Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19 - World Sickle Cell Day

Sickle Cell Disease is the most frequent genetic disease worldwide, present on 4 continents: sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghrib, Asia (the Middle-East, the Arabic peninsula, and India), in the Americas (USA, Guatemala, the Caribbean Islands, Brazil, Surinam, and Guiana), and in Southern Europe (Southern Italy, Sicily, Greece, and Turkey). An estimated 500 000 are born every year with this severe, invalidating condition, 50% of which will die before the age of 5.

Trans-continental, Sickle Cell Disease is also trans-ethnic, affecting black populations from African origin as well as Arabic, as well as Indian and Caucasian populations from Southern Europe.

Through advocacy of the Sickle Cell Disease International Organization, support of the Republic of Congo and the Republic of Senegal, and the commitment in the scientific world, the African Union and UNESCO (in 2005), the World Health Organization (in 2006), and the United Nations (in 2008) recognized Sickle Cell Disease as a public health priority, selecting the 19th of June annually as World Sickle Cell Day to raise awareness of the disease in the world.

Today is also Garfield the Cat Day, Juneteenth, and World Sauntering Day.

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

- The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet occurred outside Nidaros in 1179. Earl Erling Skakke was killed, changing the tide of the civil wars.
- Pope Innocent III fired Adolf I as archbishop of Cologne in 1205.
- King Louis IX of France decreed all Jews had to wear a badge of shame in 1269.
- Painter Francis Johnston, a founding member of the Group of Seven whose landscapes reflect his knowledge of turn-of-the-century ideals, was born in Toronto in 1888.

- Sherlock Holmes began his adventure, "Man with the Twisted Lip" in 1889.
- Bandleader Guy Lombardo, whose dance band, the Royal Canadians, was among the most popular of its day, and whose New Year's Eve broadcasts were a traditional part of North American celebrations, was born at London, Ontario in 1902.
- Regina, Saskatchewan was incorporated as a city in 1903.

- An explosion of methane gas at Hillcrest, Alberta killed 189 men in Canada's worst mining disaster in 1914.

- After WW I King George V ordered members of British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames. They took the name Windsor in 1917.
- In Alberta provincial elections in 1930, the United Farmers under John Edward Brownlee maintained the government they had formed since 1924.

- DeFord Bailey became the 1st black person to perform on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in 1926.
- Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin ended their partnership after 16 films together in 1956.
- Valentina Tereshkova, the 1st woman in space, returned to Earth in 1963.
- Canada's prima ballerina Karen Kain, and her partner Frank Augustyn, won the award for best pas de deux at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 1973.
- Garfield, created by Jim Davis, 1st appeared as a comic strip in 1978.
- BC Place in Vancouver officially opened in 1983.

- The new Competition Act and Competition Tribunal Act came into force in 1986.
- Ben & Jerry Ice Cream and Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announced a new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia, in 1987.
- 32 divers finished cycling underwater on a standard tricycle, to complete 116.66 mi in 75 hrs 20 minutes in 1988.
- In 2012, Muree bin Ali Ali-Asiri, a Saudi man, was beheaded on charges of sorcery, witchcraft, and owning a talisman.

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

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