Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7 - World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day was first held in 1998, celebrated in more than 35 countries, organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, characterized by variable and recurring symptoms (wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing), reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm (a sudden constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles).

World Asthma Day always occurs on the first Tuesday of May. Every year the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) chooses a theme and organizes preparation and distribution of World Asthma Day materials and resources. This year's theme follows last year's with "Your Can Control Your Asthma", with a sub-theme of "It's Time to Control Asthma".

World Asthma Day activities are organized in each country by health care professionals, educators, and members of the public who want to help reduce the burden of asthma.

Today is also Accountant's Day, Childhood Depression Awareness Day, and National Teacher Day!

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

- In 1620, Louis XIII wrote to Samuel de Champlain, commissioning him to govern New France and to do so in accordance with the laws and customs of France. From that point, Champlain devoted himself almost exclusively to administration and his career as an explorer ended.

Champlain's drawing of Port Royal

- Stockholm's royal castle (dating back to medieval times) was destroyed by a fire in 1697. It was replaced in the 18th century by the current Royal Palace.

- The city of New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville in 1718.
- Jacques Viger, journalist, author, militia officer, civil servant, politician, known primarily for having been the first mayor of Montréal, was born in Montréal in 1787.
- Greece became an independent republic in 1832.
- The Columbia University approved plans for awarding the Pulitzer Prize in several categories in 1912. The award was established by Joseph Pulitzer.

- The first exhibition of the Group of Seven was put on display at the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1920, remaining there until the 27th. The Group articulated a sense of a distinctly Canadian art, rooted in the Canadian landscape.

"Group of Seven" members

- The RCMP schooner St. Roch was launched at the Burrard Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, North Vancouver, BC in 1928. It would become the first ship to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east and to circumnavigate North America.
- The Pulitzer prize awarded to Sidney Kingsley in 1934 for Men in White.
- The David Dunlap Observatory at Richmond Hill, Ont, was completed in 1935, the second largest in the world at that time.

Astronomers at the David Dunlap Observatory

- A Nazi decree ordered all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed in 1942.
- Hostilities ceased in Europe in 1945. The unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at Rheims on May 7, and it was ratified at Berlin on May 8.
- Victory in Europe Day (VE-Day) riots broke out in Halifax in 1945. About 10 000 servicemen looted and vandalized the city's downtown.
- Pianist Janina Fialkowska, celebrated as one of the great interpreters of Liszt, was born in Montreal in 1951.

- The Mamas & Papas "Monday Monday" hits #1 on the charts in 1966.
- Edvard Munchs painting, "The Scream"  was recovered in 1994, 3 months after it was stolen.

- The tomb of Herod the Great was discovered in 2007.

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

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