On this day—Aug. 28, 1913—the Peace Palace opened in The Hague, Netherlands. It was originally built to be a symbolic home for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a court created to end war. Presently, the Palace also houses the International Court of Justice (the principal judicial body for the United Nations), the Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace Library.
Andrew Dickinson White, an American diplomat and the founder of Cornell University, was instrumental in the conception and creation of the Peace Palace. He wrote that he hoped it would be, “A temple of peace where the doors are open, in contrast to the Janus-temple, in times of peace and closed in cases of war…as a worthy testimony of the people that, after many long centuries finally a court that has thrown open its doors for the peaceful settlement of differences between peoples.” He convinced his friend Andrew Carnegie to donate $1.5 million dollars to build it.