United Nations Day: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

There are many dates that are special because they celebrate different things. United Nations Day is a day that is recognized in much of the world. In this lesson, you will learn about United Nations Day and why it is celebrated.

What is United Nations Day?

What is your favorite holiday? Is it Christmas? How about Halloween? What about the Fourth of July? Regardless of your favorite holiday, there's probably one that you've never celebrated or maybe never even heard about before.

United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 of each year. It is a day to celebrate the creation of the United Nations. On October 24, 1945, 50 countries met in San Francisco, California, to form a group of nations who would work together for world peace. This group was called the United Nations, or UN for short. Today, the UN has 193 member states/countries.

United Nations flag

The first United Nations Day was celebrated in 1948. In 1971, member countries of the UN declared it a public holiday in all of their nations. Each year, United Nations Day has a different theme. It's sort of like when you had that superhero or princess birthday party where all your decorations, cake, and games involved superheroes or princesses.

Events are held around the world that focus on the theme for the year. These events include:

  • concerts
  • ceremonies
  • discussions
  • art/photography competitions
  • films
  • children's games

There is usually a big concert at the UN Headquarters in New York City, which often includes music from around the world. Who needs vacations when you can travel all around the world by just listening to different types of music!

UN Headquarters in New York

So, why do we celebrate the creation of the UN? Let's find out!

Why Celebrate the United Nations?

Have you ever had to pick people to be on your team for a game? If you have, you probably tried to pick people that you thought would be able to help you win or that you could work well with. This is sort of like how the UN first started.

The idea for the United Nations was first developed when U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with leaders from other countries to pledge to fight together during World War II. In total, 26 countries signed this pledge. This idea of nations working together became the start of the UN.

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