This Week in History
HISTORY, 16 Feb 2015
Quote of the Week:
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
2011 Under pressure from conservationists and diplomats, Japan’s whaling fleet leaves the Antarctic. For more information on this event, visit, for instance, http://en.mercopress.com/2011/02/16/japan-cuts-short-whaling-season-greenpeace-says-whale-meat-market-overstocked and http://thediplomat.com/2011/02/compromise-for-japanese-whaling/ For more information on Japan’s whaling, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_controversy https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrBT8iH98xUH20A6QxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByNzA1YWV1BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDOQRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?qid=20071117150420AAiwWzB http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140612-whaling-japan-resume-antarctica-animals-ocean-science/ and/or http://uk.whales.org/issues/whaling-in-japan
1988 1st documented combat action by U.S. military advisors in El Salvador. See https://thisdayinusmilhist.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/february-16/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvadoran_Civil_War.
1985 Hezbollah is founded.
1979 USSR performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan USSR.
1977 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR.
1943 World War II: Insertion of Operation Gunnerside, Norway.
1942 Kim Jong-Il of DPRK, the successor of Kim Il-Sung and the father of Kim Jung-Un, is born. For Kim Jong-Il, visit, for instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/_kim_jong_il/index.html ; http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/01/29/ex-south-korea-leader-says-kim-jong-il-demanded-10b-in-exchange-for-talks/ and http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/317868/Kim-Jong-Il .
1927 US restores diplomatic relations with Turkey. Visit http://turkey.usembassy.gov/us_diplomatic_interaction_turkey.html .
1874 Silver Dollar becomes legal US tender.
1989 USSR performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan USSR.
1979 The Sino-Vietnamese War begins.
1964 In Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population. This issue refers to one of the basics of democracy in election. Visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_man,_one_vote http://www.publicmapping.org/what-is-redistricting/redistricting-criteria-equal-population http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/bd/bdb/bdb05/bdb05a http://redistricting.lls.edu/where.php http://redrawingthelines.sitewrench.com/glossaryofterms https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrBT8xATs5UZOcA6fFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0djZ0M2x2BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMTIEY29sbwNiZjEEdnRpZANWSVA1NjVfMQ–?qid=20080109143444AALxEGo http://fortworthtexas.gov/redistricting/?id=86786 and/or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_congressional_apportionment
1953 “Years after serving as the civilian director of the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer gave one of many speeches opposing the growing nuclear arms race, this one at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘We may anticipate a state of affairs in which [the U.S. and U.S.S.R.] will each be in a position to put an end to civilization and the life of the other, though not without risking its own…We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life.” (Sources: Craig Nelson. “The Age of Radiance.’ New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014, p. 259 and note that Oppenheimer’s speech excerpts were published in the July 1953 edition of Foreign Affairs: “Atomic Weapons and American Policy,” p. 529.)” Quoted from http://www.wagingpeace.org/february-this-month-in-nuclear-threat-history/
1897 Emilio Aguinaldo and a group of katipuneros defeat Spanish forces led by General Camilo de Polavieja at the Battle of Zapote Bridge in Cavite.
1885 Bismarck gives Carl Peters’ firm management of East-Africa.
1867 1st ship passes through Suez Canal.
1568 Holy Roman Emperor agrees to pay tribute to the Sultan for peace.
1972 The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, (6 Cal.3d 628) invalidates the state’s death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment. See also Walter James Bolton’s case in New Zealand in 1957, mentioned below.
1969 PLO-attack El-Al plane in Zurich Switzerland. Visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Al_Flight_432_attack and http://www.shabak.gov.il/English/History/Affairs/Pages/Zurich1969.aspx
– For death penalty in New Zealand, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_New_Zealand http://www.amnesty.org.nz/our-work/end-death-penalty/new-zealands-stance-death-penalty ; http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/the-death-penalty http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/the-death-penalty and/or http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10469011
– For pros and cons of death penalty, visit, for instance, http://www.proconlists.com/list/government-politics/the-death-penalty/9 and/or http://usliberals.about.com/od/deathpenalty/i/DeathPenalty.htm
– For Amnesty International’s argument about death penalty, visit http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/international-law and http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-penalty/international-death-penalty/death-penalty-and-human-rights-standards
– For arguments about death penalty at the UN, visit, for instance, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/DeathPenalty/Pages/DPIndex.aspx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_moratorium_on_the_death_penalty and/or http://www.worldcoalition.org/United-Nations-UN-human-rights-council-death-penalty-abolition-moratorium-resolution.html
– For relevant information on the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, visit https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Optional_Protocol_to_the_International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights
1946 Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in Bombay harbour, from where the action spreads throughout the Provinces of British India, involving 78 ships, twenty shore establishments and 20,000 sailors.
1938 During the Nanking Massacre the Nanking Safety Zone International Committee is renamed “Nanking International Rescue Committee” and the safety zone in place for refugees falls apart. For the Nanking Safety Zone and relevant issues on Nanking Massacre, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Safety_Zone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Committee_for_the_Nanking_Safety_Zone http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/foreigners-establish-safety-zone-and-intervene-save-civilians-during-nanking-massacre-1937-1 http://rapeofnankingsafetyzone.weebly.com/index.html http://www.history.com/topics/nanjinghttp://www.history.com/topics/nanjing-massacre-massacre and/or http://www.nankingatrocities.net/Terror/terror_02.htm
1927 U.S. and Canada begin diplomatic relations. Visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada%E2%80%93United_States_relations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Canada and/or http://canada.usembassy.gov/canada-us-relations.html
1637 Eighty Years’ War: Off the coast of Cornwall, England, a Spanish fleet intercepts an important Anglo–Dutch merchant convoy of 44 vessels escorted by 6 warships, destroying or capturing 20 of them.
1986 US Senate decides to ratify UN’s anti-genocide convention 37 years later. See http://www.stopthecrime.net/docs/Genocide%20Treaty.pdf . The ratification was done on 25 November 1988. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_Genocide_Convention)
“In response to President Nixon’s request, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1970 held hearings on the treaty and favorably reported the treaty to the entire Senate. The latter, however, took no action…. The Foreign Relations Committee did the same in 1971, 1973, 1976 and 1978, but it was not until February 19, 1986, that the Senate voted, 83 to 11, to give its advice and consent to such ratification…. That implementing legislation was adopted on November 4, 1988, with President Ronald Reagan’s signature of the Genocide Implementation Act of 1987, 18 U.S.C. § 1091… On November 25, 1988 (three weeks after the adoption of that federal statute), President Ronald Reagan deposited notice of U.S. ratification with the U.N. Secretary-General. This constitutes the actual act of ratification.” (Quoted from http://dwkcommentaries.com/2013/01/16/united-states-ratification-of-the-genocide-convention/)
– The issue on the reluctance of the United States in the ratification of international human rights treaties, visit, for instance, http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/06/opinion/l-why-senate-has-not-ratified-genocide-treaty-220191.html http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/23875/william-korey/human-rights-treaties-why-is-the-us-stalling http://www.newstatesman.com/north-america/2013/10/why-us-so-reluctant-sign-human-rights-treaties https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/157/26883.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_treaties_unsigned_or_unratified_by_the_United_States
– For genocide, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide http://genocidewatch.net/ http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007043 http://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide0.htm and/or http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/statements.shtml
– For the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide_Convention http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/cppcg/cppcg.html http://whitegenocideproject.com/united-nations-genocide-conventions/ and http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html
1976 Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald R. Ford‘s Proclamation 4417. Visit, for instance, http://www.ford.utexas.edu/library/speeches/760111p.htm and http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/historical-context.html
1965 Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and a communist spy of the North Vietnamese Viet Minh, along with Generals Lâm Văn Phát and Trần Thiện Khiêm attempted a coup against the military junta of Nguyễn Khánh.
1941 1st transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk, Poland. For more relevant information, visit, instance, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0016_0_15867.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp and/or http://www.wikihistory.org/index.php?n=Main.1941CE#toc22
2012 IAEA nuclear inspectors hold discussions about Iran’s nuclear program in Tehran. Visit, for instance, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/iran-nuclear-program-iaea_n_1299497.html and https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iran
2011 North Korea raises concerns regarding nuclear testing; reports show they have dug tunnels at a nuclear test site located in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province. Visit, for instance, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02/20/report-n-korea-likely-preparing-nuclear-test/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests_of_North_Korea ; http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/20/us-korea-north-idUSTRE71J0AZ20110220 and http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/north-korea/nuclear/
2009 Two Tamil Tigers aircraft packed with C4 explosives en route to the national air force headquarters are shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack.
1975 USSR performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan USSR.
1971 The United States Emergency Broadcast System is accidentally activated in an erroneous national alert.
“At 9:33 a.m. EST, the National Emergency Warning Center at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs allegedly transmitted an emergency teletype message directing all U.S. radio and television stations to cease normal broadcasting by order of President Richard Nixon. The message was not cancelled for more than 40 minutes. This incident may have been caused by a teletype operator loading the wrong tape instead of the routine Emergency Broadcast Network test broadcast. Nevertheless, newsrooms across America were in turmoil and the public was unnecessarily panicked. (Source: Jesus Diaz. This Message From NORAD Announced Global Nuclear War – In 1971. July 5, 2012. http://gizmodo.com/5923528/this-message-from-norad-announced-world-nuclear-war-in-1971 accessed January 7, 2015.)” Quoted from http://www.wagingpeace.org/february-this-month-in-nuclear-threat-history/
1966 Author Valery Tarsis banished in USSR (= departure from USSR). Visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valery_Tarsis and http://www.nytimes.com/1983/03/04/obituaries/valery-tarsis-is-dead-soviet-emigre-novelist.html
1944 World War II: The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
1943 The Saturday Evening Post publishes the first of Norman Rockwell‘s Four Freedoms in support of United States President Franklin Roosevelt‘s 1941 State of the Union address theme of Four Freedoms.
1941 Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation. For the timeline of Jewish persecution, including this event, by Nazi, visit, for instance, http://www.historyorb.com/religion/judaism?p=4 and/or http://www.ibuzzle.com/articles/history-and-timeline-of-the-holocaust.html
1941 Romania breaks relations with Netherlands. For more information on diplomatic relations between Romania and Netherlands, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Romania http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_the_Netherlands and http://www.worldatwar.net/timeline/other/diplomacy39-45.html
1935 Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.
1929 American Samoa organizes as territory of US. For American Samoa, visit http://www.fact-index.com/a/am/american_samoa.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Samoa
1921 The Young Communist League of Czechoslovakia is founded.
1901 The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
1872 In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
1869 Tennessee Governor W. C. Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis. For Ku Klux Klan, visit, for instance, http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan ; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan
1846 Polish insurgents lead an uprising in Kraków to incite a fight for national independence.
1832 Charles Darwin visits Fernando Noronha in Atlantic Ocean.
2008 US Navy destroys a U.S. spy satellite with a missile. Visit, for instance, http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/US_Navy_successfully_destroys_disabled_spy_satellite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA-193 and http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0221/99864-space/
1963 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1942 World War II/Asia-Pacific War: Operation Sook Ching is begun to be implemented in Singapore (until 4 March 1942). “Operation Sook Ching was a Japanese military operation aimed at purging or eliminating anti-Japanese elements from the Chinese community in Singapore. From 21 February to 4 March 1942, Chinese males between the ages of 18 and 50 were summoned to various mass screening centres and those suspected of being anti-Japanese were executed.” (Source: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_40_2005-01-24.html) For more information on this massacre event, visit, in addition to the above mentioned website, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sook_Ching http://japanfocus.org/-Hayashi-Hirofumi/3187 http://www.asiauncovered.net/2013/09/haunted-changi-beach-park.html http://wdlhysec2a26.blogspot.com/2013/02/sook-ching-massacre.html http://www.viator.com/tours/Singapore/Changi-WWII-War-Trail-and-Museum-Tour/d18-2984CHA and/or http://eastcoastlife.blogspot.com/2008/09/sook-ching-massacre-in-singapore-ruby.html
1808 Without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish war, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (i.e. Finland) to Russia.
1440 The Prussian Confederation is formed.
1991 Bush and US Gulf War allies give Iraq 24 hours to begin Kuwait withdrawal. Visit http://mukundsathe.com/2014/02/22/this-day-in-history-22-feb-1991-bush-us-gulf-war-allies-give-iraq-24-hrs-to-begin-kuwait-withdrawal/ For more relevant information on the Gulf War, visit, for instance, http://wikipedia.or.ke/index.php/Desert_Storm#Air_campaign
1979 Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.
1974 The Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit begins in Lahore, Pakistan. Thirty-seven countries attend and twenty-two heads of state and government participate. It also recognizes Bangladesh.
1941 Nazi SS begin rounding up Jews of Amsterdam. Visit, for instance, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005434 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/occamsterdam.html and/or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Amsterdam
1899 Filipino forces led by General Antonio Luna launch counterattacks for the first time against the American forces during the Philippine–American War. The Filipinos fail to regain Manila from the Americans.
Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment originally from Japan.
(Sources and references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_16 to February_22; http://www.brainyhistory.com/days/february_16.html to February_15; http://www.historyorb.com/events/february/16 to February/22; and other relevant websites and/or documents, mentioned above.)
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Feb 2015.
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