Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 30 - International Jazz Day

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization officially designated April 30th as International Jazz Day in 2011, to highly jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.

"Jazz has the power to make men forget their differences and come together ... Jazz is the personification of transforming overwhelmingly negative circumstances into freedom, friendship, hope, and dignity." - Quincy Jones

International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting, and producing the annual celebration, which officially began in 2012.

Every year on April 30th, this international art form will be recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

International Jazz Day in the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage in April.

Today is also Bugs Bunny Day, National Honesty Day, and World Healing Day!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- Roman emperor Licinius unified the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule in 313.
- Columbus was given royal commission to equip his fleet in 1492
- Mapmaker David Thompson, whose maps were the first to provide a comprehensive view of the western territories, was born in London, England in 1770.
- The Battle of Boulou was fought in 1794, in which French forces defeated the Spanish under General Union.

- Nicaragua declared its independence from the Central American federation in 1838.
- Mexican forces attacked the French Foreign Legion in Hacienda Camarón, Mexico in 1863.
- Chilcotin Indians in BC killed several road workers building a road through their territory in 1864. Five Chilcotin were executed for the incident.
- Philippe Panneton, whose novel, Trents Arpents (1938), is considered a classic of Canadian literature, was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec in 1895.
- The ice cream cone made its debut in 1904.
- Portugal approved woman suffrage in 1911.
- Folklorist Edith Fowke, an avid collector of folk song recordings, was born in Lumsden, Saskatchewan in 1913.

- Princess Juliana retained a seat in the Dutch Council of State in 1927.
- World Congress for Women's Rights concludes in Istanbul in 1935.
- The Philippines held a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage in 1937; over 90% voted in the affirmative.
- The Boulder Dam was renamed in honor of Herbert Hoover in 1947.

- Mr Potato Head became the 1st toy advertised on television in 1952.
- The CBC Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Eight Instrumental Miniatures with the composer conducting in 1962.
- Pres Nixon handed over partial transcripts of Watergate tape recordings in 1974.
- The Petroleum Administration Act was passed in 1975, allowing the federal government to set the domestic price of oil and natural gas without the agreement of energy-producing provinces.
- Royal Canadian Mint opened a branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1976.
- Terrorists seized the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980.
- Also in 1980, Gordie Howe retired from hockey, having played his last game with the Hartford Whalers.

- Proposals to amend the Canadian Constitution were unanimously accepted in principle by the First Ministers at Meech Lake in 1987. The written accord received unanimous agreement in Ottawa on June 2 and 3.
- The 208th & final episode of the Cosby Show aired on NBC-TV in 1992.
- 42 million watched as stand-up comedian/actress Ellen DeGeneres "came out" on Oprah in 1997.

- In 2004, U.S. media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
- Major flooding began in the Montérégie region as rapid snowmelt and heavy rains caused water levels to rise in Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River in 2011. All bordering municipalities would be affected, with nearly 3000 homes and much arable land flooded. In early May, Premier Jean Charest requested assistance from the Canadian Forces.

Here's what happened last week in science:

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

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