European leader Paul-Henri Spaak, 1949

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 29, 2018

Gerald Waller ©Stars and Stripes
Strasbourg, France, August, 1949: Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, center, happily poses for a photo as he awaits the start of an early session of the European Council's new Consultative Assembly at Strasbourg University. As the organizational meetings of the experimental parliament continued, the socialist Spaak was unanimously elected as its first president, having been nominated by the decidedly non-socialist Winston Churchill, among others. Spaak's name probably won't be familiar to most people today, but he was one of the key figures in reshaping postwar Europe. He chaired the first session of the U.N. General Assembly in 1945, and served as NATO secretary general from 1957-61.

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