February 1, 1994

On this day in 1994, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was permitted by the US government to enter the country and speak in New York City at a special conference organized by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. This effectively broke the US policy of “censorship by visa denial.” Throughout much of the Clinton administration, Adams was continuously denied a US visa due to the ongoing violence in the campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland. Yet, the permission by the Clinton administration and Adams’ first speech in America were among the first steps in the long process to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

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