United Nations

Believe it or not, the term United Nationswas actually coined by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill while the British prime minister was sitting in a bathtub. (Churchill had the habit of thinking and writing while in the tub.) Churchill was in Washington over the New Year’s holiday 1941-42 and the two men were struggling with what to officially call the group of nations that was about to sign the Atlantic Charter. Churchill would write in Volume III of his The Second World War:

The title of “United Nations” was substituted by the President for that of “Associated Powers.” I thought this a great improvement. I showed my friend the lines from Byron’s Childe Harold:

Here, where the sword United Nations drew,
Our countrymen were warring on that day!
And this much—and all—which will not pass away.

The President was wheeled in to me on the morning of January 1. I got out of my bath, and agreed to the draft.

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