Wednesday, April 24, 2013
10th Death Anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld (29 July 1905 – 18 September 1961) was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is among three other people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld remains the only U.N. Secretary-General to die in office, and his death occurred en route to cease-fire negotiations. American President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld"the greatest statesman of our century".
In September 1961, Hammarskjöld learned about fighting between "non-combatant" UN forces and Katangese troops of Moise Tshombe. He was en route to negotiate a cease-fire on 18 September when his Douglas DC-6 airliner SE-BDY crashed near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Hammarskjöld and fifteen others perished in the crash.
A special report issued by the United Nations following the crash stated that a bright flash in the sky was seen at approximately 1:00. According to the UN special report, it was this information that resulted in the initiation of search and rescue operations. Initial indications that the crash might not have been an accident led to multiple official inquiries and persistent speculation that the Secretary-General was assassinated.