13
Jan
09

January 13, On This Day: Soviets Boycott UN

January 13, 1950

Soviets boycott United Nations Security Council

For the second time in a week, Jacob Malik, the Soviet representative to the United Nations, storms out of a meeting of the Security Council, this time in reaction to the defeat of his proposal to expel the Nationalist Chinese representative. At the same time, he announced the Soviet Union’s intention to boycott further Security Council meetings.

Several days before the January 13 meeting, Malik walked out to show his displeasure over the United Nations’ refusal to unseat the Nationalist Chinese delegation. The Soviet Union had recognized the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the true Chinese government, and wanted the PRC to replace the Nationalist Chinese delegation at the United Nations.

Malik returned on January 13, however, to vote on the Soviet resolution to expel Nationalist China. Six countries–the United States, Nationalist China, Cuba, Ecuador, Cuba, and Egypt–voted against the resolution, and three–the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and India–voted in favor of it. Malik immediately left the meeting, declaring that the United States was “encouraging lawlessness” by refusing to recognize the “illegal presence” of the Nationalist Chinese representatives. He concluded that “even the most convinced reactionaries” had to recognize the justness of the Soviet resolution, and he vowed that the Soviet Union would not be bound by any decisions made by the Security Council if the Nationalist Chinese representative remained. Hoping to forestall any future Security Council action, Malik announced that the Soviet Union would no longer attend its meetings. The remaining members of the Security Council decided to carry on despite the Soviet boycott.

In late June 1950, it became apparent that the Soviet action had backfired when the issue of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea was brought before the Security Council. By June 27, the Security Council voted to invoke military action by the United Nations for the first time in the organization’s history. The Soviets could have blocked the action in the Security Council, since the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain, and France each had absolute veto power, but no Russian delegate was present. In just a short time, a multinational U.N. force arrived in South Korea and the grueling three-year Korean War was underway.

“Soviets boycott United Nations Security Council.” 2009. The History Channel website. 13 Jan 2009, 03:06 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2545.

On This Day

1794 – U.S. President Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union.

1893 – Britain’s Independent Labor Party, a precursor to the current Labor Party, met for the first time.

1900 – In Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph decreed that German would be the language of the imperial army to combat Czech nationalism.

1957 – Wham-O began producing “Pluto Platters.” This marked the true beginning of production of the flying disc.

1982 – An Air Florida 737 crashed into the capital’s 14th Street Bridge after takeoff and fell into the Potomac River. 78 people were killed.

1989 – Bernhard H. Goetz was sentenced to one year in prison for possession of an unlicensed gun that he used to shoot four youths he claimed were about to rob him. He was freed the following September.

1990 – L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, the nation’s first elected black governor, took the oath of office in Richmond.

1992 – Japan apologized for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

January 13, 1966

Johnson appoints first African-American cabinet member

On this day in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the first African-American cabinet member, making Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that develops and implements national housing policy and enforces fair housing laws. In keeping with his vision for a “Great Society,” Johnson sought to improve race relations and eliminate urban blight. As many of the country’s African Americans lived in run-down inner-city areas, appointing Weaver was an attempt to show his African-American constituency that he meant business on both counts.

Weaver’s expertise in social and economic issues concerning urban African Americans was well-known. Prior to his appointment as HUD secretary, he held key positions in several Democratic administrations. Under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid-to-late 1930s, he advised the secretary of the interior and served as a special assistant with the Housing Authority. In 1940, he was appointed to the National Defense Advisory Commission and worked to mobilize black workers during World War II. From 1955 to 1959, Weaver served as rent commissioner for the state of New York, then went on to serve as head of the Housing and Home Finance Agency under President John F. Kennedy.

As HUD’s senior administrator, Weaver expanded affordable housing programs and, in 1968, advocated for the passage of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibited “discrimination against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” Weaver and Johnson shared the goal of revitalizing America’s urban areas through improved housing, the creation of inner-city parks and support for African American-owned businesses.

“Johnson appoints first African-American cabinet member.” 2009. The History Channel website. 13 Jan 2009, 03:07 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=111.

On This Day in Wisconsin: January 13

1922 – WHA Radio Founded
On this date the call letters of experimental station 9XM in Madison were replaced by WHA. This station dates back to 1917, making it “The oldest station in the nation.” [Source: History Just Ahead: A Guide to Wisconsin’s Historical Markers, edited by Sarah Davis McBride]

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