One of the bitter pills compounded in secret at Yalta was taken from the bottle and chucked publicly into the ash heap. Five days after Franklin Roosevelt had said that the U.S. would demand three votes in the assembly and support Russia's claim to a like number, the President had changed his mind—the U.S. would ask for only one vote after all.

The announcement was made by Secretary of State Stettinius, who did not say when, where or why the President made his second decision. But one reason for the quick veering of...

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