Foreign Office Historians

What’s the Context? 4 April 1949: the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty

The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

How the West was won 65 years ago today the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in the State Department auditorium in Washington. An organisation was born—NATO—that remains a cornerstone of Western defence up to the present day. In 1949 there …

What’s the context? 22 January 1924: Britain’s first Labour government takes office

Ramsay MacDonald

Ninety years ago today, the British political mould was shattered by the election of the first Labour government. After an inconclusive election on 6 December 1923 that the ruling Conservatives lost but nobody won, Ramsay MacDonald took office as both …

What’s the context? 30 September 1938: The Munich Agreement

Image from German Federal Archive

75 years ago today, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back from Munich after two days of tense discussions with the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He had reached an agreement setting out a timetable and terms for the Nazi takeover of …