On April 4, 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson and the foreign ministers of Canada, and 10 Western European nations (Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal) gathered in Washington, DC, to sign the North Atlantic Treaty.
In his memoirs, Dean Acheson recalled “All the North Atlantic Treaty ministers met in Washington on April 2 to approve the draft treaty and arrange for its signature at a ceremony set for April 4. Here President Truman again showed his consideration for me. I had told him that it would be appropriate and fitting for him to sign the treaty on behalf of the United States, but this he refused to do. He would attend the ceremony and stand beside me as I signed, but the treaty would bear my name.”