The Bretton Woods Project
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Did you know that…
…a major delegate began acting as a spy at the conference?
Harry Dexter White, the lead American
negotiator at Bretton Woods, may have made his first direct contact
with a Soviet spy runner there.
…the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH was partially chosen because…
John Maynard Keynes did not like the sweltering Washington, DC heat in the summer during the days before air conditioning. Keynes wrote to Harry Dexter White in May 1944, “For God’s sake do not take us to Washington in July, which would surely be a most unfriendly act.”
…the Chinese delegation to Bretton Woods had…
more than 30 members, second in size only to the U.S. delegation.
…there were only two female delegates at the Bretton Woods conference?...
Mrs. L.J. Gouseva (also transliterated "Guseva") from the USSR and U.S. delegate Mabel Newcomer, a professor at Vassar College, were the only two female delegates.
Also, did you know that…
- John Maynard Keynes suffered a mild heart attack while attending the Bretton Woods conference, causing German newspapers to publish his premature obituary?
- Delegates to the Bretton Woods conference included seven future prime ministers or presidents of member countries?
- Local Cub Scouts attended the conference, helping to pass out documents?
- The conference lasted three days longer than planned, and only pleading from high-level U.S. government officials persuaded the owners of the Mount Washington Hotel not to kick the conference out?
- Delegates to the conference were fairly confident that they could produce an agreement on the IMF, but uncertain about an agreement on the World Bank?
- The Soviet Union signed the Bretton Woods agreements but never became a member of the IMF and World Bank? After the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia became a member in 1992.
- Bretton Woods was chosen for security reasons?