5 Things You Didn't Know About The United Nations

On October 24, the world celebrates United Nations Day. The day marks the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the United Nations charter took effect. In honor of the United Nation's 75th birthday, here are five things you didn't know about the international organization..


Winston Churchill and FDR Came Up With The Name While Taking a Bath British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and had already developed the Atlantic Charter, but were struggling over what to name their new alliance. Churchill, who was known for thinking and writing in the tub, was taking a dip when FDR was wheeled in to propose that the organization be called the "United Nations."

Shirley Temple Held a Diplomatic Post at the U.N. Following a successful career as a child actress adored by millions, Shirley Temple Black went to work for her country in 1969, when President Richard Nixon appointed her to the UN General Assembly. She later served as ambassador to Ghana by Gerald Ford and Czechoslovakia by George H.W. Bush. During World War II, FDR was quoted as saying, “As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right.”


There Are Only Six Official Languages Recognized By The U.N. The U.N. is made up of 193 member nations. This includes every independent nation in the world except for Vatican City. These nations represent populations around the world that speak hundreds of different languages. However, the U.N. has only six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. When a representative of a country speaks at the U.N., he or she must either speak in one of the six official languages or provide interpretation from the language used into one of the six official languages. 

Diplomats Owe NYC Over $16 Million In Unpaid Parking Tickets One of the perks to being part of the UN is its diplomatic immunity. Some diplomats take so much advantage of it that they refuse to pay their parking tickets. The Wall Street Journal reported that 180 countries have racked up debt due to unpaid parking tickets. Egypt is the largest offender -- accruing over $2 million in violations. Only 15 countries were found to not have these violations.

The United Nations Won an Oscar In 1948, the United Nations won an Oscar at the Academy Awards for a short documentary titled “First Steps.” The film was ten minutes in duration and was about the treatment of children with disabilities and was produced for the Department of Social Affairs in the United Nations.