Adlai Stevenson Day is observed annually on February 5. The holiday commemorates the birth of Adlai Stevenson on February 5, 1900. Born to a family of prominent Illinois politicians, Stevenson served his country in various capacities, including that of a politician and diplomat. He served on the committee responsible for the creation of the United Nations (U.N.) in 1945. He also served as Governor of Chicago from 1949 to 1953. Finally, during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, he was appointed as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
History of Adlai Stevenson Day
Born on February 5, 1900, in Los Angeles, California, Adlai Stevenson was an American politician, lawyer, and diplomat. Stevenson came from a family of prominent Illinois politicians. His paternal grandfather, Adlai Stevenson I, served as Vice President of the U.S. during the tenure of President Grover Cleveland. His maternal grandfather, Jesse W. Fell, had been a campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln as he contested for a senatorial position in 1858. In addition to this illustrious heritage, his father, Lewis Stevenson, was appointed Illinois Secretary of State, serving in this capacity between 1914 and 1917.
At Princeton University, Stevenson studied literature and history and graduated in 1922. After much prodding from his father, he began studying law at Harvard Law School but soon dropped out as he found the course to be uninteresting. However, his love for law was revived after a discussion with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. He completed his law degree at Northwestern University School of Law, graduating in 1926.
Stevenson served on the committee that created the U.N. while acting as the deputy US delegate to the Preparatory Commission of the UN. Defeating incumbent governor Dwight H. Green, Stevenson won Chicago’s gubernatorial election and served as governor of the state between 1949 and 1953. He contested for president on two separate occasions, in 1952 and 1956, but lost both times. In 1961, Stevenson was appointed to the position of US Ambassador to the UN by President John F. Kennedy, a position he held until his death on July 14, 1965.
Adlai Stevenson Day timeline
Adlai Stevenson is born on February 5 in Los Angeles, California.
Stevenson graduates from Princeton University with a B.A. in literature and history.
Stevenson becomes deputy US delegate to the Preparatory Commission of the UN.
Stevenson begins his tenure as Governor of Chicago, a position he holds until 1953.
Stevenson becomes the US Ambassador to the UN.
Adlai Stevenson Day FAQs
Did Adlai Stevenson ever marry?
Yes, Adlai Stevenson married Ellen Borden in 1928.
Does Adlai Stevenson have children?
Yes. Adlai Stevenson’s children are Adlai Stevenson III, John Fell Stevenson, and Borden Stevenson.
Where is Adlai Stevenson buried?
Adlai Stevenson’s final resting place is the Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois.
How to Observe Adlai Stevenson Day
Learn more about the man
Adlai Stevenson was a great American politician and diplomat whose achievements can hardly be summarized in a few words. There is so much to know about his life.
Visit a landmark site
There are several historical landmarks associated with Adlai Stevenson, such as the farm which was once his home. Take a trip back in time by visiting one of these landmarks and imagine what it was like to work as a diplomat in 20th-century America.
Share the information you have
Share the knowledge you’ve gained with others. Tell someone about this holiday, post a little snippet of this article and share the link on social media. You’ll be helping in spreading important information.
5 Places Named After Adlai Stevenson
About 11 elementary schools have been named after Adlai Stevenson in the states of Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, and Michigan.
Adlai Stevenson Middle School is located in Westland, Michigan.
There are three high schools named after Stevenson in the states of Illinois and Michigan.
Adlai E. Stevenson College is a residential college at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The Adlai E. Stevenson Expressway — Interstate 55 is located between Lake Shore Drive and I-355 in Illinois.
Why Adlai Stevenson Day is Important
Stevenson was an excellent speaker
Stevenson was an excellent orator. He is most remembered as a witty and eloquent public speaker whose speeches inspired many.
Stevenson was a great diplomat
Stevenson contributed immensely to the formation of the world’s most powerful organization, the U.N. he also helped in assuaging some of the worst international tensions brought on by the Cold War.
Stevenson was a patriotic citizen
Not many people can boast of a political career as rich as Stevenson’s. He certainly deserves to be celebrated, even many years after his passing.
Adlai Stevenson Day dates