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Ralph Bunche at a table negotiating in 1949.

Bunche as acting UN mediator for Palestine in 1948. Although the UN originally chose Sweden’s Count Folke Bernadotte to mediate the conflict with Bunche as his chief aide, after Bernadotte was assassinated in September, Bunche took over. He negotiated the armistice while playing pool with the Israeli and Arab representatives. (Credit: UN Photo)

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future