McLean, the Chamber of Commerce, and the managing editor of the Beverly Evening Times, mobilized at the end of December 1945 to attract the UN this North Shore community. Boosters stressed Beverly’s history as a site of summer homes for diplomats, its transportation connections, and recreational opportunities including bathing, yachting, and polo. UN site inspectors visited Beverly in January 1946 and again in November 1946, but opted for a New York-area location instead of Boston. (See Chapters 6 and 7.) 66

68. Boston (campaign) – Led by Governor Maurice Tobin, Boston initiated its campaign in July  1945 and carried its proposal directly to the UN in London. The efforts succeeded in repeated visits to the Boston area by UN site inspection teams, but the diplomats opted instead for the suburbs of New York and ultimately New York City. (See Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.)

69. Boylston (suggestion) – See Worcester.

70. Bridgewater (invitation) – An offer from Bridgewater arrived during the UN’s narrowing of site choices at the end of December 1945. 67

71. Cambridge (invitation) – To support the effort to attract the UN to the Boston area, in November 1945 the City Manager of Cambridge, John B. Atkinson, commissioned plans for a headquarters to be constructed facing the Charles River or on the shore of Fresh Pond. Drawings by an unidentified architect showed a mid-rise, four-sided headquarters with a lagoon at its center, a dome resembling the Massachusetts State House, and a surrounding park. Atkinson argued that “Cambridge, the original laboratory in democracy, is, as a result of the war, one of the world’s greatest scientific research centers, an important matter for the UNO to consider.” The Cambridge City Council questioned the potential loss of taxable property, but Atkinson prevailed and submitted a formal invitation to the UN. 68

72. Canton (campaign) – See Quincy.

73. Cape Cod (invitation)– The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and Barnstable County Commissioners offered a free site with the advantages of historical significance, good transportation, and an ideal climate in a telegram to the UN on December 25, 1945. An additional telegram from a supportive citizen, Charles Davis, on December 30 noted Cap Cod’s distance from “governmental and financial circles and their influence.” 69

74. Concord / Lexington (suggestion) – On November 9, 1945, Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers received this suggestion from a constituent and then forwarded it to Adlai Stevenson. Rogers cited the historic character of the towns, but the UN’s interest prompted resistance among residents who feared that the presence of the world organization would destroy that character. UN site inspectors visited in January 1946 but later opted for sites in the area of New York rather than Boston. (See Chapter 7.) 70

75. Dedham (campaign) – See Quincy.

[Gardner (campaign): On January 5, 1946, boosters in Gardner promoted their town in a publication titled “Gardner Massachusetts: A Logical Site for the Permanent Home of the United Nations Organization.” William A. McMahon (1910-98) spearheaded the campaign. — Documentation provided by Sean M. Fisher, archivist, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.]

76. Greenfield (invitation) – Reported by Springfield Union, December 29, 1945.

77. Hamilton (invitation) – As the home of the late General Patton, Hamilton invited the UN’s consideration in late December 1945. The town selectmen also endorsed nearby Beverly’s campaign to place the UN on the Princemere estate. 71

78. Hingham (invitation) – This invitation would have placed the UN on the peninsula known as “World’s End” – a site with a fine view of Boston, but an inauspicious name for a peace-keeping organization in the atomic age. 72

79. Holden (invitation) – See Sterling.

80. Lenox (invitation) – J. Joseph McCabe, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, described Lenox to the UN as unique and modern as well as rooted in the tradition of New England towns. “Here people of all races and creeds live and worth together in harmony,” he wrote to UN officials on December 12, 1945. “Here industry, the arts, educational institutions, the spiritual leaders, the landed gentry and the modest home owner have combined their efforts to create a place unique in the annals of America. Here are all the conveniences of a modern, progressive civilization together with the dignity and charm of an old New England village.” 73

81. Malden (campaign) – See Medford.

82. Manchester (invitation) – Reported by Boston Globe, January 1, 1946.

83. Martha’s Vineyard (invitation) – A telegram from Martha’s Vineyard residents in November 1946 invited the UN’s interest and promised a suitable environment for “harmonious living and exchange of opinion.” 74

84. Medford / Middlesex Fells (campaign) – In the Middlesex Fells woodlands north of Boston, a site including parts of Medford and Stoneham first drew attention in October 1945 when mentioned by Governor Maurice Tobin as a possible location for the World Court. As interest broadened to creating a UN headquarters in or near Boston, Congressman Angier Goodwin again suggested a site in the Middlesex Fells, and local officials in Medford organized a campaign. By January 1946, the Medford-centered campaign grew to involve other nearby towns north of Boston – Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester, and Woburn – but UN diplomats deemed the area too densely populated. 75

85. Melrose (campaign) – See Medford.

86. Milton (campaign) – See Quincy.

87. Needham (campaign) – See Quincy.

88. Northampton (suggestion) – After reading news reports of British interest in small towns in the East, attorney Luke F. Ryan wrote to the chairman of the British delegation on December 31, 1945, to suggest “the beautiful and unspoiled small city” of Northampton.  Placing the UN in a large city “could be only tragic for world government,” he wrote. 76

89. Norwood (campaign) – See Quincy.

90. Orange (invitation) – If the UN desired a location away from a large city, officials in Orange, population 5,000, invited consideration of their town. Edward F. Haley, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, wrote on December 23, 1945, to point out that Orange had “the finest civilian airport in the east with three runways … able to withstand the largest planes.” He suggested property between the airport and the Quabbin Reservoir as a UN site. In addition to transportation facilities and the scenic White Mountains, Orange and surrounding communities offered “populations that are congenial, educated, and free of racial prejudice and discrimination.” 77

91. Pittsfield (invitation) – Reported by Springfield Union, December 29, 1945.

92. Plymouth (invitation) – County Commissioners in Plymouth invited the UN’s attention with a telegram on December 24, 1945, that emphasized the town’s historic associations.  Describing Plymouth as the site where “a great nation had its beginning,” the commissioners wrote, “We believe the nations of the world might here find the answers which would give birth to a greater and better world of nations.” The UN’s selection group visited Plymouth during its tour of Boston-area sites in January 1946 but found locations closer to the city to be more suitable. (See Chapter 7.) 78

93. Princeton (invitation) – See Sterling.

94. Quincy / Blue Hills (campaign) – After the UN selected the Boston area for consideration in December 1945, telephone calls from interested readers prompted the Quincy Patriot Ledger to publish a front-page editorial promoting the Blue Hills state reservation lands as ideal because of their proximity to Boston, scenic beauty, and large mansions in the town of Milton. Soon, a campaign emerged from the efforts of Congressman Avery W. Gilkerson, Quincy city officials, and Quincy Chamber of Commerce, although not all approved. Calling attention to more local concerns, one city councilman, William W. Jenness, said: “I think we have colossal nerve to suggest to the United Nations where to locate the International capital when we don’t even know where in the hell we are going to locate the city hall.” The campaign nevertheless succeeded in attracting UN site inspectors in January 1945 as well as later in the year to consider a Blue Hills site six miles from Quincy (and 12 miles from Boston) spanning parts of Milton and Canton. Based in Quincy, the campaign expanded into a coordinated effort with other nearby towns – Canton, Needham, Dedham, Norwood, Randolph, Milton, and Braintree. 79  (See Chapters 7 and 9.)

95. Randolph (campaign) – See Quincy.

96. Reading (campaign) – See Medford.

97. Rockland (invitation) – The chairman of the Rockland Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Lelyveld, on December 22, 1945, invited the UN to locate in this ideal “conservative New England town.” 80

98. Shrewsbury (suggestion) – See Worcester.

99. South Weymouth (invitation) – The suitability of the South Weymouth naval air base as a UN “city self-sufficient in itself” was pointed out in to Governor Maurice Tobin in late December 1945 by the chairman of the Weymouth Selectmen, Harry Christensen. 81

100. Springfield (invitation) – On November 2, 1945, Congressman Charles R. Clason relayed a constituent’s suggestion to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes that the UN consider placing its headquarters on the site of the Springfield Armory. Mayor J. Alvin Anderson Jr. followed in December with a telegram elaborating the advantages of Springfield’s transportation facilities, cultural institutions, and nearby colleges and universities. As a practical matter, Springfield could supply “skilled office workers, research and analysis people, as well as librarians,” the mayor promised. 82

101. Sterling (invitation) – As UN site inspectors toured areas near Boston, a group of civic leaders in Sterling sought to expand the itinerary to include Mount Wachusett, a site embracing part of Sterling as well as Princeton, Holden, and Westminster. 83

102. Stoneham (campaign) – See Medford.

103. Taunton (invitation) – Reported by Boston Globe, December 18, 1945.

104. Wakefield (campaign) – See Medford.

105. Westminster (invitation) – See Sterling.

106. West Newbury (invitation) – Reported by Boston Globe, January 13, 1946.

107.Winchester (campaign) – See Medford.

108.Woburn (campaign) – See Medford.

109.Worcester (invitation) – The Worcester Chamber of Commerce and City Council invited the UN’s consideration in late December 1945. In a telegram to the UN on December 24, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Chandler Bullock, described his city as “located almost exactly at population center [of the] New England states.” Along with historical educational, and cultural organizations, the UN would find good transportation, hotels, climate, and scenery. He called Worcester “one of few places where metropolitan facilities are coupled with location in [the] country.” As it became clear that the UN preferred a location outside a city, Chamber of Commerce officials suggested a site including the nearby town of Boylston, together with part of Shrewsbury; and UN site inspectors visited the property in January 1946. 84


110. Battle Creek-Kalamazoo (suggestion) – A site between these two communities was suggested on January 18, 1946, in a letter to President Truman from a private citizen, Mary Frederiksen of Los Angeles, Calif. 85

111. Detroit (campaign) – Initiated as an invitation by the Convention and Tourist Bureau through a City Council resolution in August 1944, Detroit’s interest in the UN revived and grew into a campaign during October and November 1945. Detroit promoted its centrality in the United States and the world, its climate, and its contributions to the war effort.  “Detroit’s contribution to the United Nations’ Victory was so tremendous that the very name ‘Detroit’ is fraught with deep significance throughout the world and carries a romantic appeal that will redound to enhance the prestige and influence of the United Nations Organization,” Frank A. Picard, president of the convention bureau, wrote to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes. Detroit offered Belle Isle, where a race riot had begun during the war, and Memorial Park as possible UN locations. 86(See Chapter 1.)

112. Muskegon (suggestion) – Dr. R.A. Vanderlinde of Los Angeles suggested a site “near the town of Muskegon, which is my birthplace” in a letter to California Governor Earl Warren on October 29, 1946. Vanderlinde also suggested Elysian Park in Los Angeles. 87

113. Sault Ste. Marie (campaign) – A front-page article in the Sault St. Marie Evening News on May 22, 1945, launched the world capital hopes of the two Sault Ste. Maries, in Michigan and Ontario. Carried forward by town officials, business leaders, and especially author and activist Stellanova Osborn, the campaign emphasized the symbolism of the peaceful U.S.-Canadian border and included architectural plans for an island headquarters featuring inscriptions of the tale of Hiawatha. 88 (See Chapter 3.)

114. Three Rivers (suggestion) – Local resident Chet Shafer wrote to President Truman during December 1945 to suggest his town because of its distinction as “the International Headquarters of the Guild of Former Pipe Organ Pumpers.” 89


Three proposals from Minnesota responded to concerns at the UN about finding a U.S. location free of racial discrimination.

115. Brainerd (invitation) – Clyde R. Gorham, president of the Brainerd Civic Association called attention to Brainerd as the “capitol of Paul Bunyan’s playground” with beautiful scenery and pleasant climate in a telegram to Adlai Stevenson, December 23, 1945. The location was “removed from large centers of population yet only three hours by air from Chicago,” and the Brainerd boosters promised, “Race problem unheard of here.” 90

116. Duluth (invitation) –  Responding to news reports that the UN might desire a cool climate, the Duluth Chamber of Commerce extended an invitation in December 1945. Like Brainerd, Duluth pointed out its location three hours by air from Chicago and declared, “Racial discrimination unknown.” 91

117. Minneapolis (invitation) – Mayor Hubert H. Humphrey and the Minnesota United Nations Committee, a citizens group promoting support for the UN, extended an invitation on December 26, 1945.  Describing Minneapolis as an ideal location halfway between the Atlantic and the Pacific, Milwaukee boosters stressed transportation facilities and their city’s internationalism.  “We are proud to claim amongst our citizens the men and women of over fifty different nationalities and of all races colors, and creeds,” they boasted.  “Here is a city without racial intolerance – a community where both negro and white, along with Protestant, Jew and Catholic work together and live in the spirit of cooperation.” 92


118. Jefferson City (suggestion) – Missouri Governor Phil M. Donnelly urged consideration of Jefferson City in a telephone call to the office of UN Delegate Stoyan Gavrilovic in London on December 19, 1945. 93

119. Kansas City / Jackson County (suggestion) – The President of the University of Kansas City, Clarence R. Decker, proposed bringing the UN to Kansas City during a ceremony awarding an honorary degree to native son Harry S. Truman on June 28, 1945. He proposed the university campus or Swope Park as locations, and later in the year eight other potential sites in surrounding Jackson County were identified by the county plan commission. Members of the Kansas City Rotary Club went so far as to telegram Truman and Stalin at the Potsdam Conference in July to argue, “By every standard of measurement Kansas City Missouri is the heart of America and indeed the heart of the world.” Nevertheless, Truman asked his political allies to stop the effort to place the UN in his home county. 94

120. Lake of the Ozarks (suggestion) – C.H. Spink of Fort Worth, Texas, wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to recommend Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. 95

121. St. Louis / Weldon Spring (campaign) – A campaign initiated by Mayor Aloys P. Kaufmann and the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce called the UN’s attention to surplus federal land at the Weldon Spring Ordnance Plant northwest of the city. A former St. Louis mayor, Bernard F. Dickmann, also suggested sites to the north (between the Missouri river and Florissant) and south (along the Mississippi River from Jefferson Barracks to the Meramec). Without comment on the prospect of turning a TNT plant into a headquarters for peace, the Chamber promoted Weldon Spring for its immediate availability of vacant land, utilities in place, and St. Louis’s existing communications and transportation networks. In a presentation to the UN in London, a representative for St. Louis also offered the city’s Municipal Auditorium as an interim meeting place. When the diplomats excluded St. Louis along with other Midwest sites considered overly isolationist, Mayor Kaufmann declared the entire region to be “concerned and incensed.” (See Chapters 5 and 6.) 96

Also see Arkansas, Site 4.


122. Glacier National Park (suggestion) – The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Cut Bank, Montana, wrote to their local newspaper in February 1946 to advocate Glacier National Park as a scenic, inspirational place “far removed from the foggy and soggy locales of the eastern seaboard or the congested industrial stress of the western coastal country.”  They also called attention to the presence of the Blackfeet Indians and their service in two world wars. 97


123. Lincoln (invitation) – Mayor Lloyd J. Mart and other city officials assured the UN that local citizens fully supported the organization’s principles. In an invitation extended on December 23, 1945, they described Lincoln’s residents as “cosmopolitan and tolerant” and the community as “free from slums, racial dissention, and crime.” Lincoln’s location “slightly east of the Geographical Center of the United States” would offer equal accessibility from all directions, and the city’s facilities included colleges and universities, business and government buildings, transportation services, a municipal park, and “a shopping center noted throughout the country.” 98

New Hampshire

124. Conway (invitation) – World Fellowship Inc., a peace and social justice organization, wrote on January 1, 1946, to encourage the UN to choose its 274-acre site near Conway. World Fellowship Founder and President Charles F. Weller offered a detailed plan for a “small-city community” created by an architect involved in planning Australia’s new capital, Canberra. 99

New Jersey

When the UN announced plans to consider sites in the vicinity of New York City, New Jersey cities and towns responded with a flood of invitations.

125. Asbury Park (invitation) – Mayor George A Smock II wrote to the UN Preparatory Commission on December 20, 1945, to promote Asbury Park as a wholesome community free of racial discrimination, with “a cosmopolitan understanding of the world’s people, their customs, and habits based on 75 years of entertaining visitors from all sections of the globe in our resort city.” The local Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis club joined in appealing to the UN while its representatives visited the United States in January 1946, but UN staff members declined to add Asbury Park to the site inspection itinerary. 100

126. Atlantic City (campaign) – The Atlantic City Press promoted the seaside resort as a UN location, with the invitation made official by resolution of the Atlantic City Board of Commissioners on October 25, 1945. The commissioners argued that Atlantic City “presents an ideal location because of its beautiful Boardwalk, beach and ocean, temperate climate, superb hotel accommodations, mammoth Convention Hall, its proximity and accessibility to cosmopolitan centers, and its rail and airport travel facilities.” The State of New Jersey backed the campaign, and representatives were dispatched to London to make a personal appeal for Atlantic City and offer a headquarters site on Brigantine Island. During January 1946, site inspectors from the UN visited Atlantic City as a potential interim location in connection with a proposal for placing the permanent headquarters near Princeton. Later in the year, U.S. officials also considered Atlantic City an option if the UN could not find suitable temporary facilities in New York City. (See Chapters 5 and 7.) 101

127. Atlantic Highlands (suggestion) – A private citizen, H.P. Brainard, recommended the Cliff Lodge scenic drive in Atlantic Highlands. 102

128. Brigantine Island (invitation) – Originally included in Atlantic City’s campaign to attract the UN, Brigantine issued its own invitation in November 1946. Responding to resistance against UN plans in the suburbs north of New York City, Brigantine Mayor Paul Burgess promised that the diplomats could occupy up to two square miles of undeveloped land without disturbing the island’s 500 residents. 103

129. Cape May (invitation) – Grant Scott, Cape May Commissioner of Public Safety, wrote to UN officials on January 2, 1946, to promote “this historic seashore community” for its available land, scenic beauty, and reputation as a resort retreat for presidents and other government officials. 104

130. Central Region (suggestion) – A consulting engineer, H.E. Kuntz, wrote to the Governor of New Jersey on January 11, 1946, to suggest an 11,000-acre site southeast of Princeton that he had surveyed in 1911 for a proposed “great capitol of aviation” and University of the Air. He offered to reproduce his layout for a town and university as a headquarters for the United Nations. 105

131. Essex County (suggestion) – A local resident, Dr. Cornell Grossman, telephoned the UN staff in New York on January 21, 1946, to suggest a county park near Millburn. 106

132. Flemington (suggestion) – John H. Elder, a resident of the rural area north of Flemington, suggested this location in a letter to the UN. 107

133. Fort Lee (invitation) – The municipal clerk of Fort Lee, W.S. Corker, relayed his town’s invitation to the UN on January 24, 1946. 108

134. Hackensack (invitation) – The City Council invited the UN to consider Hackensack with a resolution sent to the UN on January 7, 1946. 109

135. Hawthorne (suggestion) – W.E. Fairhurst, a resident of Hawthorne, created a sketch to show how a UN headquarters at this location “would be a beacon light to approaching ships at sea … as well as a guide to all planes, from all the world.” His plan, sent on January 8, 1946, to the UN site inspection group then in New York, proposed buildings dedicated to Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, “whose leadership certainly brought the nations closer together. 110

136. Highlands (suggestion) – Anna V. Drew, a local resident, suggested this location in a letter to the UN on January 6, 1946. 111

137. Lakewood (invitation) – Prompted by press reports that the UN desired a site in the East, the Ocean County Board of Freeholders gathered on Christmas Eve 1945 and agreed to offer the UN property in Lakewood’s Ocean County Park, formerly part of an estate owned by the late John D. Rockefeller. A former resident, E. Francis Applegate, also wrote to President Truman on February 10, 1946, to suggest Lakewood as well as to offer his services as grounds superintendent if the site were chosen. 112

138. Monmouth County (suggestion) – Senator Haydon Proctor suggested Monmouth County in a telegram to the UN on January 28, 1946. 113

139. Morristown (campaign) – Mayor Clyde Potts pursued the UN site selection group touring the New York City area in January 1946 but did not succeed in diverting attention from Princeton and Atlantic City. Potts promoted Morristown’s heritage as a headquarters site for George Washington during the American Revolution, and residents voted their support during a town meeting. (See Chapter 7.) 114

140. Northvale (suggestion) – Raymond A. Hellstern of New York City suggested this location in a letter to the UN staff on January 3, 1946. 115

141. Palisades State Park (suggestion) – Leo F. Caproni, an architect from New Haven, Conn., wrote to New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey on February 8, 1946, to suggest this park as an alternative to controversial sites in Connecticut and New York. 116

142. Princeton (invitation) – The President of Princeton University, Harold Dodds, suggested that Princeton seemed to match the British delegation’s desire to locate the UN in a small town with accessibility to a large city. Writing to Adlai Stevenson in December 1945, he offered to make arrangements for diplomats to tour Princeton, an invitation which they accepted. The site inspection group visited two Princeton-area properties, one about six miles away in Hopewell Valley and another in the vicinity of Rocky Hill and Kingston, about four miles from the university. (See Chapter 7.) 117

143. Ridgewood Borough (suggestion) – A New York real estate agent, E. Irving Huntington, wrote to a UN staff member on January 11, 1946, to offer to arrange an inspection of the Clarence Lewis estate in Ridgewood. 118

144. Ventnor (suggestion) – A private citizen, H. Lee of New York City, wrote to New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey on February 5, 1946, to call attention to the assets of seaside Ventor: “fresh air, board walk, trains service, no factories, no smoke, plenty of help. Ocean, entertainments, piers, roller chairs, and other things too numerous to mention here.” 119

145. West Orange (invitation) – With a telegram to the UN on December 29, 1945, Mayor Bernard H. Dagnan invited consideration of West Orange because of its available sites and location sixteen miles from New York City. 120

New York

Numerous New York cities and towns responded to the diplomats’ interest in finding a suburban site in the East, and others came forward to offer alternatives when the UN’s initial site selection in Connecticut met with local protests.

146. Bear Mountain / Berne (suggestion) – Irma Fueslein of East 91st Street in New York City suggested this site in a letter to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on February 11, 1946. 121

147. Brookhaven, Long Island (invitation) – Elected officials invited the UN’s attention to Brookhaven in January 1946. 122

148. Center Island, Long Island (suggestion) – Paul J. Bungart, an architect from Rockville Centre, N.Y., suggested this bird sanctuary on Long Island Sound in a letter to the New York governor’s office on January 21, 1946. 123

149. Clayton (suggestion) – Gus Charlebois, a local resident, recommended his town in a letter to the UN on December 31, 1945. 124

150. Cooperstown (suggestion) – Emil W. Spumy, a resident of Springfield Center, N.Y., suggested Cooperstown in a letter to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on December 27, 1945. 125

151. Croton-on-Hudson (invitation) – Despite widespread resistance to the UN’s plans for a headquarters in Westchester County, residents of Croton-on-Hudson voted to welcome the UN by a margin of 84-22 in a community meeting in August 1946. 126

152. Glens Falls (invitation) – Mayor John Bazinet sent a one-sentence telegram inviting consideration of Glens Falls on December 28, 1945. 127

153. Governor’s Island (suggestion) – Ralph Albert Senesi of Youngstown, Ohio, wrote to New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey on December 19, 1945, to suggest Governor’s Island as the place “where the U.S. government should spend $10 million to improve the grounds and to build there a permanent Temple of Peace to be known as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Hall.” 128

154. Harmon-on-Hudson (suggestion) – E.E. Walker, the president of Wizard Granite Renovator in New York City, wrote to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on February 13, 1946, to suggest this location as an alternative to controversial sites in Westchester County. 129

155. Huntington Township, Long Island (invitation) – A Chamber of Commerce committee invited the UN on December 30, 1945, to consider Huntington Township’s proximity to New York airports, a seaplane base, and parkways for driving in to New York City. The boosters noted the area homes of “internationally known citizens” such as Marshall Field and John Foster Dulles as well as the waterfront resorts and recreational opportunities of Long Island Sound. 130

156. Hyde Park (campaign) – Boosters and public officials in Poughkeepsie launched a campaign on August 28, 1945, to bring the UN to the late President Roosevelt’s estate.  (See Chapter 7).

157. Irvington-on-Hudson (suggestion) – A real estate agent, John P. Streb of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., offered the UN a five-and-one-half-acre property with a sixteen-bedroom residence on December 29, 1945. 131

158. Kingston (invitation) – The Kingston Chamber of Commerce prepared an illustrated prospectus to demonstrate that a world capital in Kingston would fulfill the diplomats’ desires for a non-urban location yet still allow them easy access to New York City. Kingston’s speculative rendering of a world capital facing the Hudson River, prepared by architect Albert Edward Milliken and landscape architect Burton Davis, resembled the national mall in Washington, D.C., with an office tower in the Washington Monument position. The appeal resulted in a visit by UN site inspectors in January 1946. 132

159. Lake Placid (invitation) – This site of the 1932 Winter Olympic Games was suggested by local government officials who pointed out its hotels, arena, transportation services, and location relative to Boston and New York City. Town Supervisor Willis Wells of North Elba, N.Y., pointed out that Lake Placid was “still sufficiently far removed form large cities to make it the ideal location for your organization to carry on its important work with a minimum of unscheduled and conflicting distractions.” 133

160. Lake Seneca (suggestion) – A federal employee, Clarkson J. Beall, wrote from Washington to Governor Thomas E. Dewey to suggest the Sampson Naval Training Station on Lake Seneca. “It seems a shame to dispossess other whole communities of people in Westchester County” with such an open site also available, he wrote on February 25, 1946. 134

161. Mohansic State Park (invitation) – As an alternative to a site identified by the United Nations in Yorktown, where he lived, private citizen Daniel Rochford proposed this unpopulated park space in a letter to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on August 29, 1946. The site subsequently was offered by Westchester County and visited by United Nations officials prior to their selection of New York City. 135

162. Montauk Point, Long Island (suggestion) – Foster Bailey, a New York City resident, suggested “this beautiful garden spot” on December 4, 1945. 136

163. Monticello (invitation) – Mayor Luis de Hoyos invited the UN to consider Monticello’s “uniquely appropriate” climate and scenery. 137

164. New York (campaign) – The official campaign for New York City, initiated by the New York Chamber of Commerce on October 3, 1945, focused on Flushing Meadow in Queens, site of the New York World’s Fair of 1939-40, but several private citizens wrote to public officials and John D. Rockefeller Jr. to suggested Fort Tryon Park. Another New Yorker, Mrs. J. Sergeant Cram, offered the use of “Peace House” at 109th Street and Fifth Avenue. New York boosters took advantage of homeowner resistance to proposed sites in the suburbs to lure the UN first to Flushing Meadow and ultimately to the Midtown Manhattan site made possible by an $8.5 million gift from John D. Rockefeller Jr.  (See Chapters 6 through 9.) 138

165. Niagara Falls / Navy Island (campaign) – On May 2, 1945, the Niagara Falls Gazette published an editorial that gave new life to an old idea. During the First World War, Congressman Robert H. Gittins had proposed an international conference at Niagara Falls to form a league of nations. Thirty years later, as a private citizen, Gittins proposed the location once again for the UN and the Gazette’s editorial launched a civic campaign to create a world capital on an island between the United States and Canada. Business leaders and public officials from Niagara Falls, Ontario, joined their counterparts in New York in an extensive campaign that included traveling to London to appeal directly to the UN. Originally aiming to place the UN on Canada-owned Navy Island, they quickly changed their proposal to nearby Grand Island, in U.S. territory, after the UN’s decision to place its headquarters in the United States. 139

166. Ogdensburg (invitation) – Mayor-elect Homer M. Wallace promoted his city’s U.S.-Canadian border location on the St. Lawrence River in a telegram to the UN on December 22, 1945. He invited the diplomats to consider Ogdensburg’s “unlimited space for construction of suitable new structures,” its accessibility by rail and sea, and its proximity to Ottawa, Boston, New York, and Washington. 140

167. Plattsburgh (invitation) – Edward B. Doherty, president of the Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce, requested permission to submit a proposal after reading news reports on December 19, 1945, about the “social and geographic conditions” desired by the UN’s British delegation. 141

168. Port Jervis (suggestion) – Signing himself as “G.I. Joe,” a resident of Ossining, N.Y., suggested Port Jervis in a letter to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on March 24, 1946. 142

169. Potsdam (invitation) – Pointing out Potsdam’s reputation as the “Switzerland of America,” Harry Bullard, president of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, invited the UN’s consideration with a telegram on December 29, 1945. Potsdam “has everything to offer,” Bullard wrote, including colleges, hotels, churches, a modern hospital, and the Adirondack Mountains, all “easily accessible to every North American metropolis.” 143

170. Riverdale, the Bronx (campaign) – Borough President James J. Lyons launched a campaign to bring the UN to the Bronx despite the efforts of other New York officials to place the organization at the site of the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow, Queens. In a letter to the UN on December 14, 1945, he described Riverdale as “practically virgin territory” with “all of the quiet solitude of the country but within short range of the very center of our busy city.” As a result of Lyons’ initiative, the UN Security Council met at Hunter College beginning in March 1946, but the facilities were deemed not suitable for the UN’s longer-term operations. (See Chapter 8.) 144

171. Saratoga Springs (campaign) – Starting with an invitation from the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce in September 1945, efforts grew by November into a “Committee on Advocation of Saratoga Spring for the Permanent Headquarters of the United Nations Organization.” The Chamber of Commerce promoted Saratoga as the “Birthplace of Freedom” for its role in the American Revolution as well as “the world’s largest spa.”  The booster committee, distancing itself from more aggressive competitors, pledged to provide the UN with the basic facts but “nothing in technicolor, no elaborate brochures, no fanfare of publicity.” Writing to the UN on November 8, 1945, they called attention to Saratoga’s transportation facilities, healthful climate, and the availability of federally-owned land. 145

172. Skaneateles (invitation) – The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Charles T. Major, wrote on December 15, 1945, to invite the UN to consider a site on Skaneateles Lake, pointing to its reputation as the “Luzerne of America.” Selection of this small, peaceful community would put a stop to the competition among large cities, he argued. 146

173. Southampton, Long Island (invitation) – Mayor Alex Cameron sent a brief telegram of invitation to the UN on December 29, 1945. 147

174. Staten Island (invitation) – The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce promoted its home borough with a telegram to Governor Thomas E. Dewey on December 19, 1945. Later in December, private citizens also wrote to the United Nations, to the Governors of New Jersey and New York, and to John D. Rockefeller Jr. to suggest Staten Island. 148

175. Sterling Park (suggestion) – Seeking to steer the UN away from their own towns, in November 1946 an alliance of Westchester County homeowners produced an elaborate brochure to promote Sterling Park, in Orange County, as a superior location. Earlier in 1946, New Jersey industrialist Frederick Neuberger also wrote to Laurance S. Rockefeller to recommend “the countryside of Orange County where millions have enjoyed this open land and now for the further interests of peace of the world, the Home of the United Nations Organization resting in the hills would be beneficial to all.” 149

176. Syracuse (suggestion) – After reading an editorial published in the Syracuse Post-Standard, private citizen John Elton Whiteside wrote to the UN on December 24, 1945, to call attention to the advantages of the Syracuse Army Air Base and the city’s location between the capitals of the United States and Canada. He also portrayed distance from a major metropolitan area as an advantage:  “The other countries would want the world capital to be independent of the regional influence that a very large city would have. There is also worldwide dislike to having it near a seacoast or a national or state capital.” 150

177. Ticonderoga (suggestion) – After reading news reports that the UN might desire a small town in upstate New York, State Assemblyman A. Judson Moorhouse wrote on December 29, 1945, to recommend the town’s Revolutionary-era significance. “Here, at Fort Ticonderoga, England, France, and the United States, three of the key powers and permanent members of the [UN] Security Council fought over the same territory,” he wrote, also noting the congenial climate and beauty of Lake George.  “This region is, of course, as accessible as any place in the United States to Russia, England, France and Canada,” he concluded. 151

178. Watertown (invitation) – The President of the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, H.J. French, sent a telegram to the UN on January 2, 1946, to invite attention to his town because of its modern airport, railroad, improved streets, utilities, and available sites including property held by the U.S. government. 152

179. Westchester County (invitation) – County Executive Herbert C. Gerlach extended an invitation to the UN on December 15, 1945, calling attention to his county’s “beauty and repose of a countryside” located just north of New York City. Gerlach pointed out that Westchester had hosted conventions of international associations and that it offered “unexcelled” climate, transportation, parks and recreation, homes, and cultural institutions.  A UN site inspection group toured Westchester County in January 1946 and sites in the county were among the suburban locations seriously considered the following summer. However, homeowner resistance led the UN to reconsider urban locations, ultimately New York City. (See Chapters 7, 8, and 9.) 153

180. Westhampton Beach, Long Island (invitation) – Inviting the UN on December 21, 1945, Mayor Ernest H. Bishop described his town as an “ideal location” for the UN because of its commuting distance to New York, resort facilities, and the runways of the Suffolk County Army Air Base. Invitation from mayor, December 21, 1945. 154

181. Yorktown Heights (invitation) – Lydia Locke wrote to Governor Dewey on January 5, 1946, to offer the United Nations her estate in Yorktown Heights, consisting of 250 acres, two lakes, two large houses (23 and 17 rooms), and other structures. 155

North Carolina

182. Asheville (suggestion) – Walter B. Smith of St. Petersburg, Florida, wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to suggest Asheville as “the ideal location “ for the United Nations. 156

183. Bald Head Island (suggestion) – As the UN encountered resistance from suburban New York homeowners in September 1946, U.S. Senator Josiah Bailey wrote the UN to suggest this island near Southport, N.C., at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.  The island offered 17,000 undeveloped acres, enough “to give all the foundation for whatever the United Nations could desire. 157

184. Pinehurst (invitation) – A delegation of local residents met with Governor Joseph Broughton in August 1945 to promote Pinehurst as a UN location. 158

North Dakota

185. Border with Manitoba (suggestion) – Edwin E. Prong, describing himself as “an American youth” and “world citizen” living in Detroit, wrote on December 19, 1945, to suggest the North Dakota border as a location where an international territory could be created by the U.S. and Canada. 159

186. International Peace Gardens (suggestion) – This location on the U.S.-Canadian border was suggested by Governor Fred Aandahl at the National Governors Conference in July 1945, and subsequently advocated to President Truman by U.S. Senator Milton R. Young. The Senator argued that gardens, dedicated in 1932, should be seen as a precedent for the UN and therefore an “ideal setting for the organization upon which all humanity builds its hopes.” 160


187. Cincinnati (campaign) – The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, beginning on November 12, 1945, organized a coalition of business, government, and media organizations to court the UN. In less than two weeks’ time, Cincinnati dispatched a team to London to make a direct appeal, which took place in a hearing on December 20. The city subsequently appeared on a draft itinerary for UN site inspectors, but was dropped when the Midwest region was eliminated from consideration. (See Chapters 5 and 6.) 161

188. Cleveland (suggestion) – Responding to controversy over the UN’s selected sites near New York, an editorial in the Cleveland News stated that Cleveland would be honored to have the UN. 162

189. Greenville (invitation) – Chamber of Commerce officials called attention to peace established by the 1795 Treaty of Greenville between the United States government and Ohio Indian tribes. In their telegram of December 18, 1945, the boosters of the “treaty city” omitted the violence that had continued over contested land, instead promoting Greenville “with its romantic historical background, its simple and democratic atmosphere, its strategic location,” and concluding, “no spot in America could be more appropriate.” 163


190. Claremore (campaign) – As a tribute to “world citizen” Will Rogers, Claremore citizens joined in a campaign initiated by Mayor Elmer Tanner with a telegram to the UN on December 1, 1945. Their persistence continued into November 1946, when a delegation from Claremore showed up in Tulsa in the middle of the night to greet UN site-searchers whose airplane touched down en route to San Francisco. (See Chapters 4 and 9.) 164

191. Stillwater (suggestion) – An editorial in the Stillwater Daily News Press on December 17, 1945, assured readers that proposing Stillwater as a UN capital “is not as fantastic as it may at first seem to you.” At this Oklahoma town, the UN “would be away from complexities of unreal things as found in coastal areas.” Encouragement for the idea came in jest from servicemen stationed at the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School, who wrote fictitious letters to the editor. 165

192. Tuskahoma (campaign) – With a letter to President Truman on October 6, 1945, Oklahoma State Representative Ben P. Choate initiated a campaign to place the UN at Tuskahoma, the former capital of the Choctaw Nation. While Choate promoted the location as a matter of social justice for minority groups, the state of Oklahoma joined the effort to enhance economic development. (See Chapter 4.) 166

Also see Arkansas, Site 4.


193. Bethlehem (invitation) – The Mayor of Bethlehem, Robert A. Pfeiffle, invited the UN Site Inspection Group to  his city during the diplomats’ first tour of possible sites near New York City. He extended the invitation to the group’s chairman, Stoyan Gavrilovic, on January 17, 1946, and wrote to Pennsylvania Governor Edward Martin, “We wonder if there is any more appropriate site name than Bethlehem for the home of an organization dedicated to putting into practice the teachings of the Prince of Peace.” 167

194. Delaware and Chester Counties (campaign) – Robert Gray Taylor, a resident of Media, Pa., in October 1945 launched an extensive personal campaign to interest the United Nations in the general area of Media and Paoli, eventually identifying two potential sites: 8,200 acres between the towns of Newtown Square, Wawa, Media, and Edgmont (priced at $6.3 million) and an additional 2,550 acres adjacent to Newtown Square including parts of Ithan, Bryn Mawr, Foxcroft, Springfield Township, and Swarthmore (price $5.1 million). Taylor also formed the Delaware Valley Association for United Nations Headquarters and extended his efforts to various northeastern Pennsylvania communities because of their proximity to the UN’s desired radius around New York City. Taylor succeeded in meeting with UN officials at the highest levels, including the Secretary General, and a site-inspection team visited the site near Paoli during a tour of Philadelphia. The UN team preferred a site offered without cost in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, but then opted for New York after John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s gift of $8.5 million for a Manhattan site. 168

195. Easton (campaign) – Seeking to capitalize on its location within the UN’s desired sixty-mile radius of New York City, Easton organized a campaign in December 1945 to promote a site directly north of the city on the basis of its scenic environment near the Pocono Mountains, its railroads and highways, and the presence of eight colleges within twenty miles. The movement for Easton originated with local business leader Hugh Moore, chairman of the board of the Dixie Cup Company and an activist in international peace organizations. (Also see Poconos Region / Monroe County.) 169

196. Falls Township / Bucks County (invitation) – Charles Henry Moon, an advisory board member of the Pennsbury Memorial historic site, suggested the site of William Penn’s reconstructed home on the Delaware River. Along with its secluded location and access by water, he recommended the site based on “the spiritual background of William Penn” and “the respect that the vanquished Nations have for the Society of Friends.” According to a report by the Delaware Valley Committee for United Nations Headquarters, the Monroe County Commissioners also were prepared to offer sites between New Hope and Yardley. 170

197. Gettysburg (invitation) – Offering historical inspiration as “America’s greatest historic shrine” and the symbolism of “Lincoln’s inspiring concept of peace and freedom for all mankind,” the local Chamber of Commerce delivered an invitation to the UN in December 1945. Along with ideal climate, Gettysburg’s boosters noted their location “well removed though accessible without difficulty from great centers of population.” 171

198. Lancaster (invitation) – Mayor Dale E. Cary stressed Lancaster’s eastern U.S. location, transportation services, and heritage in his invitation to the UN. “Lancaster was founded in the eighteenth century by English immigrants and is rich in historical heritage and scenic beauty,” he wrote. “Most of our people are descendants of original settlers making for a conservative and truly patriotic atmosphere.” 172

199. Philadelphia (campaign) – Among the earliest and most persistent campaigners for the UN’s attention, Philadelphia’s interest began with a newspaper editorial published in The Philadelphia Record on March 5, 1945. A coalition of boosters including the President of Temple University traveled to San Francisco and London to present their proposal to the UN. Although initially ruled out as being too close to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia nearly succeeded in its efforts in the fall of 1946, after a UN site inspection group visited the city’s proposed site in Fairmount Park. But John D. Rockefeller’s gift of $8.5 million for a Manhattan location ended Philadelphia’s chances. (See Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8.) 173

200. Phillipsburg (invitation) – A local booster committee offered a site north of Phillipsburg in and around Forks Township. 174

201. Pike County (invitation) – As UN diplomats toured potential sites around New York City and Boston in January 1946, the Pike County Commissioners wrote to invite inspection of several sites along the Delaware River between Matamoras and Bushkill or “any site selected within the limits of the county.” The commissioners pointed out that their county fulfilled all of the UN’s criteria, including locations within 80 miles of New York. 175

202. Poconos Region / Monroe County (suggestion) – Roy M. Houser, president of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce in Stroudsburg, Pa., wrote to the UN on December 29, 1945, to urge consideration of this “internationally famous resort area.” In 1946, as the UN visited Philadelphia and leaned toward an urban location, members of the Chamber’s U.N. Site Committee wrote to Pennsylvania’s governor to advocate the Tobyhanna Military Reservation. They informed the governor that the cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Easton joined with Monroe County to promote this site because “it would be a colossal blunder if the World Peace Shrine were to be located within the congested areas of any large city, where it would be just another suburb.” 176

203. Punxsutawney (invitation) – M.R. Tibbey, secretary of the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce, wrote to President Truman in December 1945 to invite the UN to place its headquarters at this site for the annual February ritual of watching to see if a groundhog would see its shadow. 177

204. Valley Forge – John Robbins Hart, rector of Washington Memorial Chapel and President of the Valley Forge Historical Society, wrote to boosters promoting Philadelphia on November 19, 1945, to suggest this historic site of the American Revolution. “Bostonians naturally prefer Boston, New Yorkers New York, etc., but all people have a special devotion to Valley Forge and would come to a harmonious agreement in its selection,” he argued. Failing to persuade the Philadelphians to change their focus on a site in the city, Hart sent the same letter directly to the UN on December 29. Another private citizen, James H. Johnston of Narberth, Pa., also submitted the suggestion of Valley Forge. 178

205. Williamsport – Two sites in Lycoming County near Williamsport were offered as part of a regional effort by the Delaware Valley Association for United Nations Headquarters. (See Chester County-Delaware County.) 179


206. Baguio (suggestion) – A newspaper editorial on August 1, 1945 in The Philippines Mail, published in Salinas, Calif., advocated this city in the Philippines, then a possession of the United States. 180

Rhode Island

Congressman John E. Fogarty sought consideration of Rhode Island in a letter to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes on October 26, 1945. Fogarty described his state as “the birthplace in America of true religious liberty” and noted that “every race and every creed is represented among the citizens.” Rhode Island also offered a geographic advantage as “closest of all the States to Europe and the countries form which the bulk of the delegates will come.” The UN site inspection group included Rhode Island sites in its tour of the Boston area in January 1946. (See Chapter 4.) 181

207. Bristol (invitation) – After learning that Newport had been eliminated from consideration, the Town Council of Bristol invited the UN to use “any facilities at the command of the town.” The UN’s inspection group visited Bristol in January 1946 to consider a plan that would combine sites in Bristol and Portsmouth to the south. 182

208. Cranston (invitation) – See Providence.

209. Foster (suggestion) – See Providence.

210. Glocester (invitation) – See Providence.

211. Johnston (invitation) – The Town Council of Johnston invited the UN to consider a headquarters location on Neutaconkanut Hill, a proposal that also emerged from a coalition of civic leaders in nearby Providence. 183

212. Newport (campaign) – After a Navy Day speech in Newport by Congressman John E. Fogarty, Newport residents launched a campaign to convince the UN that their community would meet all of the organization’s requirements. However, the UN’s early interest in a very large tract of land for a capital city eliminated Newport from consideration.  (See Chapters 4, 5, and 6.) 184

213. Portsmouth (invitation) – See Bristol.

214. Providence (invitation) – Just days before the UN’s site inspectors arrived in Rhode Island in January 1946, political and business leaders in Providence invited the UN site inspectors to consider land on Neutaconkanut Hill outside the city, incorporating 85 square miles of land in the towns of Johnston, Cranston, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester. The site inspectors viewed a portion of the area by climbing a radio tower on Chopmist Hill, a site used for monitoring enemy radio transmissions during the war. 185

215. Scituate (invitation) – See Providence.

216. Warwick (suggestion) – U.S. Senator William B. Sweeney received suggestions of Warwick from local residents suggesting the Spring Green section or areas on the Warwick Neck peninsula. 186

217. Westerly (invitation) – The Town Council of Westerly voted to extend an invitation to the UN on December 28, 1945, in response to the UN’s interest in locations within a 60-mile radius of Boston. Support from the local Chamber of Commerce emphasized the town’s transportation connections to New York and Boston, its solid utility infrastructure, and its reputation as “a famous health resort.” 187

South Carolina

218. Myrtle Beach (suggestion) – D. Stowe Crouse wrote on behalf of the Myrtle Beach American Legion Post on December 24, 1945, to suggest this location as an accessible point midway between New York City and Miami. The veterans also listed Myrtle Beach’s amenities as beautiful gardens, the Army Air Field and bombing range, and “numerous antebellum plantations owned by distinguished men such as Bernard Baruch, George Vanderbilt, and Nicholas Roosevelt.” 188

South Dakota

219. Black Hills Region (campaign) – Originating as a proposal on November 3, 1944, by Paul E. Bellamy, a Rapid City businessman whose son had been killed in the war, the campaign to place the UN in the Black Hills grew into a three-state effort by South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming. The Black Hills boosters promoted their region as central, accessible, spacious, and politically neutral. They continued to hold hope until the organization finally settled in New York.  (See Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5.) 189


220. Carthage (invitation) – In letters during December 1945, Congressman Albert Gore, Tennessee Governor Jim McCord, Nashville Mayor Thomas L. Nummings, and Carthage Mayor Guy A. Drake invited the UN to consider Carthage as a tribute to the home town of former Secretary of State Cordell Hull. The officials described Carthage as “within three or four hours by plane to every part of the United States together with ideal climatic conditions and every other advantage which would make a pleasant location for the capital of the world.” 190

221. Great Smoky Mountains (invitation) – A Great Smoky Mountain UNO Invitation Committee, headed by Tennessee attorney Hansel Proffitt, promoted the central location and accessibility of the region, along with its climate and recreational facilities. In a telegram on December 28, 1945, the committee also pointed out that underground shelters from nuclear bombs could be constructed in the mountains. Knowing of the UN’s growing concern about racial tensions in the South, the committee described the Great Smokies region as “having no racial problems or distinctions such as can be found in the confusion of sociological conditions in Northern, Eastern, and Southern areas.” 191


222. Corpus Christi (invitation) – Promoters described Corpus Christi as centrally located “in almost the exact geographical center of the world” and noted the city’s name “dedicated to the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords” was “symbolic of the great purpose, ‘World Peace’ to which the United Nations Organization is dedicated.” Gabe Garrett, publisher of the Corpus Christi Chronicle extended the invitation to President Truman in December 1945, and a subsequent invitation to the UN from Mayor Roh L. Self and other local officials on January 9, 1946, included a letter written to Eleanor Roosevelt from “Citizens of Corpus Christi, Texas.” Corpus Christi boosters emphasized the town’s international character because of its Spanish-speaking population and proximity to Mexico, and suggested that Jewish people might establish a homeland in South Texas, where “there is enough land and wealth and happiness for each, and everyone is welcome to find here a new and happier home.” 192

223. Eastland (invitation) – The local Chamber of Commerce invited the UN to Eastland with a telegram to President Truman on March 16, 1946. “Ample space is available located in West Texas in an area of the United States which makes for clear calm thinking and away from an atmosphere of discord and animosity,” wrote the Chamber’s president, C.J. Rhodes. 193

224. Galveston (invitation) – The Galveston Junior Chamber of Commerce invited the UN’s interest in December 1945 to the island’s “year-round climate, excellent facilities of fishing, hunting, swimming and other recreations which have been attracting thousands of visitors here annually in addition to hundreds of conventions.” Galveston would be accessible by air and by sea, the boosters noted. 194

225. Mason County (suggestion) – George L. Denman, a private citizen, wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt on December 22, 1945, to enclose an article from the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington. The article described Mason County in central Texas as having 968 square miles of ample room for construction of “the world’s greatest capital.” 195

226. San Antonio (invitation) – Mayor Gus B. Mauermann and Chamber of Commerce President C.W. Miller invited the UN’s consideration in a telegram on December 7, 1945. 196


227. Salt Lake City (invitation) – On October 1, 1945, Mayor Earl J. Glade invited consideration of his city for its “comparative isolation which experience has shown is so much desired by governmental administrative bodies.” Nevertheless, “it is easily accessible by air or surface transportation.” He suggested a location at the base of Ensign Peak one mile from city’s business district. 197


228. Burlington (invitation) – Donald L. Anderson, executive director of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, promoted Burlington’s centrality and its non-urban character in an invitation to the UN Preparatory Commission, December 16, 1945. “A study of the great circles and azimuths from Eastern United States to all points on the earth’s surfaces reveals that Burlington, Vermont, is the city in the United States which is nearest to many of the capitals and centers of the world,” Anderson wrote. Burlington boosters also promoted their area’s scenic reputation as the “Switzerland of America.” 198

229. Fort Ethan Allen/Essex – After an offer of interim facilities by Vermont Governor Mortimer R. Proctor in January 1946, UN staff members investigated the feasibility of Fort Ethan Allen. 199


Governor Colgate W. Darden Jr. and the president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Wilfred A. Roper, promoted their state to the UN with a telegram on December 22, 1945.  They stressed Virginia’s history as “site of the first free legislative assembly in [the] New World named for Britain’s virgin queen,” and reached for further international significance by identifying their state as the “birthplace of Washington and Jefferson, who were friends of Lafayette, Rochambeau and DeGrasse and idols of Simon Bolivar.” In addition to Virginia’s accessibility by air, rail, and sea, “It would be most fitting to locate the first home of the international assembly of the United Nations in the state where the first written constitution of a free and independent state based on the Declaration of Rights of Man by George Mason was framed.” 200

230. Alexandria (invitation) – Twenty-one acres of “beautiful unimproved land overlooking the Potomac River” in the Seminary Hill section of Alexandria were offered to the UN by Sarah Daingerfield Stirling in a telegram to President Truman on January 6, 1946. 201

231. Charlottesville (campaign) – Residents of Charlottesville, including officers of the local Chamber of Commerce, began to mobilize in May 1945 and formed a Peace Headquarters Location Committee that submitted an offer by telegram to Edward Stettinius on October 5, 1945. They called attention to the “peaceful countryside” of Virginia and their association with Thomas Jefferson and Monticello. “Inspiration obtainable from the philosophy and teachings of Jefferson should be invaluable,” they argued. They later elaborated on Charlottesville’s proximity to other cities, its plans for an airport, its climate, and cultural and educational institutions. Charlottesville was eliminated from contention along with all other sites in the South, a region that UN diplomats associated with racial discrimination. 202

232. Fredericksburg (invitation) – Promoting Fredericksburg as “America’s most historic city located fifty miles from the capitol of the United States,” Chamber of Commerce President Edward H. Cann called attention to the boyhood home of George Washington as well as the local climate, recreational opportunities, and proximity to Washington-based embassies. Fredericksburg would be “most suitable for a worldwide aviation terminal,” he wrote to UN officials. 203

233. Northern Neck (suggestion) – Walter Johnson, a resident of Heathsville, Va. and onetime Republican candidate for Congress, wrote to Congressman S. Otis Bland on December 8, 1945, to suggest this region of Virginia for its association with George Washington and because it was “one of the finest spots in all the world to live.” 204

234. Portsmouth (invitation) – Roy J. Dunn, managing director of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, promoted Portsmouth as “the South’s City of the Future,” in a request for UN consideration sent to U.S. Secretary James F. Byrnes on August 10, 1945. Dunn called attention to the port of Hampton Roads’ significance in the war effort and its business potential in times of peace. Dunn renewed the invitation with a telegram to the UN in December that stressed the availability of undeveloped land and transportation services, but a UN committee soon ruled out all southern sites because of concern about racial discrimination. 205

235. Richmond (invitation) – The president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Lewis G. Chewning, wrote to the UN on November 28, 1945, to invite consideration of his city as a cultural center with proximity to Washington and the housing, hotels, and offices that the UN would need. “Richmond is rich in New World history and tradition,” he wrote. “Virginians nurtured and helped develop the ideals of our Republic. This historical background is a notable community asset, providing an atmosphere appreciated by representatives of older nations.” Like other southern sites, Richmond was eliminated from consideration because of diplomats’ concern about racial discrimination in the South. 206

236. Uno (suggestion) – A short item circulated by the Associated Press in December 1945 noted that the tiny town of Uno, population 30, would be a “typographically perfect” choice for the United Nations Organization but “hasn’t much to offer beyond its name.” 207

237. Virginia Beach (invitation) – The directing manager of the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce wrote on November 23, 1945 to invite the UN to consider this “ideal location from the standpoint of available space, climate, transportation, recreation, and all the conveniences which tend to make life attractive and pleasant.” He noted Virginia Beach’s close proximity to the Jamestown settlement of 1607, quoting Captain John Smith’s report that “Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation.” 208

238. Williamsburg / Newport News (campaign) – Encouraged by the publisher of the Newport News Times-Herald and Newport News City Council, a Virginia Peninsula Committee Sponsoring Williamsburg for United Nations Home organized a campaign to advocate a headquarters site at Camp Peary, a Navy training camp on the York River. The campaign called attention to the historic resonance of nearby Colonial Williamsburg as well as to Camp Peary’s modern facilities and room for future growth. Armed with promotional volumes bound in white leather, two representatives headed for London to make a direct appeal, but while they were en route the diplomats eliminated all southern sites from contention because of concerns about racial discrimination. 209


239. Grand Coulee (suggestion) – Local resident Edwin L. Rice wrote to President Truman on December 20, 1945, to suggest the Grand Coulee Dam as a site for the United Nations; he enclosed an American Airlines advertisement depicting Grand Coulee as the “Heart of the World.” 210

240. Seattle (suggestion) – Interest in Seattle was reported without further elaboration by Philadelphia Record on March 30, 1945, but by the end of the year the Seattle Chamber of Commerce announced support for San Francisco. 211

West Virginia

241. Berkeley Springs (suggestion) – As the UN struggled in February 1946 with controversy over its recommended near Greenwich, Conn., U.S. Senator Harley M. Kilgore suggested the alternative of this site in his state with ample land and no need to displace population. 212

242. Harper’s Ferry (suggestion) – Quoting Thomas Jefferson, “who said the scene at Harper’s Ferry is worth crossing the ocean to see,” James M. Thomson of Gaylord, W. Va., suggested this location in a telegram to President Truman on January 7, 1946. He pointed out the site’s accessibility from Washington and Baltimore and judged the climate more suitable than the UN’s favored sites in the Northeast. 213

243. White Sulphur Springs (suggestion) – Congressman E.H. Hedrick wrote to President Truman on January 14, 1946, to advocate White Sulphur Springs. Referring to the UN’s decision reject sites in the south, Hedrick stated, “Though White Sulphur Springs is below the Mason Dixon line there is no discrimination. The site offered attractive scenery, housing, an airport and railroad facilities, he pointed out. The Charleston Gazette also editorialized in favor of the springs and town of White Sulphur. 214


244. Apostle Islands (suggestion) – An editorial in the Washburn (Wisc.) Times suggested these islands in Lake Superior as an alternative to the UN’s controversial site choices in the New York suburbs. Its location, climate, and scenery would be idea, the newspaper suggested, and, “With a history going back to the very dawn of time, the Apostle Islands offer an appropriate location for an organization that seeks to bring the dawn of a new era in the unhappy annals of mankind.” 215

245. Beloit (invitation) – H.F. Halverson, President, Beloit Chamber of Commerce, wrote to President Truman on September 13, 1945, after reading press reports of the UN’s interest in small communities. “While it may appear presumptuous for us to even harbor a hope that a southern Wisconsin beauty spot would be selected,” Halverson wrote, “We do feel that we have much to offer and that failure to ask consideration might well justify a charge that we are not alert to our community responsibilities.” Beloit promoted its location 100 miles from Chicago; transportation connections; paved highways; schools; churches; Beloit College; and beautiful scenery. 216

246. Kenosha (invitation) – City Manager James G. Wallace proposed a site of 1,503 acres along the Lake Michigan shore south of Kenosha, “a beautiful city, a healthful city, an orderly city; a pleasant city in which to love, a delightful city in which to spend a summer vacation.” The invitation to the UN on December 27, 1945, stressed Kenosha’s proximity to Chicago and Milwaukee and the availability of transportation and necessary utilities. 217

247. Milwaukee (invitation) – Mayor John L. Bohn invited the UN to consider Milwaukee with a telegram on December 27, 1945, promoting his city’s advantages: “central world location, excellent railroad and air transportation facilities, great industries, fine hotels, excellent harbor, fine education institutions, ideal climatic conditions, excellent sites available, wholesome environment and a loyal and patriotic citizenry.” A site between Milwaukee and Chicago also was suggested by U.S. Sen. Alexander Wiley in a speech on the Senate floor on November 1, 1945. Wiley called for “a city started anew” and hoped that selecting this location would spur completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. 218

248. South Milwaukee (suggestion) – A local resident, Frank S. Markarian, wrote to Adlai Stevenson on December 17, 1945, to suggest South Milwaukee’s Grant Park as an ideal site “about in the middle of North America – in the heart of the Middle West – wherein flourishes the cradle of American culture.” 219