They created the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and much of the way business and finance are conducted today. The 44 nations gathered in New Hampshire in 1944 hammered out the Bretton Woods Agreement, a kind of economic constitution for the globe.
The planet's economy looking, um, shaky just now, NPR's Scott Neuman asks whether it's time for a new Bretton Woods. One historian tells him:
"There's a broad sense on the part of the Europeans that the international monetary, financial and trade institutions are stuck -- that they haven't worked properly for some time and in a sense they see this crisis then as an opportunity to address a long-standing set of concerns about how the international economy ought to function."
World leaders are set to start a new summit on the economy in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15. Few expect anything as sweeping as Bretton Woods to emerge.