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International Workers Day 01 May International Workers' Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement and leftwing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

History

International Workers' Day is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when, after an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they dispersed a public meeting, Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour workday, killing several demonstrators and resulting in the deaths of several police officers, largely from friendly fire. In 1889, the first congress of the Second International, meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universelle, following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International's second congress in 1891. Subsequently, the May Day Riots of 1894 and May Day Riots of 1919 occurred. In 1904, the International Socialist Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on "all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace." The congress made it "mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers." In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups. In some circles, bonfires are lit in commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs, usually at dawn. May Day has been an important official holiday in Communist countries such as the People's Republic of China, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. May Day celebrations typically feature elaborate popular and military parades in these countries. In the United States and Canada, however, the official holiday for workers is Labor Day in September. This day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Square riot in May, 1886, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots. Thus he moved in 1887 to support the Labor Day that the Knights supported. In 1955, the Roman Catholic Church dedicated May 1 to "Saint Joseph The Worker". The Catholic Church considers Saint Joseph the patron saint of (among others) workers, craftsmen, immigrants and "people fighting communism". Right-wing governments have traditionally sought to repress the message behind International Workers' Day, with facist governments in Portugal, Italy, Germany and Spain abolishing the workers' holiday, and the Conservative party in the UK currently attempting to abolish the UK's annual May Day Bank Holiday.

Brazil

Americas

In Brazil, Workers' Day is an official holiday, and unions commemorate it with day-long public events. It is also when salaries for most professional categories and the minimum wage are traditionally readjusted.

Canada

Although celebrations by socialist, anarchist and anti-globalization activists occur on May 1 in Canada, the government of Prime MinisterJohn Sparrow David Thompson declared in 1894 the first Monday in September as Canada's official Labour Day. May Day, however, remains an important day of trade-union and community group protest in the province of Quebec. Celebration of the International Labour Day (or Workers' Day, fête des travailleurs) in Montreal goes back to 1906, organised by the Mutual Aid circle. The tradition had a renaissance at the time of a mass strike of 1972. On the 1973 May Day, the first contemporary demonstration was organised by the major trade union confederations. Over 30,000 trade unionists took part in this demonstration.

United States

In the United States, efforts to officially switch Labor Day to the international date of May 1 have failed. In 1921, following the Russian Revolution of 1917, May 1 was promoted as "Americanization Day" by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other groups as a counter to communists. It became an annual event, sometimes featuring large rallies. In 1949, Americanization Day was renamed to Loyalty Day. In 1958, Congress declared Loyalty Day a national holiday; that same year, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 Law Day as well. Some unions and union locals in the United States — especially in urban areas with strong support for organized labor — have attempted to maintain a connection with more radical labor traditions through their own unofficial observances on May 1. Some of the largest examples of this occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when thousands of workers marched in May Day parades in New York's Union Square. Smaller far left groups have also tried to keep the May Day tradition alive with more radical demonstrations in such cities as New York and Seattle, without major union backing. In 2006, May 1 was chosen by mostly Latino immigrant groups in the United States as the day for the Great American Boycott, a general strike of illegal immigrant workers and supporters to protest H.R. 4437, immigration reform legislation which they felt was draconian. From April 10 to May 1 of that year, millions of immigrant families in the U.S. called for immigrant rights, workers rights and amnesty for undocumented workers. They were joined by socialist and other leftist organizations on May 1. On May 1, 2007, a mostly peaceful demonstration in Los Angeles in support of illegal immigrant workers ended with a widely televised assault by police officers. In March 2008, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced that dockworkers will move no cargo at any West Coast ports on May 1, 2008, as a protest against the continuation of the Iraq War and the diversion of resources from domestic needs. For May Day 2010, marches were being planned in many cities uniting immigrant and native workers including New York , San Francisco, Boston, Albany Chicago and Los Angeles most of whom protested against the Arizona Senate Bill 1070.

China

Asia

In the People's Republic of China, May 1 marked the start of one of the country's three "Golden Weeks". Three days off work were given, and one of the surrounding weekends was, for no more than 3 days. From 2008, only one day would still be given, with the other two days being rescheduled on Qingming in early April and Duanwu in early June, respectively.

Pakistan

May 1 is globally acknowledged and celebrated as the 'Labour Day' every year with great zeal and fervour in commemoration of economic and social achievements of Labour Union Movement, which started from the United States of America in 19th century. The main rea-

son of existence of this movement was that there was a practice of taking unlimited working hours by the workers in the industrial areas of Chicago in those days without giving them any weekly holiday and additional financial incentives. It was an extreme of cruelty that the workers usually worked in unsecured condition in industrial premises due to which the accidents were common. Similarly, there was no legal binding on exploitation and child labour. The common status of a worker was just like a slave in the eyes of his employer. This injustice system compelled the Labour Union Movement to launch struggle against the employers for acceptance of its demand through eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. The history of this Movement is based on the fact that some labours were killed on the issue of an eight-hour workday in Chicago in 1886, which turned the Labour Movement into strong drive. Thereafter, a mass meeting of industrial workers was held at Haymarket Square to protest against the inhuman treatment of the police force. Unfortunately, an unknown person threw bomb on the police at the end of peaceful meeting, which killed one police man and injured seventy.

India

The first May Day celebration in India was organised in Madras by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan on May 1, 1923. This was also the first time the red flag was used in India. The party leader Singaravelu Chettiar made arrangements to celebrate May Day in two places in 1923. One meeting was held at the beach opposite to the Madras High Court; the other meeting was held at the Triplicane beach. The Hindunewspaper, published from Madras reported, The Labour Kisan party has introduced May Day celebrations in Chennai. Comrade Singaravelar presided over the meeting. A resolution was passed stating that the government should declare May Day as a holiday. The president of the party explained the non-violent principles of the party. There was a request for financial aid. It was emphasized that workers of the world must unite to achieve independence. May Day is a nationwide bank holiday in India. The holiday is tied to labour movements for communist and socialist political parties. InMaharashtra and Gujarat, it is officially called Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day respectively, since on this day in 1960 each attained statehood, after the old Bombay State became divided on linguistic lines.

Japan

May Day is not officially designated by the Japanese government as a national holiday. But because it lies between other national holidays, it is a day off work for the vast majority of Japanese workers. Many employers give it as a day off by, and otherwise workers take it as "paid leave". May 1 is occurs in the "Golden Week" of holidays, together with April 29 ("Shōwa Day", birthday of former Emperor Hirohito), May 3 ("Constitution Memorial Day"), May 4 ("Greenery Day") and May 5 ("Children's Day"). Workers generally take May 1 off work not so much to join street rallies or labor union gatherings, but rather to take a few days of vacation in an uninterrupted string. In the Japanese corporate culture, taking weekdays off for personal pleasure is widely frowned upon. Usually on this day, some of the major labor unions organize rallies and demonstrations in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. In 2008, the National Confederation of Trade Unions, known also as Zenrōren held a rally in Yoyogi Park attended by 44,000 participants, while the National Trade Unions Council, also known as Zenrōkyō held its May Day rally at Hibiya Park. However the largest Japanese trade union, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, better known as Rengō, held its May Day rally on the following Saturday (May 3), allegedly to distance itself from the more radical labor unions.

Malaysia

Malaysia began observing the holiday in 1972 following an announcement by the late Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Ismail Abdul Rahman.

Nepal

May Day has been celebrated in Nepal since 1963. The day became a public holiday in 2007.

Singapore

In Singapore, it is known as Labor day and it is a public holiday.

Europe

Eastern bloc under Communist governments

Eastern bloc countries such as the Soviet Union and most countries of central and eastern Europe that were under the rule of Communist governments held official May Day celebrations in every town and city, during which party leaders greeted the crowds. Workers carried banners with political slogans and many companies decorated their company cars. The biggest celebration of May 1 usually occurred in the capital of a particular communist country and usually included a military display and the presence of the president and the secretary general of the Party. In Poland, since 1982, party leaders led the official parades, and in 1990,, May 1 was renamed "State Holiday". In Hungary, May Day was officially celebrated under the Communist regime, and remains a public holiday. Traditionally, the day was marked by dancing around designated "May trees."

Germany

In Germany, May Day celebrations have been organized independently by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) since the late 19th century, and by the Communist Party since 1918. However, for a long time the day was not made an official state holiday, even when the Social Democrats came to power in the years after World War I, because both the social democrats and the communists believed that the workers should organize their own holiday without the involvement of the (traditionally conservative) German state bureaucracy. In 1929, the SPD government prohibited the annual May Day workers' demonstrations in Berlin. The Communist Party, which was the strongest party in Berlin, called demonstrations nonetheless. By the end of the day, 32 demonstrators, workers and bystanders had been killed by the police, at least 80 were seriously injured. The Berlin police, under control of the supposedly pro-labour social democratic government, had fired a total of 11,000 rounds of live ammunition. This incident, remembered in the German language as Blutmai ("Blood May") deepened the split between the SPD and the Communist Party, which indirectly helped the German right wing parties and the eventual rise of the Nazi Party in the German parliament. In April 1933, the recently installed Nazi government declared May 1 the "Day of National Work," an official state holiday, and announced that all celebrations were to be organized by the government. Any separate celebrations by communists, social democrats or labour unions were banned. After the World War II, May 1 remained a state holiday in both East and West Germany. In communist East Germany, workers were de facto required to participate in large state-organized parades on Mayday. Today in Germany it is simply called the "Day of Labour" ("Tag der Arbeit"), and there are numerous demonstrations and celebrations by independent workers' organizations. Today, Berlin witnesses yearly demonstrations on May Day, the largest organized by labour unions, political parties and others by the far left and Autonomen. Since 1987, Mayday has also become known for riots in some districts of Berlin. After police actions against radical leftists in that year's annual demonstrations,

the Autonome scattered and sought cover at the ongoing annual street fair in Kreuzberg. Three years prior to thereunification of Germany, violent protests would only take place in the former West Berlin. The protesters began tipping over police cars, violently resisting arrest, and began building barricades after the police withdrew due to the unforeseen resistance. Cars were set on fire, shops plundered and burned to the ground. The police eventually ended the riots the following night. These violent forms of protests by the radical left, later increasingly involved participants without political motivation. Annual street fairs have proven an effective way to prevent riots, and May Day in 2005 and 2006 have been among the most peaceful known to Berlin in nearly 25 years. In recent years, neo-Nazis and other groups on the far right, such as the National Democratic Party of Germany, have used the day to schedule public demonstrations, often leading to clashes with left-wing protesters, which turned especially violent inLeipzig in 1998 and 2005. May Day violence flared again in 2010. After an approved far right demonstration was blocked by leftists, a parade by an estimated 10,000 leftists and anarchists turned violent and required an active response by Berlin police.

Sweden

The 1st of May has been an important part of Swedish 19th century history. The day was made public holiday in 1938 but had been celebrated by the Swedish Social Democratic Party since 1890. The first May day celebration gathered more than 50.000 people in central Stockholm. The crowd went to hear speeches held by the leading characters of the Swedish labour movement, Hjalmar Branting (later prime minister), August Palm and Hinke Bergegren. During World War I the demonstrations mainly had a peace message and the Liberal Party also joined the demonstrations. The 8-hour working day and women's suffrage were the main messages during the troubled times after World War I. When the Social Democratic Party won the election in 1932 they started an era of social democratic rule that wasn't broken until the election in 1976, when the centre-right parties won after nearly 50 years in opposition. During the long social democratic rule the May Day demonstrations continued and grew even stronger, in despite that the party de facto now was demonstrating against itself. The May Day demonstrations are still an important part of Swedish politics and the leaders of the social democratic and left-wing parties use the May Day to discuss their politics. In Stockholm the Social Democratic Party always marches towards the Norra Bantorget ("Northern Railway Square"), which is the centre of the Swedish labour movement, to hold speeches in front of the Trade Union Palace.

Portugal

In Portugal, the 1st of May celebration was harshly repressed during the fascist dictatorship regime of António de Oliveira Salazar, although, since the Carnation Revolution in the 25th of April of 1974, it's now celebrated by the several leftist political parties with parades and demonstrations. It was an opportunity for the several precarious workers groups to show their discontent for existing working conditions, in a parade called Primeiro de Maio (1st of May), although in the present the Worker's Day in Portugal is a holiday for parents to spend some time with their children. The 1st of May also represents the unionized workers that try to improve the working conditions of emmigrant workers abroad.

Spain

In Spain, the 1st of May celebration was established after the end of Franco's dictatorship in 1975; before that, it had been celebrated during the Spanish Second Republic period (1931–1939), but it was banned afterwards by the fascist Franco regime. The first time it was celebrated was in 1977, when the Communist Party of Spain was legalized. Since then, it has become an official holiday that has been traditionally used by trade unions and leftist parties for social and labour vindications. Commonly, pacific demonstrations and parades are made in most big cities.

Greece

In Greece, May 1 celebrations are characterized by demonstrations. All major political parties participate. On May Day 2010 there were major protests all over Greece, most notably Athens and Thessaloniki, by many left, anarchist and communist supporters and some violent clashes by riot police who were sent out to contain the protesters. They demanded economic reform, an end to job losses and wage cuts in the face of the government's proposals of massive public spending cuts. These cuts are to fall in line with the EU-IMF loan proposals which demand that Greece liberalize its economy, cut its public spending and open it up further to the EU and world markets, which many believe will decrease living standards.

Italy

The first May day celebration in Italy took place in 1890. It started initially as an attempt to celebrate workers' achievements in their struggle for their rights and for better social and economic conditions. It was abolished under the Fascist Regime and immediately restored after the Second World War. (During the fascist period, a "Holiday of the Italian labour" (Festa del lavoro italiano) was celebrated on the 21st of April, the date of Natale di Roma, when ancient Rome was allegedly founded.) Now, May Day is an important celebration in Italy. Very popular is the Concerto del Primo Maggio ("1 May's Concert"), organized by Italian Labour Unions in Rome in Piazza San Giovanni. It is attended by more than 300,000 people every year and involves participation of many famous bands and songwriters. The concert is usually broadcasted live by Rai Tre.

Russia

May Day was celebrated illegally in Russia until the February Revolution enabled the first legal celebration in 1917. The following year, after the Bolshevik seizure of power, the May Day celebrations were boycotted by Mensheviks, Left Socialist Revolutionaries and anarchists. It became an important official holiday of the Soviet Union, celebrated with elaborate popular parade in the centre of the major cities. The biggest celebration was traditionally organized on the Red Square, where the General Secretary of the CPSU and other party and government leaders stood atop Lenin's Mausoleum and waved to the crowds. Since 1992, May Day is officially called "The Day of Spring and Labour", and remains a major holiday in the present-day Russia.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom in recent years, the anti-capitalist movement has organised a number of large protests in London, Glasgow,Edinburgh, and Doncaster. In London, these have resulted in clashes with the police. In 2000, the clashes ended with a branch of McDonalds being smashed and a statue of Winston Churchill being given a grass Mohawk hairstyle. The Cenotaph was also defaced with graffiti. In the last few years, demonstrations have been more peaceful, with marches and gatherings, particularly in central London. The current Conservative-led coalition government in March 2011 announced plans to move the May Day bank holiday to October in order to lengthen the tourist season. A London rally on May Day is organised by the London May Day Organising Committee (LMDOC). Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Workers'_Day

Law Day, U.S. 01 May

Dos de Mayo Uprising- Spain 02 May

On May 1 the United States celebrates Law Day, U.S.A.. It is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.

On the second of May (Spanish: Dos de Mayo), 1808, the people of Madrid rebelled against the occupation of the city by French troops, provoking a brutal repression by the French Imperial forces and triggering the Peninsular War.

Long before President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared it, May 1st was May Day. A day to remember the struggles of workers who were killed or oppressed in their fight for better wages and working conditions. Improving on this, Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 (Previously known as May Day or International Workers' Day) would now be known as Law Day, U.S.A. in 1958. Its observance was later codified into law by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961. In contrast, most countries celebrate May Day on the same date, as it is designated Labour Day or International Workers Day. Law Day, U.S.A., along with Loyalty Day, was created to counterbalance these celebrations, which were perceived as communist. On February 5, 1958, President Eisenhower recognized the first Law Day when he proclaimed that henceforth May 1 of each year would be Law Day. He stated “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law. Now, many local bars and legal education associations, such as the Florida Law Related Education Association and the New York State Bar Association, use Law Day as a legal education tool, particularly for students. Like Earth Day, Law Day is not a government holiday. In fact, few outside the legal community in the United States are even aware of the existence of Law Day. To celebrate Law Day, some local bar associations hold a luncheon, featuring speakers who discuss topics such as justice or the liberties provided for by the United States Constitution. Also, attorneys might visit schools and talk to students about the American legal system. Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States— (1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and (2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Day,_U.S.A.

The city had been under the occupation of Napoleon's army since 23 March of the same year. King Charles IV had been forced to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, and at the time of the uprising both were in the French city of Bayonne at the insistence of Napoleon. An attempt by the French general Joachim Murat to move the daughter and youngest son of Charles IV to Bayonne led to a popular rebellion that was harshly suppressed by French troops after hours of fierce street fighting. The uprising in Madrid, together with the subsequent proclamation as king of Napoleon's brother Joseph, provoked resistance across Spain to French rule.

History

Loyalty Day, U.S. 01 May Loyalty Day is observed on May 1 in the United States. It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.

History

The holiday was first observed in 1921 as "Americanization Day," and was intended to counterbalance the celebration of Labour Day on May Day (May 1), an internationally celebrated holiday for the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886. Loyalty Day is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in several U.S. communities, like Batavia, Illinois, although many people in the United States remain unaware of it. Although a legal holiday, it is not a federal holiday, and is not commonly observed. It was made an official holiday by the U.S. Congress on July 18, 1958 (Public Law 85-529). Following the passage of this law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959 the first official observance of Loyalty Day. In 2007 President George W. Bush issued an official proclamation of the May 1, 2007 Loyalty Day in accordance with the 1958 Congressional declaration, as have many of his predecessors: Bill Clinton, proclamation 6556 (May 1, 1993) George H. W. Bush, proclamation 5962 (April 28, 1989) Ronald Reagan, proclamation 4836 (April 14, 1981) Jimmy Carter, proclamation 4493 (March 23, 1977) Gerald Ford, proclamation 4354 (March 4, 1975) John F. Kennedy, proclamation 3528 (April 18, 1963) Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalty_Day

Background

The beginning of the uprising

The spark that provoked the rebellion was the move by the French Marshal in command of Madrid, Joaquim Murat, to send the daughter of Charles IV and the Infante Francisco de Paula to the French city of Bayonne. Murat was the brother-in-law of Napoleon, and would later become king of Naples. Initially the governing council of the city refused the request from Murat, but eventually gave way after receiving a message from Ferdinand VII who was also in Bayonne at this time. On 2 May a crowd began to gather in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Those gathered entered the palace grounds in an attempt to prevent the removal of Francisco de Paula. Marshal Murat sent a battalion of grenadiers from the Imperial Guard to the palace along with artillery detachments. The latter opened fire on the assembled crowd, and the rebellion began to spread to other parts of the city. What followed was street fighting in different areas of Madrid as the poorly armed population confronted the French troops. Murat had quickly moved the majority of his troops into the city and there was heavy fighting around the Puerta del Sol and the Puerta de Toledo. Marshal Murat imposed martial law in the city and assumed full control of the administration. Little by little the French regained control of the city, and many hundreds of people died in the fighting. The painting by the Spanish artistGoya, The Charge of the Mamelukes, portrays the street fighting that took place. There were Spanish troops stationed in the city, but they remained confined to barracks. The only Spanish troops to disobey orders were from the artillery units at the barracks of Monteleón, who joined the uprising. Two officers of these troops,Luis Daoíz de Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán are still commemorated as heroes of the rebellion. Both died during the French assault of the barracks, as the rebels were reduced by vastly superior numbers.

The aftermath

The repression following the crushing of the initial rebellion was harsh. Murat created a military commission on the evening of 2 May to be presided over by General Grouchy. This commission issued death sentences to all of those captured who were bearing weapons of any kind. In a statement issued that day Murat said: "The population of Madrid, led astray, has given itself to revolt and murder. French blood has flowed. It demands vengeance. All those arrested in the uprising, arms in hand, will be shot." All public meetings were prohibited and an order was issued requiring all weapons to be handed in to the authorities. Hundreds of prisoners were executed the following day, a scene that has also been captured in a famous painting by Goya, The Third of May 1808. On the same 2 May, in the nearby town of Móstoles, the arrival of the news of the repression prompted Juan Pérez Villamil, who was secretary of the Admiralty and prosecutor of the Supreme War Council, to encourage the mayors of the town, Andrés Torrejón and Simón Hernández, to sign a declaration of war calling all the Spaniards against the invaders. The name of this declaration was "Bando de los alcaldes de Móstoles" or "bando de la Independencia".

The impact of the uprising

While the French occupiers hoped that their rapid suppression of the uprising would demonstrate their control of Spain, the rebellion actually gave considerable impetus to the resistance. In the weeks that followed there were further rebellions in different parts of the country.

Commemoration

2 May was chosen as a public holiday in the region of Madrid. The place where the artillery barracks of Monteleón was located is now a square called the Plaza 2 de mayo, and the district surrounding the square is known as Malasaña in memory of one of the heroines of the revolt, the teenagerManuela Malasaña, who was executed by French troops in the aftermath of the revolt. Several memorials to the heroes are located over the city, including the Monumento a los Caidos por España. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_de_Mayo_Uprising

Constitution Day-POLAND 03 MAY Constitution of May 3, 1791

Constitution of May 3, 1791 (Polish: Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja;Lithuanian: Gegužės trečiosios konstitucija) is generally regarded as Europe's first and the world's second modern codified national constitution, following the 1788 ratification of the United States Constitution (however, see also: Corsican Constitution and Constitution of San Marino). The May 3, 1791, Constitution was adopted as a "Government Act" (Polish: Ustawa rządowa) on that date by the Sejm (parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was in effect for only a year, until the Russo-Polish War of 1792. The May 3 Constitution was designed to redress long-standing political defects of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and its traditional system of "Golden Liberty" conveying disproportionate rights and privileges to the nobility. The Constitution introduced political equality between townspeople and nobility (szlachta) and placed the peasants under the protection of the government, thus mitigating the worst abuses of serfdom. The Constitution abolished pernicious parliamentary institutions such as the liberum veto, which at one time had put the sejm at the mercy of any deputy who might choose, or be bribed by an interest or foreign power, to undo legislation passed by that sejm. The Constitution sought to supplant the existing anarchy fostered by some of the country's magnates with a more democratic constitutional monarchy. The document was translated into Lithuanian. The adoption of the May 3 Constitution provoked the active hostility of the Commonwealth's neighbors. In the War in Defense of the Constitution, the Commonwealth lost its Prussian ally, Frederick William II, when the Commonwealth failed to live up to territorial agreements made in their treaty and also failed to consult Prussia before agreeing on the constitution. It was then defeated by Catherine the Great's Imperial Russia allied with the Targowica Confederation, a coalition of Polish magnates and landless nobility who opposed reforms that might weaken their influence. Despite the Commonwealth's defeat and the consequent Second Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the May 3 Constitution influenced later democratic movements. It remained, after the demise of the Polish Republic in 1795, over the next 123 years of Polish partitions, a beacon in the struggle to restore Polish sovereignty. In the words of two of its co-authors, Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, it was "the last will and testament of the expiring Motherland."

Background

The May 3 Constitution responded to the increasingly perilous situation of the Polish– Lithuanian Commonwealth, only a century earlier a major European power and indeed the largest state on the continent. Already two hundred years before the May 3 Constitution, King Sigismund III Vasa's court preacher, the Jesuit Piotr Skarga, had famously condemned the individual and collective weaknesses of the Commonwealth. Likewise, in the same period, writers and philosophers such as Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski and Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki, and Jan Zamoyski's egzekucja praw (Execution-of-theLaws) reform movement, had advocated reforms. By the early 17th century, the magnates of Poland and Lithuania controlled the Commonwealth—or rather, they managed to ensure that no reforms would be carried out that might weaken their privileged status (the "Golden Freedoms"). They spent lavishly on banquets, drinking bouts and other amusements, while the peasants languished in abysmal conditions and the towns, many of which were wholly within the private property of a magnate who feared the rise of an independent middle class, were kept in a state of ruin. Many historians hold that a major cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was the peculiar institution of the liberum veto ("free veto"), which since 1652 had in principle permitted any Sejm deputy to nullify all the legislation that had been adopted by that Sejm. Thus deputies bribed by magnates or foreign powers, or simply content to believe they were living in some kind of "Golden Age", for over a century paralysed the Commonwealth's government. The threat of the liberum veto could, however, be overridden by the establishment of a "confederated sejm", which operated immune from the liberum veto. The Four-Year, or "Great", Sejm of 1788–92, which would adopt the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was such a confederated sejm, and it was due only to that fact that it was able to put through so radical a piece of legislation. The Enlightenment had gained great influence in certain Commonwealth circles during the reign (1764–95) of its last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, and the King had proceeded with cautious reforms such as the establishment of fiscal and military ministries and a national customs tariff. However, the idea of reforms in the Commonwealth was viewed with growing suspicion not only by the magnates, but also by neighboring countries, which were content with the Commonwealth's contemporary state of affairs and ab-

Kempo Kinenbi, japan 03 May Constitution Memorial Day

Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日 Kenpō Kinen-bi) is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place on May third in celebration of the promulgation of the 1947 Constitution of Japan. It is a part of the collection of holidays known as Golden Week. A holiday since the current Japanese constitution came into effect on May 3, 1947, this is the only day of the year that the National Diet Building is open to the public. Being a day that draws its significance from the Japanese constitution, Constitution Memorial Day is often chosen as a day to reflect on the meaning of democracy and Japanese government. For instance, in 2003, a number of newspapers featured editorials regarding the constitution's embattled Article 9. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Memorial_Day

World Press Freedom DayInternational-03 May The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991. UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. Created in 1997, the prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. Names are submitted by regional and international non-governmental organizations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states. The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper,El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. Cano's writings had offended Colombia's powerful drug barons. UNESCO also marks World Press Freedom Day each year by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organisations and UN agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges. Each conference is centred around a theme related to press freedom, including good governance, media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries. The 2011 World Press Freedom Day celebration is being held in Washington, D.C., USA on May 1-3. This will be the first time the United States has hosted the World Press Freedom Day celebration. The theme of this year's event is 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The event will affirm fundamental principles of media freedom in the digital age—the ability of citizens to voice their opinions and access diverse, independent information sources—20 years after the original declaration was made in Windhoek, Namibia. The World Press Freedom Day 2011 program and agenda are available here. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Press_Freedom_Day

horred the thought of a resurgent and democratic power on their borders. Accordingly Russia's Empress Catherine the Great and Prussia's King Frederick the Great provoked a conflict between some members of the Sejm and the King over civil rights for religious minorities. Catherine and Frederick declared their support for the Polish nobility (szlachta) and their "liberties," and by October 1767 Russian troops had assembled outside the Polish capital,Warsaw. The King and his adherents, in face of superior Russian military force, were left with little choice but to acquiesce in Russian demands and during the Repnin Sejm (named after unofficially presiding Russian ambassador Nicholas Repnin) accept the five "eternal and invariable principles" which Catherine vowed to "protect for all time to come in the name of Poland's liberties": the election of kings; the right of liberum veto; the right to renounce allegiance to, and raise rebellion against, the king (rokosz); the szlachta's exclusive right to hold office and land; and a landowner's power of life and death over his peasants. Thus all the privileges of the nobility that had made the Commonwealth's political system ("Golden Liberty") ungovernable were guaranteed as unalterable in the Cardinal Laws. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth thus became an effective protectorate of the Russian Empire. Nonetheless, several minor beneficial reforms were adopted, and the need for more reforms was becoming increasingly recognized. Not everyone in the Commonwealth agreed with King Stanisław August's acquiescence. On February 29, 1768, several magnates, including Kazimierz Pułaski, vowing to oppose Russian intervention, declared Stanisław August a "lackey of Russia and Catherine" and formed aconfederation at the town of Bar. The Bar Confederation began a civil war with the goal of overthrowing the King and fought on until 1772, when overwhelmed by Russian intervention. The Bar Confederation's defeat set the scene for the next act in the unfolding drama. On August 5, 1772, at St. Petersburg, Russia, the three neighboring powers—Russia, Prussia and Austria—signed the First Partition treaty. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was to be divested of about a third of its territory and population (over 200,000 km2 (77,220 sq mi) and 4 million people). This was justified on grounds of "anarchy" in the Commonwealth and her refusal to cooperate with its neighbors' efforts to restore order. The three powers demanded that the Sejm ratify this first partition, otherwise threatening further partitions. King Stanisław August yielded under duress and on April 19, 1773, called the Sejm into session. Only 102 deputies attended what became known as the Partition Sejm; the rest, aware of the King's decision, refused. Despite protests, notably by the deputy Tadeusz Rejtan, the First Partition of Poland was ratified. The first of the three successive 18th-century partitions of Commonwealth territory that would eventually blot Poland from the map of Europe shocked the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, and had made it clear to progressive minds that the Commonwealth must either reform or perish. Even before the First Partition, a Sejm deputy had been sent to ask the French philosophes Gabriel Bonnot de Mably and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to draw up tentative constitutions for a new Poland. Mably had submitted his recommendations in 1770–71; Rousseau had finished his (Considerations on the Government of Poland) in 1772, when the First Partition was already underway. Supported by King Stanisław August, a new wave of reforms were introduced. The most important included the establishment, in 1773, of a Komisja Edukacji Narodowej ("Commission of National Education")—the first ministry of education in the world. New schools were opened in the cities and in the countryside, uniform textbooks were printed, teachers were educated, and poor students were provided scholarships. The Commonwealth's military was modernized, and a standing army was formed. Economic and commercial reforms, previously shunned as unimportant by the szlachta, were introduced, and the development of industries was encouraged. The peasants were given some rights. A new Police ministry fought corruption. Everything from the road system to prisons was reformed. A new executive body was created, the Permanent Council (Polish: Rada Nieustająca), comprising five ministries. In 1776, the Sejm commissioned Chancellor Andrzej Zamoyski to draft a new legal code, the Zamoyski Code. By 1780, under Zamoyski's direction, a code (Zbiór praw sądowych) had been produced. It would have strengthened royal power, made all officials answerable to the Sejm, placed the clergy and their finances under state supervision, and deprived landless szlachta of many of their legal immunities. Zamoyski's progressive legal code, containing elements of constitutional reform, facing opposition from conservative szlachta and foreign powers, failed to be adopted by the Sejm. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_May_3,_1791

National Flag Day-POLAND 02 MAY Flag of Poland

The flag of Poland consists of two horizontal stripes of equal width, the upper one white and the lower one red. The two colors are defined in the Polish constitution as the national colors. A variant of the flag with the national coat of arms in the middle of the white stripe is legally reserved for official use abroad and at sea. A similar flag with the addition of a swallow-tail is used as the naval ensign of Poland. White and red were officially adopted as national colors in 1831. They are of heraldic origin and derive from the tinctures (colors) of the coats of arms of the two constituent nations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, i.e. the White Eagle of Poland and the Pursuer (Lithuanian:Vytis, Polish: Pogoń) of Lithuania, a white knight riding a white horse, both on a red shield. Prior to that, Polish soldiers wore cockades of various color combinations. The national flag was officially adopted in 1919. Since 2004, Polish Flag Day is celebrated on May 2. The flag is flown continuously on the buildings of the highest national authorities, such as the parliament and the presidential palace. Other institutions and many Polish people fly the national flag on national holidays and other special occasions of national significance. Current Polish law does not restrict the use of the national flag without the coat of arms as long as the flag is not disrespected. Horizontal bicolor of white and red being a relatively widespread design, there are several flags that are similar but unrelated to the Polish one, most notably those of Bohemia in the Czech Republic and Tyrol in Austria, and two national flags with the red stripe above the white one: those of Indonesia and Monaco. In Poland, many flags based on the national design also feature the national colors. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Poland

Greenery Day-JAPAN 04 MAY Greenery Day

Greenery Day (みどりの日 Midori no hi) is a Japanese holiday. Between 1989 and 2006 it was celebrated on April 29. In 2007 Greenery Day was moved to May 4. The present observation of Greenery Day as a national holiday in Japan stems from the celebration of the Emperor Shōwa's birthday on April 29 every year during the Shōwa era. In 1989, following the ascension of the current Emperor Akihito to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the name of the holiday was changed from "Birthday of the Emperor" to "Greenery Day". Officially, as its name suggests, it is a day to commune with nature and to be thankful for blessings. The day was renamed to "Greenery Day" to acknowledge the controversial wartime emperor's love for plants without directly mentioning his name.[2] However, in practice it is seen as just another day that expands the Japanese Golden Week vacation. In 2007, Greenery Day moved to May 4, and April 29 was changed to Shōwa Day in accordance with a 2005 revision of the law pertaining to public holidays. The Shōwa Emperor reigned for 62 years and 2 weeks. On May 3, 1947, he became a symbol of Japan by the new constitution of the country. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenery_Day


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ZARB-E-JAMHOOR\LAHORE\PAKISTAN, 01 MAY 2011 TO 14 MAY 2011, Edition: 17-18, Editor in Chief: Noor Ali, Mob: +92-341-7000111, Email: editor@zarbejamhoor.com

Proclamation of Independence, Declaration of the Republic Latvia-04 May The Declaration "On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia" (Latvian:Deklarācija Par Latvijas Republikas neatkarības atjaunošanu) was adopted on 4 May 1990, by the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR. The Declaration stated that, although Latvia had de facto lost its independence in 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union, the country had de jure remained a sovereign country as the annexation had been unconstitutional and against the will of the people of Latvia. Therefore it resolved that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940were illegal, and annulled the declaration on the accession of Latvia to the Soviet Union of 21 July 1940, re-instituted the Constitution of Latvia of 1922, which was thereupon partly suspended, and set a period of transition to de facto independence, which would end upon the first session of Saeima. It also ruled that during the transitional period the Constitution of the Latvian SSR and other laws would remain applicable as long as they did not contradict articles 1, 2, 3, and 6 of the Constitution of Latvia, which were reinforced by the declaration. It was provided that a committee to elaborate a new edition of the Constitution of Latvia should be created. Social, economic, cultural and political rights were granted to citizens and residents of Latvia in accordance with international human rights. The declaration also stated that Latvia would form its relationship with the Soviet Union on the basis of the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty of 1920, in which the Soviet Union had recognized the independence of Latvia as inviolable "for all future time".

Historical and juridical background

In its beginning the Declaration establishes several historical facts and on the basis of these facts concludes that the Republic of Latvia de jure is a sovereign country. It observes that the Republic of Latvia proclaimed independence on 18 November 1918, and was internationally recognized in 1920, and that Latvia was admitted to membership in the League of Nations in 1921. The first country to recognize the independence of Latvia de jure was Soviet Russia on 11 August 1920, when the Soviet-Latvian Peace treaty was signed (it is generally considered that the independence of Latvia de jure was internationally recognized on 26 January 1921, when it was recognized by the Allies of World War I). The declaration notes that in April 1920 the Latvian nation followed the principle of self-determination by electing a Constitutional Assembly of Latvia, which adopted the Constitution of Latvia on 15 February 1922, in general, equal and direct elections, based on proportional representation. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which included a secret protocol dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. Latvia was apportioned to the Soviet sphere and on 5 October 1939, signed a mutual assistance pact. On 16 June 1940, the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum to Latvia accusing it of not carrying out the treaty, namely of forming amilitary alliance against the USSR, and requested a new government to be formed and to guarantee Soviet military free entrance in Latvia. The Latvian government decided to give in to the ultimatum and on 17 June 1940, Soviet forces entered Latvia. The Declaration states that the Soviet ultimatum and military aggression on 17 June 1940, should be viewed as an international crime, which led to the occupation of Latvia and loss of its sovereignty and points out that the new government was formed as dictated by the Soviet Union and by international law should not be viewed as executive of Latvia as it represented Soviet, not Latvian, interests. On 14-15 July 1940 a parliament called the "People's Saeima of Latvia" was elected, which on 21 July 1940, declared accession to the Soviet Union. The declaration states that the election of the People's Saeima took place on the basis of unconstitutional and illegally adopted election law in a state of political terror and notes that out of 17 lists submitted for the election only one was allowed to participate in the election, which had not stated prior to the election that Soviet power should be established in Latvia and it should join the Soviet Union and that results of the election were falsified. The declaration observes that the People's Saeima was formed by misleading the people and therefore did not express the sovereign will of people of Latvia. It also notes that the People's Saeima had no right to change the political system in Latvia and liquidate its sovereignty as only the people have such right and the issue was never submitted to a national referendum. Therefore the Declaration rules that, in accordance with international law, the annexation of Latvia to the Soviet Union was not valid and the Republic of Latvia is still de jure subject to international law as recognized by more than 50 countries.

Basis

After concluding that the Republic of Latvia de jure is a sovereign country the Declaration makes note of previously adopted documents and explains that the Supreme Soviet is acting according to the will of inhabitants of Latvia. First it notes two previous declarations of the Supreme Soviet — "On sovereignty of state of Latvia" of 28 July 1989, which declared that the Latvian SSR will act as a sovereign state and that laws adopted by the Soviet Union will come in force in the territory of Latvian SSR only if the Supreme Soviet has ratified them and "In question of independence of Latvia" of 15 February 1990, in which the Supreme Soviet condemns declaration "On accession of Latvia to Soviet Union" of 21 July 1940, however none of these explicitly called for secession from the Soviet Union. Secondly it notes Appeal of All-Latvian congress of people deputies of 21 April 1990, which called for restoration of independence. Then it is stated that the Supreme Soviet is acting in accordance with the will of inhabitants of Latvia, which had been clearly expressed by electing as a majority those deputies, who had stated that they will restore independence of the Republic of Latvia in their reelection programme.

Act

After establishing that the Republic of Latvia de jure is a sovereign country and that by the will of its people it should be independent, the Supreme Soviet ruled: 1. To recognize the priority of international laws over national laws. To hold to be illegitimate the treaty between the USSR and Germany of 23 August 1939, and the consequent liquidation of independence of Latvia resulting from Soviet military aggression on 17 June 1940. 2. To proclaim the declaration "On accession of Latvia to Soviet Union" of 21 July 1940, to be void from the moment of adoption. 3. To re-establish the authority of the Constitution of Latvia. The official name of the state of Latvia is the Republic of Latvia, in short Latvia. 4. To suspend the Constitution of Latvia until a new edition is adopted, except for the articles, which in accordance with the 77 article of the Constitution can only be amended if submitted to a national referendum:

1. Latvia is an independent democratic republic. 2. The sovereign power of the State of Latvia is vested in the people of Latvia. 3. The territory of the State of Latvia, within the borders established by international agreements, consists of Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale. 6. The Saeima shall be elected in general, equal and direct elections, and by secret ballot based on proportional representation. Article 6 shall be applied when the governmental institutions of independent Latvia have been restored, which grant free elections. 5. To set a period of transition to de facto independence until the first session of the new Saeima. During the transitional period the highest power of the state shall be the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia. 6. During the transitional period the Constitution of the Latvian SSR and other laws of the Latvian SSR in force at the time when the declaration was made may be applicable as long as they do not contradict articles 1, 2, 3, and 6 of the Constitution of Latvia. Disputes over the applicability of laws shall be resolved by the Constitutional Court. During the transitional period laws shall be made or amended only by the Supreme Council. 7. To constitute a committee, which will elaborate a new edition of the Constitution of Latvia, suitable to the current political, economic and social state of Latvia. 8. In accordance with international human rights, to grant social, economic and cultural rights, as well as political freedoms, to the citizens of Latvia and other countries, who reside in the territory of Latvia. This shall fully apply to those citizens of the Soviet Union who chose to reside in Latvia without its citizenship. 9. To build Latvian-Soviet relationships upon the Latvian-Soviet peace treaty of 11 August 1920, in which the Soviet Union recognizes eternal independence for Latvia and which is still in force. To constitute a committee for negotiations with USSR.

Further developments

On 21 August 1991, after the Soviet coup d'état attempt, the Supreme Council adopted a Constitutional law, "On statehood of the Republic of Latvia", declaring Article 5 of the Declaration to be invalid, thus ending the transitional period and restoring de facto independence. However some elements which defined the transitional period remained in force until the first session of the 5th Saeima on 6 July 1993 - The Supreme Council remained the highest power of the state and the constitution was suspended. On 31 July 1990, the Supreme Council formed a work group of 22 deputies, which had to elaborate a new edition of the Constitution until 1 January 1990, though a new edition was never drafted and the Constitution was restored unamended. The Constitutional Court which was intended to resolve Constitutional disputes during the transitional period was only founded in 1996. To comply with international human rights as indicated in Article 8, the Supreme Council adopted a declaration of human rights immediately after the Declaration of independence.

Adoption

The Supreme Soviet was elected on 18 March 1990; it was the first election in Soviet Latvia in which multiple parties were allowed to participate. 201 deputies were elected. The declaration was adopted on 4 May 1990, in an open vote, a majority of two thirds — 132 votes — was required, 138 deputies voted for adoption of the declaration, 1 abstained, while others did not participate in the vote and therefore there were no votes against the declaration.

Response

On 4 May 1990, after the declaration was adopted, the Communist Party of Latvia resolved that it was unconstitutional, contained notable contradictions and historical inaccuracies, and noted that such issues should be decided by referendum. The Communist Party deemed that the declaration might trigger the President of the Soviet Union to take countermeasures, therefore the party should launch a propaganda campaign against the declaration and ask the President of the Soviet Union to annul the declaration of the Supreme Soviet. On 14 May 1990, the President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev issued a decree stating that the declaration violated the Constitution of the Soviet Union and the Constitution of the Latvian SSR and thus stood void from the moment of adoption. The Supreme Council answered that the Constitution of the Soviet Union did not grant the president the right to annul acts adopted by Supreme Soviets of Soviet republics. Furthermore the Supreme Council announced that the Supreme Soviet, as the legal successor of the People's Saeima, had the right to annul its decisions which contradicted the Constitution of Latvia which was in force at the time these decisions were made and as the Constitution of the Soviet Union ruled that the Soviet Union was founded upon principles of self-determination, but Latvia was forcibly annexed, reference to it had no juridical basis regarding the Latvian SSR. It also noted that the law of the Soviet Union regarding secession from the Soviet Union to which the decree also referred was not in force in the territory of the Latvian SSR as the Supreme Soviet had not ratified it and that the law contradicted the Constitution of the Soviet Union and the Constitution of Latvian SSR, which provided that Soviet republics can freely secede from the Soviet Union. It was stated that the call for a referendum on secession from the Soviet Union to take place has neither a legal or a political basis, because Latvia had been annexed by the Soviet Union without holding a referendum, which was required by the Constitution of Latvia and Latvia was not seceding from the Soviet Union, but restoring its independence. It was noted that the Constitution of the Latvian SSR did not call for a referendum as it had been stated in the decree, but recommended two alternatives - either a referendum or a public debate which had de facto taken place as it had been discussed in the press and several public opinion polls had taken place showing that a majority of the public supported independence. Similarly in the All-Latvian congress of people deputies of 21 April 1990, 8003 had voted for restoration of independence and the declaration had been adopted by a vote of two thirds of members of the Supreme Soviet which was required for constitutional amendments. Furthermore, the Supreme Council referred to the result of elections of Supreme Soviet as a clear indicator of public opinion that supporters of independence had won the election. The Supreme Council stated that by 28 May 1990, it had received letters and telegrams from 646,726 residents of the Republic supporting the declaration and only 8,993 people had expressed opposition. Given these provisions, the Supreme Council stated that the Declaration was legitimate and in force. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Restoration_of_Independence_of_the_Republic_of_Latvia

Kvetnove povstani ceskeho lidu - 1945 CZECH REPUBLIC - 05 MAY May the people of the Czech uprising was an armed uprising of the Czech people against the German invaders in the second World War II in the Czech Republic, which took place in early May 1945 . Actively attended by about 130 000 people plus 14 000 (part of them were Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian ethnicity) guerrillas. Another 100 000 people helped build barricades in Prague.

Preparing for the insurgency

With the approaching end of the war, the military leaders of Hitler's Germany realized that the end of the Third Reich is unavoidable, and their only hope was the desire to create rift between the Allies and German troops involved in the fighting against the Soviet Union alongside the U.S. , Britain and France . On the territory of Bohemia and Moravia should be created "Fortress" where it should be worth millions Schörner army stopped the procedure the Red Army , which was important to avoid the expected uprising of the Czech population, which was prepared by the Czech resistance .Already in 1944 the aktivizovala guerrilla war that led to the western, eastern revolt there. Conditions were prepared for the transportation of weapons from abroad and capture the weapons they produced Czech arms factories. In the second half of the year played an increasingly important role in resistance organization , the Council of three . There was výsadkům penetration and guerrilla groups in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , among which played a big role to play, Guerrilla Brigade Jan Žižka , partisan divisions Jermak , Miroslav Tyrš , John Kozina , and Jan Hus . Other guerrilla groups began to occur mainly in March and April 1945 , when the culmination of a guerrilla struggle against the German occupiers, and particularly in the eastern and western Moravia (Wallachia and Highland ), there were also open to guerrilla warfare. There were more assaults German columns were discharged from the fuel tank, vykolejovány trains, blown bridges. Eg. 10th April was an important rail track fired Brno - Jihlava , which was not until the end of the war corrected. At this event, was blown up by a German military transport which killed or injured nearly 200 people. In addition to the actions of diverse assaults on the track were the Nazi crew, ammunition depots, military installations, was punctuated by electric and telephone and telegraph lines.

The outbreak of the uprising

By late April Soviet troops has two operations - Ostrava and Prague-Brno liberated part of Moravia, with a subsequent report on Hitler's death given us reason for defiance. uprising began on 1 May Přerov when spread wrong messages about the surrender of Germany . It was disarming German and Hungarian troops took the power of the National Committee . The revolt spread to the same day in Olomouc and the surrounding communities, but are affected unit SS . But insurgents have managed to stop the transport and disposal of industrial equipment and supplies that the Germans wanted to take away from Ostrava, Vsetínsko and Zlín. 2nd May rose Nymburk , Podebrady , Chlumec over Cidlinou , Upice next day Semily , Zelezny Brod , Turnov , Jilemnice , Old and New Paka , Pribram , Beroun , Vizovice , 4th May Vsetin andKladno , 5th May Louny , Jindrichuv Hradec , Rokycany , Klatovy , Domazlice etc. for about a thousand sites have been reported anti-occupation demonstrations, which consisted of posting Czechoslovak flags, banners, Germany's disposal, destruction indicative tables to celebrate the liberation demonstrations, protest actions against the occupation authorities Were also like to strikes in factories and confiscating weapons from the arms race in favor of the insurgents. The negotiations on the takeover took place more than 120 locations Protectorate. In some areas of the insurgency burst through the activities of guerrilla groups, which are increasingly entering into open warfare. Eg. in Vsetín fourth attack May Guerrilla Brigade Jan Žižka the Germans , who began to perform the work in the city of destruction, which had to be stopped. The city was the fourth the afternoon free units first Czechoslovak Army Corps . Guerrilla groups have

also played a major role in the foothills and elsewhere.

Prague (and others) Rebellion

On 5 broke out in May uprising in the capital city of Prague . The Czech National Council issued a statement about the end of the Protectorate and the takeover of government and executive power. Here first demonstration took place, but soon moved into open opposition.Insurgents in Prague and throughout the territory of Bohemia and Moravia in strength of arms, occupies the post, rail and major road intersections. The odbojovým and guerrilla groups were added one thousand rebels from the Czech population, ex-military, gendarmerie, and the Soviet liberation of prisoners working at menial jobs in the Protectorate. Occupiers were prevented from removal made machinery, equipment and vehicles to Germany , to prevent the destruction of factories, etc. (plan ARLZ - scorched earth tactics). Insurgents prevented a continuous supply of the front and a retreat organized by the Wehrmacht . The uprising, which erupted in 37 cities and 240 villages, got in some tough places Counterstrike - German troops began to occupy the major roads, streets, intersections, railway stations and posts, was announced by the state of emergency , the occupants hostage and murdered interested to intimidate the Czech population. Their goal was not to allow the creation of a continuous rebel territory. However, insurgents have managed to bind itself with great force of German troops that could be used to suppress the uprising in Prague . Countryside Prague supplied not only food but also medical equipment and light weapons were zbudovávány roadblocks thrown bridges that Wehrmachtunits and the Waffen SS as much as transport is difficult. The resistance of the population continued in the countryside, where he is constantly expanding. In many places there was an open battle, elsewhere only to sabotage actions. Germans are increasingly resorting to assassinations and massacres of the Czech population, which took as hostages or decapitating the warning, not only in Prague , but virtually throughout the occupied territories of Bohemia and Moravia. On 8 May 1945 began a retreat Staff Field Marshal Ferdinand Schorner , who was at Hořic rebels attacked and partially scattered. A day later, the crew was broken at the Saaz tank armies Red Army . 8th May at 16.00 pm was among the German leadership and the Czech National Council signed a protocol that allowed the Germans to Prague with a passage that is to stop fighting. However, the fighting lasted even after the signing of the unconditional surrender of Germany on the 8th May 1945 , when German troops tried to surrender to the U.S. Army because of Soviet captivity, fears. These fighting units of the participants in the Waffen SS , but it was the exception that the names of the participating units and the Wehrmacht . Even from 9 to 11 May there was sporadic fighting and killings of civilians Czech. Eg. in the village Lejčková Tabor shot on the ninth May the German troops to the people who came to watch the road retreat of German army to shoot unarmed civilians there and elsewhere. Last shots fell on the 11th May 1945 Milína in Pribram , where units of the SS elicited a white flag partisan parliamentarian and shot them. 1945th Then the battle began, in which an open confrontation with the Germans fell 60 Czech partisans. In total, Czech uprising required in Prague 3700 lives, in the Czech and Moravian countryside died about 8000 other people, while thenumber of victims are included as people who fought against the invaders, the Nazis and murdered civilians. Czech uprising in May significantly undermine the German leadership's intentions to build a "fortress" that should be defended to the rift between Western powers and the USSR . Avoid the widespread and devastating military engagements in the Czech Republic and probably was also shortened the war. Ref: http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kv%C4%9Btnov%C3%A9_povst %C3%A1n%C3%AD_%C4%8Desk%C3%A9ho_lidu

Nationale Bevrijdingsdag - NETHERLANDS - 5 MAY In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May 5th, to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British and American Armies (see Operation Market Garden) and French airborne (see Operation Amherst). On the 5th of May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next-door to the hotel. After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year. On May 4th, the Dutch hold the Remembrance of the Dead for the people who fought and died during World War II, and in wars in general. There is a remembrance gathering in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and at the National Monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam. Throughout the country, two minutes of silence are observed at 8:00 p.m. On May 5th, the liberation is celebrated and festivals are held at most places in the Netherlands. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_Day_(Netherlands)

Remembrance Day NETHERLANDS - 04 MAY

Hidirellez Festival TURKEY - 06 MAY

Remembrance of the Dead (Dutch: Dodenherdenking) is held annually on May 4 in theNetherlands. It commemorates all civilians and members of the armed forces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II. Until 1961, the commemoration only related to the Dutch victims of World War II. Since 1961, the victims of other military conflicts (such as the Indonesian National Revolution in Indonesia) and peacekeeping missions (such as in Lebanon or Bosnia) are remembered on May 4 as well. Traditionally, the main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument on Dam Square. This ceremony is usually attended by members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups. At 8:00 p.m., two minutes of silence are observed throughout the Netherlands. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. Radio and TV only broadcast the ceremonies from 19.00 until 20.30. Since May 4, 1994, the flags, having hung at half-staff during the day, are then hoisted to the music of the "Wilhelmus", the Dutch national anthem. Since 2001 the new protocol says it is correct to let the flag hang half-staff. The main celebrations in Amsterdam are broadcast by the public broadcasting company NOS, but there are ceremonies in other cities and places as well. Especially notable are those at the Waalsdorpervlakte near the Hague, where many Dutch resistance fighters were executed during the war, and at the war cemetery Grebbeberg, which are broadcast by the commercial broadcasting companies. In many towns, before or after the two minutes of silence, people gather around a monument, listen to speeches, and lay down flowers to remember the dead. The next day, on May 5, Dutch people celebrate the liberation of the nation from the German occupation of 1940 to 1945.

When looked at antiquity (ancient times) in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Iran, Greece and even in countries surrounding the Mediterranean it has been seen that rituals and celebrations had been performed in the name of some Gods in relation with arrival of spring or summer. Documents showing that one of the oldest of these rituals had been performed in Ur city of Mesopotamia by the end of III. Thousand B.C.. The said ritual had been performed at the end of Winter in the name of “Tammuz” representing stimulating power of Euphrates (Fırat) and Tigris (Dicle) irrigating Mesopotamia plain. Upon arrival of Spring revival of nature and prosperity and abundance and productivity had been celebrated by festivals in the name of the God called “Dumuzi”. It has been known that culture of “Tammuz” had been transferred to the ancient Greece and Anatolia via Hebrew over Syria and Egypt. Arrival of Spring or Summer which means revival of Nature and its starting to live again is an important event in the life of human being in every corner of the World. A widespread belief in connection with tradition of “Hıdırellez” is performance of a celebration for commemoration of the date on which “Hızır” and “İlyas” came together. The day of “Hıdırellez” has been generally celebrated on May 6th. In some regions May 5th has been accepted as the day of Festival and May 6th as the day of “Hıdırellez” and ceremonies have been arranged accordingly. The day of “Hıdırellez” (Ruz-ı Hızır) has been considered as the beginning of Summer in the Public Calendar. According to the Public Calendar among Turks one year has been divided into two sections. The period from the day of “Hıdırellez” (May 6th) to November 8th is 186 days and mentioned under the name of “Hızır Days”. This period has been named as the Summer season. The second period extending from November 8th to May 6th is the Winter season and named as “Days of November”, lasting 179 days. Traditions, beliefs, ceremonies established around “Hıdırellez” have been confused generally with “Sultan Nevruz” and other traditions and ceremonies performed for meeting the Spring. Because Spring Festivals have been concentrated on several important days. In this connection it is possible to see whole of “Hıdırellez” or other Spring ceremonies in the course of celebration of any one of them. In Turkish communities both in Anatolia and out of Anatolia with the approach of “Hıdırellez” assorted preparations have been made. Houses have been thoroughly cleaned up, household effects, kitchenware, clothes have been cleaned from top to toe. These works have been performed in order to have “Hızır” (A.S.) visit the house. On the other hand on “Hıdırellez” day lamb or kid, assortment of dishes have been cooked, and in the mean time preparation of a lot of food has been completed. In some regions there are some people who meet “Hıdırellez” by fasting (oruç) one day before the day of “Hıdırellez”. Upon completion of all preparations people go to the nearest picnic places full of trees and having spring and try to pass the day of “Hıdırellez” happily with various plays, entertainments. Places where “Hıdırellez” has been celebrated are generally watery and green areas. In conformity with the tradition there are picnic places called “Hıdırlık” at various regions of Anatolia. At these regions such customs as visiting tombs of great religious leaders, vowing or tying a piece of cloth at such places as graveyard, tomb of a holy person (saint), etc. which have been considered sacred places by indigenous people have also been exercised. Of course the most important ceremony exercised in “Hıdırellez” is the “play of wish”. It has been exercised in order that young girls become lucky, determine their fortune. According to regions the play has different names: drawing lots of wish, fortune pot, lucky, prosperity, etc. The play has been performed as follows: water brought in a pitcher is poured in a pot. Everybody throws a sign into the pot holding water. Such signs may be also sweet basil, mint, “mantuvar” flower in addition to usually ring, earring, etc. The pot is covered with a cloth on the eve of “Hıdırellez” and placed under a rosewood. A lock is put on the pot and locked as a custom. On the other day girls coming together again take the pot under rosewood. Lock is opened and one of them starts to draw lots. In the mean time folk songs are sung. Each folk song is accepted for the fate of the girl whose sign is drawn. This play goes on until the last sign is drawn. In folk songs which have been sung during performance of the play such themes as hope, joy, firmness, love, affection, tenderness, goodness, brotherhood, living abroad, patriotism, etc have been treated. One of the widespread beliefs concerning the day of “Hıdırellez” has shown itself in the tradition of making yoghurt. On the day of “Hıdırellez” yoghurt is made without using ferment. If it becomes yoghurt it is believed that “Hızır” visited home. Contributed by: Nursen Askin Ref: http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/belge/2-1531/hidirellez.html

2010 incident

The 2010 ceremony on Dam Square was disrupted towards the end of the two-minute silence by a 39-year-old man with a history of violent crimes and drug trading. Standing on the Rokin side of the square dressed as an Orthodox Jew, he refused to end a loud conversation on a cell phone during the two-minute silence, then pushed his way through the crowd while muttering unintelligibly and issued an extended loud scream that was heard all over the square. A person nearby dropped a suitcase in the resulting panic which prompted a cry of "Bomb, bomb, run!" which caused a panicked stampede among the 20.000 people crowd. Many people were trampled and some ended up trapped underneath crowd control barriers that were pushed over in the chaos. The sounds of the barriers falling were mistaken for gunshots by many people and added to the chaos. A total of 63 people were treated for injuries, mostly minor ones and some broken bones. The panic reaction was explained by many as resulting from the tension after the attack on the Dutch royal family that killed eight people just over a year before the incident. Queen Beatrix, who had been rushed to safety with the rest of the royal family, returned once the situation was under control and the ceremony was continued. The owner of the dropped suitcase was arrested but released because his suitcase contained only personal belongings. The 39-year-old man was also arrested and charged with disrupting public order and indirectly causing bodily harm. He later confessed to the police that he had been drinking and had screamed because of "frustrations in his personal life." He professed to be sorry and claimed there was no deeper meaning or thought behind his action. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_the_Dead

Martyr's Day SYRIA, LEBANON - 06 MAY Syria shares the celebration of Martyr’s Day with Lebanon on the 6th of May every year. The holiday commemorates the death of both Syria and Lebanon’s nationalists during the occupation by the Ottoman Empire. The nationalists were executed on May 6, 1916 in Marjeh Square (Damascus, Syria) and Burj Square (Beirut, Lebanon) respectively by the Ottoman Young Turk Ahmed Djemal or more commonly known as Jamal Pasha.

HISTORY

Syria has been under the control of the Ottoman Empire since the latter part of the 15th century until the downfall of the latter on May 1916. The march towards Syrian independence was long and bloody. The earlier part of the 20th century saw the birth of Syrian intellectuals who heavily campaigned for the independence of Syria from the Ottoman rule. The clandestine conferences and meetings they had with other intellectuals in Paris, France were made known to the Turks. As a result, Sultan Abdul Hamid ordered the arrest of these Arab leaders and forced to renounce their nationalist ideals and plans towards a democratic and independent Syria. However, the nationalists bravely stood by their resolve and bravely faced their destiny so that in May 6, 1916, all of them were executed by hanging in Damascus and Beirut. The nationalists executed were Shukri al-Assali, Omar al-Jazairi, Rushdi al-Shamaa, Abdelhamid al-Zahrawi, Shafiq al-Muayyad, and. Abdel Wahab al-Englizi. Their martyrdom has created strong international ties between the Syria and Lebanon since then.

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES

Leaders of Syria and Lebanon celebrate this day by visiting the war memorial in Damascus, Syria, particularly the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier a memorial tomb dedicated to the Syrian soldiers who perished in the war against the Ottoman Empire. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built in 1994 shape like a dome with an arch right above it. The monument is famous for the five large paintings displayed along the hall which depicts the five heroic battles fought in the history of Arab nations namely: Battle of Yarmouk, Battle of Sultan Yacoub, Battle of Mount Hermon, Battle of Maysaloun, and the Battle of Hattin. The government of Syria may hold a luncheon or banquet for the children or relatives of the martyrs as a way of paying respects to the bravery of martyrs. Public speeches coming from local government officials delivered in behalf of the president are held every year in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Damascus. Ref: http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-the-world/syria-martyrs-day/

Samuel K. Doe Day LIBERIA - 06 MAY Samuel Kanyon Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was the 21st President of Liberia, serving from 1986 until his assassination in 1990. He had previously served as Chairman of thePeople's Redemption Council from 1980 to 1986. He was the first indigenous head of state in Liberian history. Doe was a part of a rural tribe in inland Liberia. The Krahn are a minority ethnic group but part of the large majority of the Liberian population that are of indigenous descent. These groups faced economic and political domination by the Americo-Liberian elites, who were descended from free-born and formerly enslaved blacks from America who founded Liberia in 1847. Under Doe, Liberian ports were opened to Canadian, Chinese and European ships, which brought in considerable foreign investment from foreign shipping firms and earned Liberia a reputation as a tax haven. Doe attempted to legitimize his regime with a new constitution in 1984 and elections in 1985. However, opposition to his rule only increased, especially after the 1985 elections which were declared to be fraudulent by the U.S. and other foreign observers. In the late 1980s, as fiscal austerity took hold in the United States and the threat of Communism declined with the waning of the Cold War, the U.S. became disenchanted with entrenched corruption in Doe's government and began cutting off critical foreign aid to Doe. This, combined with the popular anger generated by Doe's favoritism toward his native Krahn tribe, placed him in a very precarious position. A civil war began in December 1989, when rebels intent on toppling Doe entered Liberia. Doe's forces were defeated, and in September 1990 he was captured, tortured, and killed. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Doe

National Nurses Day U.S.A. - 06 MAY National Nurses Day, also known as National RN Recognition Day, is always celebrated on May 6thand opens National Nurses Week. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, the birth date of Florence Nightingale. National Nurses Week is one of the nation's largest health care events, recognizing the contributions and commitments nurses make and educating the public about the significant work they perform. The American Nurses Association (ANA) supports and encourages National Nurses Week through state and district nurses associations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions. The week-long celebration is designed to accommodate the variety of schedules nurses are required to work. Activities during National Nurses Week typically include banquets and recognition dinners, state and city proclamations, continuing education seminars, and other community events. Nurses are typically honored with gifts, dinners, and flowers by friends and family members, coworkers such as doctors and administrators, and patients who want to show their appreciation. The history of Nurses Day can be traced back to 1953 when Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a "Nurse Day" in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made, but the following year National Nurses Week was observed from October 11 – 16, marking the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission to Crimea. In 1974, President Nixon proclaimed a "National Nurse Week." In 1981, a resolution was initiated by nurses in New Mexico to have May 6th declared "National Recognition Day for Nurses." This proposal was promoted by the ANA Board of Directors and in 1982, with a joint resolution, the United States Congress designated May 6th to be "National Recognition Day for Nurses." The proposal was signed by President Reagan, making May 6 the official "National Recognition Day for Nurses." It was later expanded by the ANA Board of Directors in 1990 to a week-long celebration (May 6-12) known as "National Nurses Week." National Student Nurses Day is celebrated each year on May 8th. At the request of the National Student Nurses Association, the ANA Board of Directors designated May 8th as National Student Nurses Day beginning in 1998. And as of 2003, the ANA has declared that National School NurseDay is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12th of each year. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) commemorates this day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses' Day Kit which includes educational and public information materials for use by nurses everywhere. The ICN has celebrated International Nurses Day since 1965. Ref: http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/us/nurse.aspx

Liberation Day - 08 MAY NORWAY, FRANCE, SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC Victory in Europe Day

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day or VE Day) commemorates May 8, 1945 (in commonwealth countries; May 7,1945), the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not until May 9, 1945. On 30 April Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin, and so the surrender of Germany was authorized by his replacement, President of Germany Karl Dönitz. The administration headed by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg government. The act of military surrender was signed on 7 May in Reims, France, and ratified on 8 May in Berlin, Germany.

Celebrations

In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In the UK, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall toBuckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime MinisterWinston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace before the cheering crowds. PrincessElizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander anonymously among the crowds and take part in the celebrations. In the United States, President Harry Truman, who turned 61 that day, dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on 12 April. Flags remained at half-mast for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt's memory and keeping the flags at half-staff that his only wish was "that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day." Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and especially in New York City'sTimes Square. Victory celebrations in Canada were marred by the Halifax Riot.

Soviet Victory Day

As the Soviet Union was to the east of Germany it was May 9 Moscow Time when German military surrender became effective, which is why Eastern European countries like Russia and former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on May 9 instead of May 8.

May 8 as public holiday

(United Kingdom - 1995 May Day Bank Holiday was moved from 1 May to 8 May to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War. (The former East Germany as Tag der Befreiung (Day of Liberation), a public holiday from 1950 to 1966 and in 1985. Between 1975 and 1990, as Tag des Sieges (Victory Day (May 9)). (The German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, since 2002, a commemorative day as Tag der Befreiung vom Nationalsozialismus und der Beendigung des 2. Weltkrieges (Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the 2nd World War). (France as Victoire 1945 (Slovakia as Deň víťazstva nad fašizmom (Victory over Fascism Day) (Czech Republic as Den vítězství or Den osvobození (Day of Liberation) (Norway as "Frigjøringsdagen" (Liberation Day) (Denmark (May 5) as "Befrielsen" (The Liberation) (The Netherlands (May 5) as "Bevrijdingsdag" (Liberation Day) (Ukraine (9 May) Victory Day Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_in_Europe_Day

World Red Cross Day INTERNATIONAL - 08 MAY

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, sex,religious beliefs, class or political opinions. The movement consists of several distinct organizations that are legally independent from each other, but are united within the movement through common basic principles, objectives, symbols, statutes and governing organs. The movement's parts are: (The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a private humanitarian institution founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, by Henry Dunant. Its 25-member committee has a unique authority under international humanitarian law to protect the life and dignity of the victims of international and internal armed conflicts. The ICRC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions (in 1917, 1944 and 1963). (The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was founded in 1919 and today it coordinates activities between the 186 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies within the Movement. On an international level, the Federation leads and organizes, in close cooperation with the National Societies, relief assistance missions responding to large-scale emergencies. The International Federation Secretariat is based inGeneva, Switzerland. In 1963, the Federation (then known as the League of Red Cross Societies) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the ICRC. (National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in nearly every country in the world. Currently 186 National Societies are recognized by the ICRC and admitted as full members of the Federation. Each entity works in its home country according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the statutes of the international Movement. Depending on their specific circumstances and capacities, National Societies can take on additional humanitarian tasks that are not directly defined by international humanitarian law or the mandates of the international Movement. In many countries, they are tightly linked to the respective national health care system by providing emergency medical services. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Red_Cross_and_Red_Crescent_Movement

Celebration of War Veterans Day AZERBAIJAN - 09 MAY Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 in Azerbaijan, a day to celebrate and remember the victory over the Nazi forces that capitulated on May 8, 1945 during World War II.

HISTORY

Azerbaijan participated in World War II as a Republic of the Soviet Union. In 1941, Azerbaijan produced 25.4 million tons of oil to help the war efforts. Thousands of Azeris joined the People’s Voluntary Army and fought alongside the Soviet Army. In the end, 400, 000 Azeris died from the conflict. World War II started with the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, only to be ended after six years of a worldwide conflict. Azeris were part of the Soviet Red Army and participated in the Eastern Front of the conflict, in what is known as the Great Patriotic War. As the Allied forces entered Milan, Mussolini was caught, and he was eventually executed on April 28. Later on April 30, Hitler committed suicide as the Allies began to close in on Berlin. German forces started to surrender all over Italy and Germany, culminating with the surrender of Nazi armies throughout Europe. Finally on May 7, General Alfred Jodl, Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, signed the unconditional surrender of the German forces to the Allies. News of the surrender spread to the West on May 8, and celebrations began all over Europe. In the Soviet Union, the end of the war was considered to be on May 9. As it was already May 9 in Moscow time when the surrender took place, the date has since been celebrated as Victory Day in all Soviet Republics. After the end of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan kept the same date for the countrywide celebration of Victory Day, a remembrance of the participation of Azeris and the influence of Azerbaijan’s oil in the Great Patriotic War. Ref: http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-theworld/victory-day-azerbaijan/

Victory Day - 09 MAY

RUSSIA, BELARUS, KAZAKHASTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, MOUTENEGRO, TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENSTAN, UKARINE The Soviet Victory Day or 9 May marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Unionin the Second World War (also known as the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union and somepost-Soviet states). It was first inaugurated in the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the surrender document late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (9 May by Moscow Time). It happened after the original capitulation that Germany earlier agreed to the joint Alliedforces of the Western Front. The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Though the official inauguration happened in 1945 (which means it has been celebrated since 1946), the holiday became a non-labour day only in 1965 and only in some of the countries. In communist East Germany, a Soviet-style "Victory Day" on 9 May was an official holiday from 1975 until the end of the republic in 1990. Prior to that, "Liberation Day" was celebrated on 8 May, between 1950 and 1966, and again on the 40th anniversary in 1985. Since 2002, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has observed a commemoration day known as the "Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the Second World War". In 1988 just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Victory Day ceased to be observed in Uzbekistan, but was partially restored in 1999 as Memorial/Remembrance Day. After their separation from the Soviet Union, the Baltic countries now commemorate the end of WWII on 8 May, the Victory in Europe Day.

HISTORY

Two separate capitulation events took place at the time. First, the capitulation to the Allied nations in Reims was signed on 7 May 1945, effective 23:01 CET 8 May. This date is commonly referred to as the V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) in most western European countries. The other World War II victory day, the V-J day (Victory in Japan Day) is commemorated in August, and is of considerably lesser significance in Europe. However, the Soviet Union's only representative in Reims was General Ivan Susloparov, the Military Liaison Mission Commander. General Susloparov's scope of authority was not entirely clear, and he had no means of immediate contact with the Kremlin, but nevertheless decided to sign for the Soviet side. Susloparov was caught off guard; he had no instructions from Moscow. But if he did not sign, he risked a German surrender without Soviet participation. However, he noted that it could be replaced with a new version in the future. Joseph Stalin was later displeased by these events, believing that the German surrender should have been accepted only by the envoy of the USSR Supreme command and signed only in Berlin and insisted the Reims protocol be considered preliminary, with the main ceremony to be held in Berlin, where Marshal Zhukov was at the time, as the latter recounts in his memoirs: “ [Quoting Stalin:] Today, in Reims, Germans signed the preliminary act on an unconditional surrender. The main contribution, however, was done by Soviet people and not by the Allies, therefore the capitulation must be signed in front of the Supreme Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not only in front of the Supreme Command of Allied Forces. Moreover, I disagree that the surrender was not signed in Berlin, which was the center of Nazi aggression. We agreed with the Allies to consider the Reims protocol as preliminary. “ Therefore, another ceremony was organized in a surviving manor in the outskirts of Berlin late on 8 May, when it was already 9 May in Moscow due to the difference in time zones. Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel submitted the capitulation of the Wehrmacht to Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the Soviet Army headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst. To commemorate the victory in the war, the ceremonial Moscow Victory Parade was held in the Soviet capital on 24 June 1945 (four years and two days after the beginning of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union). Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Day_(9_May)

Ridvan the “King of Festivals” 02 MAY Baha'is around the world are celebrating the Festival of Ridvan, which marks the anniversary of Baha'u'llah's declaration in 1863 that He was the promised one. Ridvan – 21 April to 2 May each year – commemorates the 12 days that Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith, camped on the banks of the Tigris River near Baghdad and, while there, proclaimed his mission to a small group of followers. Every year, on the first day of Ridvan, Baha'is in thousands of localities around the globe vote for their local governing councils. Also during the festival, national conventions are held in some 180 countries and territories, during which delegates vote for the national governing bodies of the Baha'i Faith. In 1863, He was in Baghdad, already exiled from His native Iran for a decade, when authorities ordered Him to move to Constantinople (now called Istanbul) Before leaving, He spent 12 days by the Tigris in a garden which he called Ridvan while preparations were made for the journey and farewells said to people in Iraq. "The thoroughfare to the riverside brimmed with people, men and women, young and old, from all walks of life, who had gathered to see Him go and bewail His departure," wrote H.M. Balyuzi in a biography of Baha'u'llah. Today, in addition to electing local and national governing bodies, followers of Baha'u'llah often celebrate Ridvan with devotional meetings, artistic and musical presentations, or other types of gatherings, depending on the country. Contributed by: ASHAR MEHBOOB


17-18 Issue| Zarb-e-Jamhoor e-Newspaper | 01-14 Apr, 2011