February 4 - 11, 1945
Yalta Conference, February 1945. Allied leaders pose in the courtyard of Livadia Palace, Yalta, Crimea. Left to right: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, with their respective foreign ministers behind them, Eden, Stettinius and Molotov.
Photo Credit: Photo 12/UIG via Getty Images
President Roosevelt, who envisions the United Nations as his greatest post war legacy, gets commitments from the USSR’s Josef Stalin to allow free elections in Europe, to meet in San Francisco to draw up a charter for the UN, and to declare war on Japan as soon as Germany capitulates. To allay any Soviet concerns about an accommodation with fascism, FDR and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agree that any government which has not joined the war against the Axis powers by March 1, 1945 will not be invited to the San Francisco conference. Stalin, for his part, speaks of continuing good relations but warns, prophetically, that after the war will come a difficult time when they will be divided by "diverse interests."