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The World We Wanted

In the aftermath of World War II, much attention focused on youth as the answer to world peace. There were mass youth forums organized by both sides of the Cold War divide, but there were also two programs focusing on a select group of handpicked teenagers.

One, sponsored by the Daily Mail in the UK, lasted only three years, from 1949 to 1951. The other, funded and organized by the New York Herald Tribune in the US for much of its existence, ran between 1947 and 1972. The delegates to both forums comprised a fascinating network of individuals stretching across the globe who would later go on to be academics, diplomats, international business figures and religious leaders, as well as high school teachers, housewives and lawyers.

In 1959, the New York Herald Tribune World Youth Forum gathered several dozen bright teenagers from around the globe to learn about America. They also discussed religion, prejudice, colonialism, women's rights, and world peace on television. Now, 62 years after their TV broadcast, filmmaker Richard Hall and historian/author Catherine Bishop reunite some of these students to explore how their perspectives on these critical topics have changed over time.