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Ralph Bunche: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of "Ralph Bunche,” the first African American to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"RALPH BUNCHE TELLS THE BULLETIN IMPERIALISM MUST BE HALTED" The New England Bulletin (Hartford, CT), May 14, 1949, Page 3, Image 3.

Ralph Bunche is the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  When he brokers the 1949 Israeli-Arab armistice, New York City throws him a ticker tape parade up Broadway.  His diplomatic skills—sublime masterworks of applied psychology—are legendary at the United Nations.  He goes on to direct peacekeeping efforts in the Suez in 1956, the Congo in 1960, and Cyprus in 1964!  An early campaigner for civil rights, he publishes essays and gives talks throughout the U.S. Active in the NAACP, he marches alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


December 20, 1947 Appointed to oversee the United Nations’ partition of then Palestine.
January 1949 Bunche facilitates a meeting between Egypt and newly-formed Israel, resulting in an armistice.
May 14, 1949 Bunche advocates for decolonization.
September 22, 1950 First African American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1960s Leads UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo.
October 24, 1963 Speaks in Mississippi, remaining an advocate for civil rights and the aims of the United Nations.