1977 May 27

Senator Proxmire Gives One of 3,000 Speeches Urging Adoption of the Genocide Convention


It took the U.S. Senate four decades to ratify the United Nations Genocide Convention. Between 1967 and 1986, Senator William Proxmire (D–Wisconsin) gave over 3,000 speeches on the Senate floor urging ratification of the Convention. Today was the day of one of those speeches. The UN General Assembly had adopted the Convention on December 9, 1948, and the Senate finally ratified the Convention on November 4, 1988.

One of the first petitions the UN received regarding genocide came from civil rights activists in the United States in a petition titled, “We Charge Genocide,” citing the lynching of African-Americans, which they submitted to the UN on December 17, 1951.

Read the UN Genocide Convention: http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

Learn more about Senator Proxmire’s crusade against corruption and waste: William Proxmire, The Fleecing of America (1980)

Learn more: Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (2002)

Watch a documentary on Senator Proxmirehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uHrn2B9k4s

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