United Nations organized …

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Delegates from 45 countries met in San Francisco this date in 1945 to organize the United Nations (UN). It’s an intergovernmental organization formed to promote international cooperation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. Headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster and armed conflict.

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The U. N. opened its headquarters in New York City on January 9, 1952. Although it is situated in New York City, the land occupied by the United Nations Headquarters and the spaces of buildings that it rents are under the sole administration of the United Nations and not the U.S. government. They are technically extra-territorial through a treaty agreement with the U.S. government. However, in exchange for local police, fire protection and other services, the United Nations agrees to acknowledge most local, state, and federal laws.  (from Wikipedia)

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World Book Day

World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Day) is observed on April 23rd. The annually celebrated day is organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. It was first celebrated in 1995.

The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. Nowadays the World Book and Copyright Day is observed in over 100 countries, where schools, private businesses, voluntary organizations and lots of more people and groups come together to pay a tribute to authors and books.

(August 9th is Booklover’s Day)

(from www.cutrcalendar.com)

Earth Day …

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Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment and was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.

Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. April 22 corresponds to spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. (from www.cutecalendar.com)

Revolutionary War began ….

The American Revolutionary War began this date in 1775 in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts between Great Britain and thirteen of its North American Colonies that, after the onset of the war, declared independence as the United States of America.

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The war represented the culmination of increasing philosophical and political differences between Great Britain and its American colonies, resulting in armed conflict between Patriots and the royal authority against which they increasingly resisted. This resistance became particularly widespread in the New England Colonies. Patriot protests escalated into boycotts and on December 16, 1773, Massachusetts members of the Patriot group Sons of Liberty destroyed a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor in an event that became known as the Boston Tea Party. The British government retaliated by closing the port of Boston and enacting punitive measures against Massachusetts, including the dissolution of its charter and the prohibition of its traditional, democratic town meetings.

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The Massachusetts colonists established a shadow government that removed control of the province from the Crown outside of Boston. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, and established committees and conventions that effectively seized power. On July 2, 1776, Congress formally voted for independence, issuing its Declaration on July 4th.

France and Spain had been covertly providing the colonists with weapons, ammunition, and other supplies since April 1776, and France formally entered the war in 1778, signing a military alliance that recognized the independence of the United States. Giving up on the North, the British decided to salvage its former colonies in the South. British forces under Charles Cornwallis seized Georgia and South Carolina, capturing an American army at Charleston, South Carolina. The strategy depended upon an uprising of large numbers of armed Loyalists, but too few came forward. In 1779, Spain joined the war as an ally of France, intending to capture Gibraltar and British colonies in the Caribbean. Britain declared war on the Dutch Republic in 1780.

In 1781, after suffering two decisive defeats, Cornwallis retreated to Virginia, intending on evacuation. A decisive French naval victory in September deprived the British of an escape route. A joint Franco-American force laid siege to the British forces at Yorktown. With no sign of relief and the situation untenable, Cornwallis surrendered in October, and some 8,000 soldiers were taken prisoner.

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Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tory majority in Parliament, and the defeat at Yorktown gave the Whigs the upper hand. In early 1782, they voted to end all offensive operations in North America, but the war against France and Spain continued for another year where Britain won decisive defeats over both the following year. Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west. While French involvement proved decisive for the cause of American independence, they made only minor territorial gains and were beset with massive financial debts. Spain acquired Britain’s Florida colonies and the island of Minorca, but failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar. The Dutch lost on all counts and were compelled to cede some territory to the British. (from Wikipedia)

San Francisco earthquake hits

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The great San Francisco earthquake occurred this date in 1906. It struck the coast of northern California at 5:12 AM with an estimated magnitude of 7.8. Three thousand people died and over 80% of the city was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States.

According to findings published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, severe deformations in the earth’s crust took place both before and after the earthquake’s impact. Accumulated strain on the faults in the system was relieved during the earthquake, which is the supposed cause of the damage along the 450-kilometer-long segment of the San Andreas plate boundary. The main shock epicenter occurred offshore about two miles from the city. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada.  (from Wikipedia)

Titanic sinks….

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The Titanic hit an iceberg in the northern Atlantic Ocean and sank at 11:40 PM this date in 1912 when over 1522 passengers and crew died. Although called “unsinkable” and “the safest ship afloat” by her builder and designer, the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from England to New York City. Two hours after hitting the iceberg, with a gaping gash in her side, the ship quickly sank in icy waters.

Almost unknown is that the Titanic had a sister ship, the Olympic. The ships were constructed around the same time, with the Olympic starting first and launched in 1910. She served as a cruise liner until pressed into service during World Water I as a troop carrier and was retired in 1935. (from Wikipedia)