Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 4 - International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Established by the United Nations in 1982, today we celebrate the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

At an emergency special session on the question of Palestine on August 19, 1982, the General Assembly, "appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel's acts of aggression", chose to commemorate June 4th as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

Affirming the UN's commitment to protect the rights of children, the purpose of this day is to acknowledge the pain and suffering of children throughout the world who are victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse.

"On this solemn occasion, we need to recall the sacred duty, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, to ensure that all children, without any exception whatsoever, enjoy special protection." - Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, in his message for the 1983 observance.

Without any exception whatsoever ... no matter what colour their skin, no matter what country they hail from, no matter their sexual orientation ... children need to be protected, and it's our responsibility to do it.

Celebrate with us today.

Today is also Audacity to Hope Day!

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

- The first historic solar eclipse was recorded in China in 781 BC.
- Roquefort cheese was created in a cave near Roquefort, France in 1070.
- Madame Elizabeth Thible became the first female balloonist in 1784.
- Poet and troubadour Pierre Falcon, who spontaneously composed poems or songs about any stirring event, sung by voyageurs across the country, was born in Elbow Fort, Manitoba in 1793.
- A game of baseball was played in Beachville, Ontario (near Woodstock) in 1838. It predated by 7 years the establishment of Cartwright's New York Knickerbockers and the "New York game" with 9 men on the field.

- The Cone of Mount Katmai (Alaska) collapsed in 1912.
- Suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of King George V's horse Anmer at the Epsom Derby in 1913, sustaining injuries which resulted in her death four days later. Her funeral was held on June 14th, organized by the Women's Social and Political Union, with thousands of suffragettes accompanying the coffin, and tens of thousands of people lining the streets of London.

- Golfer Sandra Post, who became Canada's first female professional golfer and received more prize money than any Canadian professional, male or female, had ever won, was born in Oakville, Ontario in 1948.
- More than 15 000 people gathered at the end of the Bread and Roses walk against poverty in 1955. Hundreds of women had walked for 10 days, covering 200 km, to take their protest to Qu├ębec City.
- The Rolling Stones released "Satisfaction" in 1965.
- The Vancouver-based N.E. Thing Company's Environment exhibition, a conceptual art project formed by lain Baxter and his wife Elaine, opened at the National Gallery of Canada in 1969.
- A patent for the ATM was granted to Don Wetzel, Tom Barnes, and George Chastain in 1973.
- Joe Clark was sworn in as the youngest Prime Minister ever in 1979.

- "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," was released in 1982.
- In what would become known at the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military's advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing in 1989, which student demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks.

Seen above: the "Tank Man". His identity is unknown to this day.
As the tank driver attempted to go around him, the "Tank Man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, before climbing up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. After returning to his position in front of the tanks, that man was pulled aside by a group of people.
What happened to the "Tank Man" after that remains a mystery. He was later named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, a living embodiment of "Stand for what you believe in, even if you stand alone".

- Dr Jack Kevorkian assisted an Oregon woman to commit suicide in 1990, beginning a national debate over the right to die.
- Lesbian priest Elizabeth Carl was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1991.

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

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