India’s Minister of Finance, V.K. Krishna Menon stepped to the podium at the United Nations on January 23, 1957, to address his nation’s policies regarding Kashmir. Anyone who hoped to be hearing a few brief remarks was bitterly disappointed.
Menon began speaking on January 23. He spoke for five hours that day and returned, continuing his remarks for two hours and forty-eight minutes, bringing the total length of his speech to 7 hours and 48 minutes. The transcription of the speech fills 160 pages.
Menon collapsed partway through his speech and had to be hospitalized. Not to be silenced by such a trivial thing as exhaustion, however, he later returned to the podium and spoke for another hour.
Menon holds the record for the longest speech ever delivered at the United Nations. The next-closest contender is Fidel Castro, whose 1960 speech was a comparatively-pithy 2 hours and 29 minutes.
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