Birthday of HM Sultan Qaboos Oman - N o v 1 8
Qaboos bin Said Al Said (born 18 November 1940) is the Sultan of Oman and its Dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Said bin Taimur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi dynasty.
life Early Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa‘id was born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18
November 1940. He is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and princess Mazoon al-Mashani. He received his primary and secondary education at Salalah and Pune [Maharashtra, India] and was sent to a private educational establishment in England at age sixteen. At 20 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined the British Army and was posted to the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), serving in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army. After his military service, Sultan Qaboos studied local government subjects in England and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country. Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id is a Muslim of the Ibadi school of jurisprudence, which has traditionally ruled Oman. A religious liberal, he has financed the construction or maintenance of a number of mosques, notably the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, as well as the holy places of other religions. In 1976 Qaboos ibn Sa‘id married his cousin, Kamila, née Sayyidah Nawwal bint Tariq (born 1951), daughter of HH Sayyid Tariq ibn Taymur. However, the marriage soon ended in divorce and he has never remarried or had any children. Qaboos bin Sa‘id is an avid fan and promoter of classical music. His 120-member orchestra has a high reputation in the Middle East. The orchestra consists entirely of young Omanis who, since 1986, audition as children and grow up as members of the symphonic ensemble. They play locally and travel abroad with the sultan. Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin was commissioned to compose a work entitledSymphonic Impressions of Oman and the Sultan is particularly enthusiastic about the pipe organ. The Sultan's birthday, 18 November, is celebrated as Oman's national holiday. The first day of his reign, 23 July, is celebrated as Renaissance Day.
Rise to power For six years prior to Said bin-Taymur's overthrow, Qaboos
experienced virtual house-arrest in the Royal Palace of Salalah. In July 1970, soldiers supporting Qaboos clashed with forces loyal to Said bin-Taymur and deposed him. Qaboos maintains that his father abdicated the throne. The British government helped to consolidate Qaboos' power. Qaboos acceded to the throne on 23 July 1970 after deposing his father in a palace coup with the aim of ending the country's isolation and using its oil revenue for modernization and development, moving to Muscat. There he declared that the country would no longer be known as Muscat and Oman, but would change its name to "the Sultanate of Oman" in order to better reflect its political unity. The first pressing problem that Qaboos bin Said faced as Sultan was an armed communist insurgency from South Yemen, the Dhofar Rebellion (1965–1975). The Sultanate eventually defeated the incursion with help from Iran, Jordanian troops sent from his friend King Hussein of Jordan, British Special Forces, and the Royal Air Force.
as Sultan Reign The political system which Qaboos established is that of an absolute monarchy. Unlike the situation in neighbouring
Saudi Arabia, Qaboos' decisions are not subject to modification by other members of Oman's royal family. Government decisions are said to be made through a process of decision-making by "consensus" with provincial, local and tribal representatives, though critics allege that Qaboos exercises de facto control of this process. Qaboos also regularly engages in tours of his realm, in which any citizen with a grievance or request is allowed to appeal to the Sultan in person. More recently, Qaboos has allowed parliamentary elections (in which women have voted and stood as candidates) and pledged greater openness and participation in government. The parliament enjoys legislative and oversight powers. In 1979 Oman was the only Arab state to recognize Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace agreement with Israel. Qaboos' supporters point to his relative success in governing the country. By Gulf standards, Oman boasts good public order, middling prosperity, and a relatively permissive society. Since he acceded to the throne, Oman has broadened international relations, allowed newspapers, established high schools, built highways, opened hotels and shopping malls and spends a substantial portion of its dwindling oil revenues on health care and education. In September 1995, he was involved in a car accident in Salalah just out side his palace, which claimed the life of one of his most prominent and influential ministers and his right hand man, Qais Bin Abdul Munaim Al Zawawi. In October 1998, Qaboos bin Said was presented with the International Peace Award by the National Council on US-Arab Relations. He also forges and maintains good relations with other Arab states and partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Succession Unlike the heads of other Gulf Arab states, Qaboos bin Sa‘id has not publicly named an heir. Article 6 of the consti-
tution actually provides that the Ruling Family Council chooses the successor after the throne becomes vacant, and that the Sultan's preference, to be expressed in an official letter (which Qaboos says has already been sealed and delivered to the defence minister), is only resorted to in the event of lack of familial consensus. Qaboos bin Sa‘id has no children and has three sisters; there are other male members of the Omani Royal Family including several paternal uncles and their families. Using primogeniture the successor to Qaboos would appear to be the children of his late uncle, His Royal Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, the former, first and only Prime Minister in Oman's history.
Qaboos holds the following ranks: • Field Marshal, Royal Army of Oman • Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy of Oman • Marshal of the Royal Air Force of Oman • Supreme Commander, Royal Oman Police • Honorary General, British Army
honours ForeignKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (18 March 1982)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (8/7/1976) Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (28 February 1979) Royal Victorian Chain (27 November 2010) KStJ (8/10/1976)) GCStJ (19 March 1984) Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi (3 March 1974) Grand Collar of the Order of the Nile (1976) The Badr Chain Collar of the Order of Etihad Collar of the Order of Hussein ibn Ali Collar of the Order of the Independence Order of King Abdu'l Aziz (23 December 2006) Order of Mubarak the Great (28 December 2009) Grand Collar of the Order of Merit (22 April 1974) Grand Collar of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Grade Collar of the Order of Merit, Special Class Collar of the Order of Omayyad Order of Independence with Collar Order of Isabella the Catholic with Collar (18 December 1985) Legion of Honour (31 May 1989) Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (DKMB) (15 December 1984) Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Merit (31 March 2001) Order of King Abdu'l Aziz Decoration, 1st Class Order of Al Khalifa, 1st Class Order of the State Crown of Malaysia (DMN) Nishan-e-Pakistan, 1st Class Order of the Star, 1st Class or Adipurna Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (2004) (Award yet to be presented) Darjah Utama Temasek, 1st Class (12/3/2009)
Independence Day Morocco - N o v 1 8
Morocco officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of over 32 million and an area of 446,550 km² (710,850 km² with Western Sahara). Morocco also administers most of the disputed region of the Western Sahara as the Southern Provinces. Morocco remains the only African state not to be a member of the African Union due to its unilateral withdrawal on November 12, 1984 over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1982 by the African Union as a full member without the organization of a referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Arabic name al-Mamlakat alMaghribiyyah ( )ةيبرغملا ةكلمملاtranslates to "The Western Kingdom". Al-Maghrib ()برغملا, meaning "The West", is commonly used. For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers used to refer to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá (ىصقألا برغملا, "The Farthest West"), disambiguating it from neighboring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ (طسوألا برغملا, "The Middle West", Algeria) and al-Maghrib al-Adná (ىندألا برغملا, "The Nearest West", Tunisia). Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Moroccoholds vast executive and legislative powers, including the power to dissolve the parliament. Executive power is exercised by the government but the king's decisions usually override those of the government if there is a contradiction. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors. The king can also issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. The latest Parliamentary elections were held on November 25, 2011, and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and fair. Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 43% of registered voters. The political capital of Morocco is Rabat, although the largest city isCasablanca; other major cities include Marrakesh, Tetouan, Tangier, Salé, Fes, Agadir,Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. The Moroccan economy is generally diverse but very fragile. About 40% of Moroccans cannot read or write, and the country has high levels of extreme poverty and health care deprivation. Morocco also has a high level of economic inequality. The unemployment rates under the highly educated as well as the unskilled are very high and cause consistent social unrest in many cities and villages. In 2011, the UN's Human Development Index ranked Morocco as the 130th most developed country in the world. Almost all Moroccans speak Berber, Moroccan Arabic or French as mother tongues. Hassaniya Arabic, sometimes considered as a variety of Moroccan Arabic, is spoken in the southern provinces (Western Sahara) in the country by a small population.
Etymology The full Arabic name al-Mamlakat al-Maghribiyyah ( )ةيبرغملا ةكلمملاtranslates to "The Western Kingdom". Al-Maghrib
()برغملا, meaning "The West", is commonly used. For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers used to refer to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá (ىصقألا برغملا, "The Farthest West"), disambiguating it from neighboring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ (طسوألا برغملا, "The Middle West", Algeria) and al-Maghrib al-Adná (ىندألا برغملا, "The Nearest West", Tunisia). The English name "Morocco" originates from Spanish "Marruecos" or the Portuguese "Marrocos", from medieval Latin "Morroch", which referred to the name of the former Almoravid and Almohad capital, Marrakesh. InPersian Morocco is still called "Marrakesh". Until recent decades, Morocco was called "Marrakesh" in Middle Eastern Arabic. In Turkish, Morocco is called "Fas" which comes from the ancient Idrisid and Marinid capital, Fez. The word "Marrakesh" is made of the Berber word combination Mour N Akoush (Mur N Akuc), meaning Land of God.
History The earliest well-known Moroccan independent state was
the Berber kingdom of Mauretania under king Bocchus I. This kingdom of Mauretania (in northern Morocco, not to be confused with the present state of Mauritania) dates at least to 110 BC. The region remained a part of the Roman Empire until 429 AD when invading Vandals overran the area and Roman administrative presence came to an end. Umayyad Muslims conquered the region in the 7th century, bringing their language, their system of government, and Islam, to which many of the Berbers slowly converted, mostly after the Arab rule receded. The first Muslim state, independent from the Abbasid Empire, in the area of modern Morocco, was the Kingdom of Nekor, an emirate in the Rif Mountains. It was founded by Salih I Ruins of Chellah, Salé ibn Mansur in 710 AD, as a client state to the Rashidun Caliphate. According to medieval legend, Idris I fled to Morocco from the Abbasids' massacre against his tribe in Iraq and managed to convince the Awraba Berber tribes to break allegiance to the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad. He founded the Idrisid Dynasty in 788 AD. Morocco later became a center of learning and a major regional power. The Idrissids were dethroned in 927 by the Fatimid Caliphate and their Miknasa alies. The Miknasa princes, who had broken off relations with the Fatimids in 932, were removed from power by the Maghrawa of Sijilmasa in 980. From the 11th century onwards, a series of powerful Berber dynasties arose. Under the Almoravid dynasty and the Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb, Muslim-conquered Spain, and the western Mediterranean region. In the 13th century theMerinids gained power over Morocco and strove to replicate the successes of the Almohads. In the 15th century the Reconquista ended Islamic rule in central and southern Iberia (modern day Spain + Portugal) and many Muslims and Jews fled to Morocco. Under theSaadi Dynasty, the first Moroccan dynasty initiated by ethnic Arabs since the Idrisids, the country would consolidate power and fight offPortuguese and Ottoman invaders, as in the battle of Ksar el Kebir. The reign of Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate, and a massive invasion of the Songhay Empire was initiated. However, managing the territories across the Sahara proved too difficult. After the death of al-Mansur the country was divided among his sons. In 1666 the sultanate was reunited by the Alaouite dynasty, who have since been the ruling house in Morocco. The organization of the state developed with Ismail Ibn Sharif. With his Jaysh d'Ahl al-Rif (the Riffian Army) he seized Tangier from the English in 1684 and drove the Spanish from Larache in 1689. In 1912, after the First Moroccan Crisis and the Agadir Crisis, the Treaty of Fez was signed, effectively dividing Morocco into a Frenchand a Spanish protectorate. In 1956, after forty-four years of occupation, Morocco regained independence from France and Spain as the "Kingdom of Morocco".
Population of Morocco:
The area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times (at least since 200,000 BC, as attested by signs of theAterian culture), a period when the Maghreb was less arid than it is today. In Paleolithic ages, the geography of Morocco resembled asavanna more than the present-day arid landscape. In the classical period, Morocco was known as Mauretania, although this should not be confused with the modern-day nation of Mauritania. The suggested skeletal similarities between the robust Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European CroMagnon remains, as well as the case for continuity of the bearers of the Iberomaurusian industry from Morocco with later northwest African populations suggested by the dental evidence should be considered. Current scientific debate is concerned with determining the relative contributions A Roman mosaic in Volubilis of different periods of gene flow to the current gene pool of North Africans. Anatomically modern humans are known to have been present in North Africa during the Upper Paleolithic 175,000 years ago as attested by the Aterian culture. With apparent continuity, 22,000 years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by theIberomaurusian culture which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Bell-Beaker culture in Morocco. Additionally, recent studies have discovered a close mitochondrial link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia which confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers that repopulated northern Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum and reveals a direct maternal link between those European hunter-gatherer populations and the Berbers. Jewish people (whether of Hebrew or Berber descent) historically lived in Morocco. In any case, over the centuries, nearly all Berbers were Islamicized. Still, a large number of Berber Jews remained in Morocco especially after the arrival of Sephardi Jews following theAlhambra decree. In the early 20th century, numerous Moroccan Jews emigrated to the United States and Italy, after Italian Jews established study centers and schools to bring the Enlightenment to Moroccan Jews. In 1948, before the creation of Israel, Berber Jews numbered approximately 265,000 in Morocco. The hostilities and disruption of the war of independence and other wars in the Mideast caused more Jews to leave for Palestine, Europe and the United States. Seven thousand live there now (mostly in a few major cities). In relation to the commemoration of Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World, numerous academic studies were undertaken about the Moroccan Jews of Morocco. The late king Hassan II reached out internationally to descendants of Jews who had lived in the country and encouraged returns and visits, with recognition of their contributions to the nation, but there has not been markedly increased immigration.
Romans and Morocco:
North Africa and Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by Phoenician trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Major early substantial settlements of the Phoenicians were at Chellah, Lixus and Mogador, with Mogador being a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. The arrival of Phoenicians heralded a long engagement with the wider Mediterranean, as this strategic region formed part of the Roman Empire, as Mauretania Tingitana. In the 5th century, as the Roman Empire declined, the region fell to the Vandals, Visigoths, and then the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, in rapid succession. During this time, however, the high mountains of most of modern Morocco remained unsubdued, and stayed in the hands of their Berber inhabitants. Christianity was introduced in the 2nd century and gained converts in the towns and among slaves and Berber farmers.
The Sultan Abderrahmane of
Islamic expansion began in the 7th century. In 670 AD, the first Islamic conquest of theNorth African coastal plain took place under Uqba ibn Nafi, Morocco, by Eugène Delacroix a general serving under theUmayyads of Damascus. After the outbreak of the Great Berber Revolt in 739, the region's Berber population asserted its independence, forming states and kingdoms such as theMiknasa of Sijilmasa and the Barghawata. Under Idris ibn Abdallah, who was appointed by the Awraba Berbers of Volubilis to be their representative, the country soon cut ties and broke away from the control of the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad and the Umayyad rule in Al-Andalus. The Idrisids established Fes as their capital and Morocco became a centre of Muslim learning and a major regional power. Morocco would reach its height under a series of Berber dynasties that replaced the Idrisids after the 11th century. From the 13th century onwards the country saw an importation ofBanu Hilal Arab tribes as Mercenaries. Their arrival was to have a critical effect on the nation: due to them nomadism returned, urban civilization fell and the country's inhabitants were quickly becoming Ruined. The Almoravids, the Almohads, the Marinids, the Wattasids and finally the Saadi dynasty would see Morocco rule most of Northwest Africa, as well as large sections of Islamic Iberia, or Al-Andalus. Following the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, large numbers of Muslims and Jews were forced to flee to Morocco. After the Saadi, the Alaouite Dynasty eventually gained control. Morocco was facing aggression from Spain and the Ottoman Empire that was sweeping westward. The Alaouites succeeded in stabilizing their position, and while the kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, it remained quite wealthy. In 1684, they annexed Tangier. The organization of the kingdom developed under Ismail Ibn Sharif (1672–1727), who, against the opposition of local tribes began to create a unified state. According to Elizabeth Allo Isichei, "In 1520, there was a famine in Morocco so terrible that for a long time other events were dated by it. It has been suggested that the population of Morocco fell from 5 to under 3 million between the early sixteenth and nineteenth centuries." Morocco was the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States as an independent nation in 1777. In the beginning of the American Revolution, American merchant ships were subject to attack by the Barbary Pirates while sailing the Atlantic Ocean. On 20 December 1777, Morocco's Sultan Mohammed III declared that the American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage. TheMoroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendshiptreaty.
Successful Portuguese efforts to invade and control the Atlantic coast in the 15th century did not profoundly affect the Mediterranean heart of Morocco. After the Napoleonic Wars, Egypt and the North African Maghreb became increasingly ungovernable from Istanbul, the resort of pirates under local beys, and as Europe industrialized, an increasingly prized potential for colonization. The Maghreb had far greater proven wealth than the unknown rest of Africa and a location of strategic importance affecting the exit from the Mediterranean. For the first time, Morocco became a state of some interest in itself to the European powers. France showed a strong interest in Morocco as early as 1830. Recognition by the United Kingdom in 1904 of France's sphere of influence in Morocco provoked a reaction from theGerman Empire; the crisis of June 1905 was resolved at the Algeciras Conference in Spain in 1906, which formalized France's "special position" and entrusted policing of Morocco jointly to France and Spain. The Agadir Crisisprovoked by the Germans, increased Death of Spanish general tensions between European powers. The Treaty of Fez (signed on March Margallo during the Melilla 30, 1912) made Morocco a protectorate of France. By the same treaty, War. Le Petit Journal, 13 NoSpain assumed the role of protecting power over the northern and south- vember 1893. ern Saharanzones on November 27 that year. Many Moroccan soldiers (Goumieres) served in the French army in both World War I and World War II, and in the Spanish Nationalist Army in the Spanish Civil War and after (Regulares).
Under the French protectorate, Moroccan natives were denied their basic human rights such as freedom of speech, the right of gathering and travel in their own country. French settlers built for themselves modern European-like cities called "villages" or "villes" (French for "city") next to poor old Arab cities called "Medinas". The French colonial system forbade native Moroccans from living, working, and traveling into the French quarters. The French education system taught a minority of noble native Moroccan families about French history, art and culture, while disregarding their native language and culture. Colonial authorities exerted tighter control on religious schools and universities, namely "madrassas" and Quaraouaine university. The rise of a young Moroccan intellectual class gave birth to nationalist movements whose main goals were to restore the governance of the country to its own people. Nationalist political parties, which subsequently arose under the French protectorate, based their arguments for Moroccan independence on such World War II declarations as theAtlantic Charter (a joint U.S.-British statement that set forth, among other things, the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they live). A manifesto of the Istiqlal Party (Independence party in English) in 1944 was one of the earliest public demands for independence. That party subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement. France's exile of Sultan Mohammed V in 1953 to Madagascar and his replacement by the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa, whose reign was perceived as illegitimate, sparked active opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable violence occurred in Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and other European residents in the streets. Operations by the newly created "Jaish al-tahrir" (Liberation Army), were launched on October 1, 1955. Jaish al-tahrir was created by "Comité de Libération du Maghreb Arabe" (Arab Maghreb Liberation Committee) in Cairo, Egypt to constitute a resistance movement against occupation. Its goal was the return of King Mohammed V and the liberation of Algeria and Tunisia as well. France allowed Mohammed V to return in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began the following year. All those events helped increase the degree of solidarity between the people and the newly returned king. For this reason, the revolution that Morocco knew was called "Taourat al-malik wa shaab" (The revolution of the King and the People) and it is celebrated every August 20.
On November 18, 2006, Morocco celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence. Morocco recovered its political independence from France on March 2, 1956, and on April 7, France officially relinquished its protectorate. Through agreements with Spain in 1956 and 1958, Moroccan control over certain Spanish-ruled areas was restored, though attempts to claim other Spanish colonial possessions through military action were less successful. The internationalized city of Tangier was reintegrated with the signing of the Tangier Protocol on October 29, 1956. Hassan II became King of Morocco on March 3, 1961. His early years of rule were marked by political unrest. The Spanish enclave of Ifni in the south was reintegrated to the country in 1969. Morocco annexed the Western Sahara durMausoleum of Moing the 1970s ("Marcha Verde", Green March) after demanding its The reintegration from Spain since independence, but final resolution on the hammed V in Rabat status of the territory remains unresolved. (SeeHistory of Western Sahara.) Political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997. Morocco was granted Major non-NATO ally status by the United States in June 2004 and has signed free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union. Morocco has always been known for its Islamic liberalism and openness towards the Western world. King Mohammed VI of Morocco with his ruling elite are democratically-minded, showing tolerance within the limits of territorial integrity and traditional laws and customs.
Vertieres' Day Haiti - Nov 18
The Battle of Vertières (in Haitian Creole Batay Vètyè), the last major battle of the Second War of Haitian Independence, the final part of the Haitian Revolution under François Capois. It was fought between Haitian rebels and French expeditionary forces on 18 November 1803 at Vertières. Vertières is situated in Nord, Haiti, its geographical coordinates are 19° 44' 0" North, 72° 13' 28". By the end of October 1803, Haitian rebels had already took over all the territory from France. The only places left to France were Mole St. Nicolas, held by Noailles, and Cap-Français, where, with 5000 troops, Rochambeau was at bay. With 16,000 men in four columns.
Defeat of the French Army by the Haitian Rebels
After the deportation of Toussaint Louverture in 1802, one of Toussaint's principal lieutenants, Jean Jacques Dessalines, continued the fight for liberty because he remembered the declaration of Toussaint Louverture: “In overthrowing me, you have done no more than cut down the trunk of the tree of the black liberty in St-Domingue it will spring back form the roots, for they are numerous and deep.” Dessalines defeated the French army numerous times but the only place left was Vertières. During the night of 17–18 November 1803, the Haitians positioned their few guns to blast Fort Bréda, located on the habitation where Toussaint Louverture had worked as a coachman under François Capois. As the French trumpets sounded the alarm, Clervaux, a Haitian rebel, fired the first shot. Capoix, mounted on a great horse, led his demibrigade forward despite storms of bullets from the forts on his left. The approach to Charrier ran up a long ravine under the guns of Vertières. French fire killed a number of soldiers in the Haitian column, but the soldiers closed ranks and clambered past their dead, singing. Capoix’s horse got shot, faltered and fell, tossing Capoix off his saddle. Capoix picked himself up, drew his sword; brandished it over his head and ran onward shouting: "Forward! Forward!" Rochambeau was watching from the rampart of Vertières. As Capoix charged forth, the French drums rolled a sudden cease-fire. Suddenly, the battle stood still. A French staff officer mounted his horse and rode toward the intrepid Capoix-la-Mort (Capoix-the Death). With a great voice he shouted: "General Rochambeau sends compliments to the general who has just covered himself with such glory!" Then he saluted the Haitian warriors, returned to his position, and the fight resumed. General Dessalines sent his reserves under Gabart, the youngest of the general and Jean-Philippe Daut, Rochambeau’s guard of grenadiers formed for a final charge. But Gabart, Capoix, and Clervaux, the last fighting with a French musket in hand and one epaulette shot away, repulsed the desperate counterattack. A sudden downpour with thunder and lightning submerged the battlefield. Under cover of the storm, Rochambeau pulled back from Vertières, knowing he was defeated and that Saint-Domingue was lost to France. Another leader of the fight at Vértieres was Louis Michel Pierrot, the husband of the mambo Cécile Fatiman who had led the vodou ceremonies at Bois Caïman on 14 August 1791 together with Boukman.
Results of the Battle By the next morning, the general Rochambeau sent Duveyrier, to negotiate with Dessalines. At the end of the day,
the terms of submission were settled. Rochambeau got ten days to embark the leftovers of his army and leave SaintDomingue. The wounded French soldiers were left behind under key until well enough for return to France. This battle occurred less than two months before Dessalines' proclamation of the independent Republic of Haiti on 1 January 1804 and delivered the final blow to the French attempt to stop the Haitian Revolution and re-institute slavery, as had been the case in its other Caribbean possessions. The Battle of Vertières marked the first time in the history of mankind that a slave army led a successful revolution for their freedom. November 18 has been widely celebrated since then as a Day of Army and Victory in Haiti.
Flag Day - Nov 18 Uzbekistan
T h e f l a g o f U z b e k i s t a n ( R u s s i a n : ГО СУД А РСТ В Е Н Н Ы Й ФЛ А Г Р Е С П У Б Л И К И УЗ Б Е К И СТА Н Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston davlat bayrogʻi) was approved at the Eighth Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan, o n N o v e mb e r 1 8 , 1 9 9 1 .
Dia da Consciencia Negra Brazil - Nov 20
The Day of Black Awareness ("Dia da Consciência Negra" in Portuguese) is celebrated annually on November 20 in Brazil as a day on which to reflect upon the injustices of slavery (from the first transport of African slaves to Brazil in 1594) and to celebrate the contributions to society and to the nation by Brazilian citizens of African descent. It takes place during the Week of Black Awareness. The day is marked on the anniversary of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares (1655-1695), the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares. Members of the organization "Black Movement" (the largest of its kind in the country) organize educational and fun events involving mainly children of African descent. Their focus during these events is to dissolve the perception of Africans' inferiority in society. Other "hot topics" in the black community during the Day of Black Awareness are the assimilation of African-Brazilian laborers with Caucasian-Brazilian and other laborers, ethnic identity, and black pride. Black Awareness Day has been celebrated since the 1960s and has only amplified its events in the last few years. 13th of May is now a holiday (Brazilian Abolishment of Slavery).
National Day Latvia - N o v 1 8
Latvia officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (border length 343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), to the east by the Russian Federation (276 km), to the southeast by Belarus (141 km),and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden. With 2,070,371 inhabitantsand a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. The capital of Latvia is Riga. The official language is Latvian and the currency is called Lats (Ls). The country has atemperate seasonal climate. The Latvians are a Baltic people, culturally related to the Lithuanians. Together with the Finnic Livs (or Livonians), the Latvians are the indigenous people of Latvia.Latvian is an Indo-European language and along with Lithuanian the only two surviving members of the Baltic branch. Indigenous minority languages are Latgalian and the nearly extinct Finnic Livonian language. In terms of geography, territory and population Latvia is the middle of three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Latvia andEstonia share a long common history: historical Livonia, times of Polish-Lithuanian,German (Teutonic Order), Swedish, Russian, Nazi German and Soviet rule, 13th century Christianization and 16th century Protestant Reformation. Both countries are home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.9% in Latvia and 25.5% inEstonia) of whom some are non-citizens. Latvia is historically predominantlyProtestant, except for the region of Latgalia in the southeast which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is divided into 118 administrative divisions of which 109 are municipalities and 9 are cities. There are five planning regions: Courland (Kurzeme), Latgalia (Latgale), Riga (Rīga), Vidzeme and Zemgale. The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, 1918. It was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union between 1940–1941 and 1945–1991 and by Nazi Germany between 1941–1945. The peaceful "Singing Revolution" between 1987 and 1991 and "Baltic Way" demonstration on August 23, 1989 led to the independence of the Baltic states. Latvia declared the restoration of its de facto independence on August 21, 1991. Latvia is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO,Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fundand World Trade Organization, and is part of the Schengen Area. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946) and the Baltic Free Trade Area (1994–2004). Latvia is also a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and Nordic Investment Bank, and is together with Estonia and Lithuania involved in trilateral Baltic States cooperation and Nordic-Baltic cooperation. After economic stagnation in the early 1990s, Latvia posted Europe-leading GDPgrowth figures during 1998–2006. In the global financial crisis of 2008–2010 Latvia was the hardest hit of the European Union member states, with a GDP decline of 26.54% in that period. Commentators noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy by 2010, and the state of the economy continued to improve, as Latvia once again became one Turaida Castle near Sigulda, built in of the fastest growing economies of the EU in 2011. The United 1214 under Albert of Riga Nations lists Latvia as a country with a "Very High" Human Development Index(HDI).
The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes (along with Couronians,Selonians and Semigallians) that are the forebears of today's Latvians.
Around the beginning of the third millennium BC (3000 BC), the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Rome and Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals. By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Latgalians, Selonians, Semigallians (in Latvian: kurši, latgaļi,sēļi and zemgaļi), as well as the Livonians (lībieši) speaking a Finnic language.
The Medieval period:
Although the local people had had contact with the outside world for centuries, they were more fully integrated into European society in the 12th century. The first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. The local people, however, did not convert to Christianity as readily as hoped. German crusaders were sent into Latvia to convert the pagan population by force of arms. In the beginning of the 13th century, large parts of today's Latvia were ruled by Germans. Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, Riga, and later the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Kokneseand Valmiera, were included in the Hanseatic League. Riga became an important point of east-west trading and formed close cultural contacts with Western Europe.
The Reformation period:
The 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were a time of great change for the inhabitants of Latvia, including the reformation, the collapse of the Livonian state, and the time when the Latvian territory was divided up among foreign powers. After the Livonian War (1558–1583), Livonia (Latvia) fell under Polish and Lithuanian rule. The southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Ducatus Ultradunensis (Pārdaugavas hercogiste). Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of the Order of Livonia, formed the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. Though the duchy was a vassal state to Poland, it retained a considerable degree of autonomy and experienced a golden age in the 17th century.Latgalia, the easternmost region of Latvia, became a part of the Polish district of Inflanty. The 17th and early 18th centuries saw a struggle between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russia for supremacy in the eastern Baltic. After the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611), northern Livonia (including Vidzeme) came under Swedish rule. Riga became the capital of Swedish Livonia and the largest city in the entire Swedish Empire. Fighting continued sporadically between Sweden and Poland until the Truce of Altmark in 1629. In Latvia, the Swedish period is gen- Kārlis Ulmanis erally remembered as positive; serfdom was eased, a network of schools was established for the peasantry, and the power of the regional barons was diminished. Several important cultural changes occurred during this time. Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adoptedLutheranism as its main religion. The ancient tribes of the Couronians, Semigallians, Selonians, Livs and northern Latgallians assimilated to form the Latvian people, speaking one Latvian language. Throughout all the centuries, however, no such thing as a Latvian state existed so the borders and definitions of who exactly fell within that group are largely subjective. Meanwhile, largely isolated from the rest of Latvia, southern Latgallians adopted Catholicism under Polish/Jesuit influence. The native dialect remained distinct, although it acquired many Polish and Russian loanwords.
Latvia in the Russian Empire:
The Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710 and the Treaty of Nystad, ending the Great Northern War in 1721, gave Vidzeme to Russia (it became part of the Riga Governorate). The Latgale region remained part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as Inflanty Voivodeship until 1772, when it was incorporated into Russia. The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia became an autonomous Russian province (the Courland Governorate) in 1795, bringing all of what is now Latvia into the Russian Empire. All three Baltic provinces preserved local laws, the local official language and their own parliament, the Landtag. During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), the Baltic area was once again the scene of great devastation, with Peter the Great's scorched-earth policy, famine, and Great Plague of Riga being responsible for catastrophic loss of human life: as Reconstruction of shack from Gulag in much as 40% of the population in Latvian lands were killed. In museum 1710, the plague reached Riga, where it was active until 1711 and claimed the lives of about half the population. The promises Peter the Great made to the Baltic German nobility at the fall of Riga in 1710, confirmed by the Treaty of Nystad and known as "the Capitulations", largely reversed the Swedish reforms. The emancipation of the serfs took place in Courland in 1817 and in Vidzeme in 1819. In practice, however, the emancipation was actually advantageous to the landowners and nobility, as it dispossessed peasants of their land without compensation, forcing them to return to work at the estates "of their own free will". During the 19th century, the social structure changed dramatically. A class of independent farmers established itself after reforms allowed the peasants to repurchase their land, but many landless peasants remained. There also developed a growing urban proletariat and an increasingly influential Latvian bourgeoisie. The Young Latvian (Latvian: Jaunlatvieši) movement laid the groundwork for nationalism from the middle of the century, many of its leaders looking to the Slavophiles for support against the prevailing German-dominated social order. The rise in use of the Latvian language in literature and society became known as the First National Awakening. Russification began in Latgale after the Polish led the January Uprising in 1863: this spread to the rest of what is now Latvia by the 1880s. The Young Latvians were largely eclipsed by the New Current, a broad leftist social and political movement, in the 1890s. Popular discontent exploded in the 1905 Russian Revolution, which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces.
Declaration of Independence:
World War I devastated the territory of what would become the state of Latvia, along with other western parts of the Russian Empire. Demands for self-determination were at first confined to autonomy, but the Russian 1917 Revolution, treaty with Germany at Brest-Litovsk, andallied armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, created a power vacuum. The People's Council of Latviaproclaimed the independence of the new country in Riga on November 18, 1918, with Kārlis Ulmanis becoming the head of the provisional government. The War of Independence that followed was part of a general chaotic period of civil and new border wars in Eastern Europe. By the spring of 1919, there were actually three governments — Ulmanis' government; theLatvian Soviet government led by Pēteris Stučka, whose forces, supported by the Red Army, oc- Latvia became a member of the Eurocupied almost all of the country; and the Baltic German gov- pean Union in 2004 and signed the Lisernment of the United Baltic Duchy, headed by Andrievs Niedra bon Treaty in 2007. and supported by the Baltische Landeswehr and the German Freikorps unit Iron Division. Estonian and Latvian forces defeated the Germans at the Battle of Wenden in June 1919, and a massive attack by a predominantly German force — the West Russian Volunteer Army — under Pavel Bermondt-Avalov was repelled in November. Eastern Latvia was cleared of Red Army forces by Latvian and Polish troops in early 1920 (from the Polish perspective the Battle of Daugavpils was a part of the Polish-Soviet War). A freely elected Constituent assembly convened on May 1, 1920, and adopted a liberal constitution, the Satversme, in February 1922. The constitution was partly suspended by Kārlis Ulmanis after his coup in 1934, but reaffirmed in 1990. Since then, it has been amended and is still in effect in Latvia today. With most of Latvia's industrial base evacuated to the interior of Russia in 1915, radical land reform was the central political question for the young state. In 1897, 61.2% of the rural population had been landless; by 1936, that percentage had been reduced to 18%. By 1923, the extent of cultivated land surpassed the pre-war level. Innovation and rising productivity led to rapid growth of the economy, but it soon suffered from the effects of the Great Depression. Latvia showed signs of economic recovery and the electorate had steadily moved toward the centre during the parliamentary period. On May 15, 1934, Ulmanis staged a bloodless coup, establishing a nationalist dictatorship that lasted until 1940. After 1934, Ulmanis established government corporations to buy up private firms with the aim of "Latvianising" the economy.
Latvia in World War II:
Early in the morning of August 24, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a 10-year non-aggression pact, called the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The pact contained a secret protocol, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states ofNorthern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence".In the North, Latvia, Finland and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. Thereafter, Germany and the Soviet union invaded their respective portions of Poland. After the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, most of the Baltic Germans left Latvia by agreement between Ulmanis' government and Nazi Germany under the Heim ins Reichprogram. In total 50,000 Baltic Germans left by the deadline of December 1939, with 1,600 remaining to conclude business and 13,000 choosing to remain in Latvia. Most of those who remained left for Germany in summer 1940, when a second resettlement scheme was agreed. On 5 October 1939, Latvia was forced to accept a "mutual assistance" pact with the Soviet Union, granting the Soviets the right to station between 25,000 and 30,000 troops on Latvian territory. After staging border incidents, on 16 June 1940 the government of the USSR handed the Latvian ambassador in Moscow a note, in which Latvia was accused of breaching the articles of the agreement of 5 October 1939, and demands were made for sending in additional Soviet troops and to change the government. The Latvian government capitulated in the face of overwhelming force. On 17 June Soviet troops invaded Latvian territory. In his address by radio, Kārlis Ulmanis, announced: “Soviet forces are marching into our land this very morning. This is happening with the knowledge and consent of the government, which in turn stems from the amicable relations that exist between Latvia and the Soviet Union. It is, therefore, my wish that the residents of our country also show friendship towards the advancing military units ... The government has resigned. I shall remain in my place, you remain in yours”. No opposition was shown towards the Soviet forces; on the contrary, part of the population accepted the news of their arrival with enthusiasm, which was heavily exploited by Soviet propaganda. Observing them, the well known Russian lawyer and public figure of Latvia, Pyotr Yakobi, wrote: “Taken from the German model, the authoritarian beginning in our country has turned into a government of national bureaucracy, having satisfied a limited circle of citizens, who have adapted themselves to the state pie. Clearly, any hardship is not in vain. And so now the down-trodden have raised their voice and demand a return of their rights that have been trampled on ... “. Among those unhappy with the regime of Kārlis Ulmanis were not only the national minorities but also many Latvians who were anxious about the deteriorating economic situation and who had no desire to end up under the rule of Nazi Germany. State administrators were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres, in which 34,250 Latvians were deported or killed. Elections were held with single pro-Soviet candidates listed for many positions; the resulting people's assembly immediately requested admission into the USSR, which was granted by the Soviet Union. Latvia, then a puppet government, was headed by Augusts Kirhenšteins. Latvia was incorporated into the Soviet Union on August 5, 1940 as The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Soviets dealt harshly with their opponents – prior to the German invasion, in the course of less than a year, at least 27,586 persons were arrested; most were deported for cooperation with the German army, and about 945 persons were shot. While under German occupation, Latvia was administered as part ofReichskommissariat Ostland. Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units established by the occupation authority participated in the Holocaust as well. More than 200,000 Latvian citizens died during World War II, including approximately 75,000 Latvian Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. Latvian soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict, including in the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS, most of them conscripted by the occupying Nazi and Soviet authorities.
In 1944 when the Soviet military advances reached the area heavy fighting took place in Latvia between German and Soviet troops which ended with another German defeat. During the course of the war, both occupying forces conscripted Latvians into their armies, in this way increasing the loss of the nation's "live resources". In 1944, part of the Latvian territory once more came under Soviet control. The Soviets immediately began to reinstate the Soviet system. After the German surrender it became clear that Soviet forces were there to stay, and Latvian national partisans, soon to be joined by German collaborators, began their fight against another occupier – the Soviet Union. Anywhere from 120,000 to as many as 300,000 Latvians took refuge from the Soviet army by fleeing to Germany and Sweden. Most sources count 200,000 to 250,000 refugees leaving Latvia, with perhaps as many as 80,000 to 100,000 of them recaptured by the Soviets or, during few months immediately after the end of war, returned by the West. The Soviets reoccupied the country in 1944–1945, and further deportations followed as the country was collectivised and Sovieticised. On March 25, 1949, 43,000 rural residents ("kulaks") and Latvian patriots ("nationalists") were deported to Siberia in a sweeping Operation Priboi in all three Baltic states, which was carefully planned and approved in Moscow already on January 29, 1949. Between 136,000 and 190,000 Latvians, depending on the sources, were imprisoned, repressed or deported to Soviet concentration camps (the Gulag) in the post war years, from 1945 to 1952. Some managed to escape arrest and joined the partisans. In the post-war period, Latvia was driven to adopt Soviet farming methods. Rural areas were forced into collectivisation. An extensive programme to impose bilingualism was initiated in Latvia, limiting the use of Latvian language in official uses in favor of using Russian as the main language. All of the minority schools (Jewish, Polish, Belorussian, Estonian, Lithuanian) were closed down leaving only two media of instructions in the schools: Latvian and Russian. An influx of labourers, administrators, military personnel and their dependents from Russia and other Soviet republics started. By 1959 about 400,000 persons arrived from other Soviet republics and the ethnic Latvian population had fallen to 62%. Because Latvia had still maintained a well-developed infrastructure and educated specialists it was decided in Moscow that some of the Soviet Union's most advanced manufacturing factories were to be based in Latvia. New industry was created in Latvia, including a majormachinery factory RAF in Jelgava, electrotechnical factories in Riga, chemical factories in Daugavpils, Valmiera and Olaine, as well as some food and oil processing plants. However, there were not enough people to operate the newly built factories. In order to expand industrial production, skilled workers were transferred into the republic from all over the Soviet Union, decreasing the proportion of ethnic Latvians in the republic.
Restoration of independence:
In the second half of 1980s Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started to introduce political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union, called glasnost and Perestroika. In the summer of 1987 the first large demonstrations were held in Riga at the Freedom Monument- a symbol of independence. In the summer of 1988 a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront. The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in 1988 the old pre-war Flag of Latvia was allowed to be used, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag as the official flag in 1990. In 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a resolution on the "Occupation of the Baltic states", in which it declared that the occupation was "not in accordance with law," and not the "will of the Soviet people". Pro-independence Popular Front of Latvia candidates gained a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council in the March 1990 democratic elections. On May 4, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR adopted the Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia and the Latvian SSR was renamed Republic of Latvia. However, the central power in Moscow continued to regard Latvia as Soviet republic in 1990–1991. In January 1991, Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic of Latvia authorities by occupying the central publishing house in Riga and establishing a Committee of National Salvation to usurp governmental functions. During the transitional period Moscow maintained many central Soviet state authorities in Latvia. In spite of this, 73% of all Latvian residents confirmed their strong support for independence on March 3, 1991, in a nonbinding advisory referendum. A large number of ethnic Russians also voted for the proposition. The Popular Front of Latviahad advocated that all permanent residents be eligible for Latvian citizenship. However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted subsequently; a majority of ethnical non-Latvians did not receive Latvian citizenship even though they had voted in support of independence. Many of them were born in Latvia, but still became non-citizens. Until 2011 more than half of non-citizens have gone through the process of naturalization exams and received Latvian citizenship. Still today there are 290,660 non-citizens of Latvia, which represent 14.1% of population. Those people have no citizenship of any country and cannot vote in Latvia. The Republic of Latvia declared the end of the transitional period and restored full independence on August 21, 1991 in the aftermath of the failed Soviet coup attempt. The Saeima, Latvia's parliament, was again elected in 1993, and Russia completed its military withdrawal in 1994. The major goals of Latvia in the 1990s, to join NATO and theEuropean Union, were achieved in 2004. Language and citizenship laws have been opposed by many Russophones. (Citizenship was not automatically extended to former Soviet citizens who settled during the Soviet occupation or to their subsequent offspring. This resulted in a situation where people who have lived and worked in Latvia for over 50 years were nonetheless unable to vote, which meant that Russian voice was largely excluded from the parliament and the government. Children born to non-nationals after the reestablishment of independence are automatically entitled to citizenship.) Approximately 72% of Latvian citizens are Latvian, while 20% are Russian; less than 1% of non-citizens are Latvian, while 71% are Russian. The government denationalised private property confiscated by the Soviet rule, returning it or compensating the owners for it, and privatised most state-owned industries, reintroducing the prewar currency. Albeit having experienced a difficult transition to a liberal economy and its re-orientation toward Western Europe, its economy had one of the highest growth rates until the2008–2010 Latvian financial crisis.
Mickey Mouse's Birthday U.S. - Nov 18
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves. He is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world and is the mascot of The Walt Disney Company. Mickey debuted in November 1928 in the animated cartoon Steamboat Willie after initially appearing in test screenings earlier that year. He went on to appear in over 130 films including The Band Concert (1935), Brave Little Tailor (1938), and Fantasia (1940). Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also in a few feature-length films. Nine of Mickey's cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Beginning 1930, Mickey has also been featured extensively as a comic strip character. His self-titled newspaper strip, drawn primarily by Floyd Gottfredson, ran for 45 years. Mickey has also appeared in comic books and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club(1955–1996) and others. He also appears in other media such as video games as well as merchandising, and is a meetable character at the Disney parks. Mickey typically appears alongside his girlfriend Minnie Mouse, his pet dog Pluto, his friends Horace Horsecollar, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and his nemesis Pete among others. Originally characterized as a mischievous anti hero, Mickey's increasing popularity led to his being rebranded as an everyman, usually seen as an ever cheerful, yet shy role model. In 2009, Disney announced that they will begin to rebrand the character again by putting less emphasis on his pleasant, cheerful side and reintroducing the more mischievous and adventurous sides of his personality, starting with the video game Epic Mickey.
Discovery Day Puerto Rico - N o v 1 9
The history of Puerto Rico began with the settlement of the archipelago of Puerto Rico by the Ortoiroid people between 3000 and 2000 BC. Other tribes, such as the Saladoid and Arawak Indians, populated the island between 430 BC and 1000 AD. At the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1493, the dominant indigenous culture was that of the Taínos. The Taíno culture died out during the latter half of the 16th century because of exploitation by Spanish settlers, the war they waged on the Taíno, and diseases introduced by the invaders. Located in the northeastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico formed a key part of the Spanish Empire from the early years of the exploration, conquest and colonization of the New World. The island was a major military post during many wars between Spain and other European powers for control of the region in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The smallest of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico was a stepping-stone in the passage from Europe to Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and the northern territories of South America. Throughout most of the 19th century until the conclusion of the Spanish–American War, Puerto Rico and Cuba were the last two Spanish colonies in the New World; they served as Spain's final outposts in a strategy to regain control of the American continents. In 1898, during the Spanish–American war, Puerto Rico was invaded and subsequently became a possession of the United States. The first half of the 20th century was marked by the struggle to obtain greater democratic rights from the United States. The Foraker Act of 1900, which established a civil government, and the Jones Act of 1917, which made Puerto Ricans U.S. citizens, paved the way for the drafting of Puerto Rico's Constitution and the establishment of democratic elections in 1952. However, the political status of Puerto Rico, a Commonwealth controlled by the United States, remains an anomaly more than 500 years after the first Europeans settled the island.
Pre-colonial Puerto Rico
The settlement of Puerto Rico began with the establishment of the Ortoiroid culture from the Orinoco region in South America. Some scholars suggest that their settlement dates back 4000 years. An archeological dig at the island of Vieques in 1990 found the remains of what is believed to be an Ortoiroid man (named Puerto Ferro man) which was dated to around 2000 BC. The Ortoiroid were displaced by the Saladoid, a culture from the same region that arrived on the island between 430 and 250 BC. Between the seventh and 11th centuries Arawaks are thought to have settled the island. During this time the Taíno culture developed, and by approximately 1000 AD it had become dominant. Taíno culture has been traced to the village of Saladero at the basin of the Orinoco River in Venezuela; the Taínos migrated to Puerto Rico by crossing the Lesser Antilles. At the time of Columbus' arrival, an estimated 30 to 60 thousand Taíno Amerindians, led by cacique (chief) Agüeybaná, inhabited the island. They called it Boriken, "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord". The natives lived in small villages led by a cacique and subsisted on hunting, fishing and gathering of indigenous cassava root and fruit. When the Spaniards arrived in 1493, conflicts with raiding Caribs, who were moving up the Antilles chain, were taking place. The Taíno domination of the island was nearing its end and the Spanish arrival would mark the beginning of their extinction. Their culture, however, remains strongly embedded in that of contemporary Puerto Rico. Musical instruments such as maracas and güiro, the hammock, and words such as Mayagüez, Arecibo, iguana, and huracán (hurricane) are examples of the legacy left by the Taíno.
Spanish Rule (1493–1898) Beginning of colonization:
On September 25, 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail on his second voyage with 17 ships and 1,200–1,500 men from Cádiz. On November 19, 1493 he landed on the island, naming it San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist. The first settlement, Caparra, was founded on August 8, 1508 by Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant under Columbus, who later became the first governor of the island. The following year, the settlement was abandoned in favor of a nearby islet on the coast, named Puerto Rico (Rich Port), which had a suitable harbor. In 1511, a second settlement, San Germán was established in the southwestern part of the island. During the 1520s, the island took the name of Puerto Rico while the port became San Juan. Colonization took the form of encomienda settlements, where settlers enslaved Taínos, providing them with military protection in return for labor. On December 27, 1512, under pressure from the Roman Catholic Church, Ferdinand II of Aragon issued the Burgos' Laws, which modified theencomiendas into a system called repartimientos, aimed at ending the exploitation. The laws prohibited the use of any form of punishment toward the indigenous people, regulated their work hours, pay, hygiene, and care, and ordered them to be catechized. In 1511, the Taínos revolted against the Spanish; cacique Urayoán, as planned by Agüeybaná II, ordered his warriors to drown the Spanish soldier Diego Salcedo to determine whether the Spaniards were immortal. After drowning Salcedo, they kept watch over his body for three days to confirm his death. The revolt was easily crushed by Ponce de León and within a few decades much of the native population had been decimated by disease, violence, and a high occurrence of suicide. The Roman Catholic Church, realizing the opportunity to expand its influence, also participated in colonizing the island. On August 8, 1511,Pope Julius II established three dioceses in the New World, one in Puerto Rico and two on the island of Hispaniola under the archbishop of Seville. The Canon of Salamanca, Alonso Manso, was appointed bishop of the Puerto Rican diocese. On September 26, 1512, before his arrival on the island, the first school of advanced studies was established by the bishop. Taking possession in 1513, he became the first bishop to arrive in the Americas. Puerto Rico would also become the first ecclesiastical headquarters in the New World during the reign of Pope Leo X and the general headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition in the New World. As part of the colonization process, African slaves were brought to the island in 1513. Following the decline of the Taíno population, more slaves were brought to Puerto Rico; however, the number of slaves on the island paled in comparison to those in neighboring islands.Also, early in the colonization of Puerto Rico, attempts were made to wrest control of Puerto Rico from Spain. The Caribs, a raiding tribe of the Caribbean, attacked Spanish settlements along the banks of the Daguao and Macao rivers in 1514 and again in 1521 but each time they were easily repelled by the superior Spanish firepower. However, these would not be the last attempts at control of Puerto Rico. The European powers quickly realized the potential of the newly discovered lands and attempted to gain control of them.
Sparked by the possibility of immense wealth, many European powers made attempts to wrest control of the Americas from Spain in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Success in invasion varied, and ultimately all Spanish opponents failed to maintain permanent control of the island. In 1528, the French, recognizing the strategic value of Puerto Rico, sacked and burned the southwestern town of San Germán. They also destroyed many of the island's first settlements, including Guánica, Sotomayor, Daguao and Loíza before the local militia forced them to retreat. The only settlement that remained was the capital, San Juan. French corsairs would again sack San Germán in 1538 and 1554. Spain, determined to defend its possession, began the fortification of the inlet of San Juan in the early 16th century. In 1532, construction of the first fortifications began with La Fortaleza (the Fortress) near the entrance to San Juan bay. Seven years later the construction of massive defenses around San Juan began, including Fort San Felipe del Morro astride the entrance to San Juan bay. Later, Fort San Cristóbal and Fort San Jerónimo—built with a financial subsidy from the Mexican mines—garrisoned troops and defended against land attacks. In 1587, engineers Juan de Tejada and Juan Bautista Antonelli redesigned Fort San Felipe del Morro; these changes endure. Politically, Puerto Rico was reorganized in 1580 into a captaincy general to provide for more autonomy and quick administrative responses to military threats. On November 22, 1595, English privateer Sir Francis Drake—with 27 vessels and 2,500 troops—sailed into San Juan Bay intending to loot the city. Even though San Juan was set ablaze, they were unable to defeat the forces entrenched in the forts. Knowing Drake had failed to overcome the city's defenses by sea, on June 15, 1598, the Royal Navy, led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, landed troops from 21 ships to the east in Santurce. Clifford and his men met Spanish resistance while attempting to cross the San Antonio bridge (from an area known today as Condado) into the islet of San Juan. Nonetheless, the British conquered the island and held it for several months. They were forced to abandon the island owing to an outbreak of dysentery among the troops. The following year Spain sent soldiers, cannons, and a new governor, Alonso de Mercado, to rebuild the city of San Juan. In 1607, Puerto Rico served as a port for provisions for the English ships, the Godspeed, Susan Constant and the Discovery who were on their way to establish the Jamestown, Virginia, the first English settlement in the New World. The 17th and 18th centuries saw more attacks on the island. On September 25, 1625, the Dutch, under the leadership of Boudewijn Hendrick (Balduino Enrico), attacked San Juan, besieging Fort San Felipe del Morro and La Fortaleza. Residents fled the city but the Spanish, led by Governor Juan de Haro, were able to repel the Dutch troops from Fort San Felipe del Morro. In their retreat the Dutch set the city ablaze. The fortification of San Juan continued; in 1634, Philip IV of Spain fortified Fort San Cristóbal, along with six fortresses linked by a line of sandstone walls surrounding the city. In 1702, the English assaulted the town of Arecibo, located on the north coast, west of San Juan, with no success. In 1797, the French and Spanish declared war on the United Kingdom. The British attempted again to conquer the island, attacking San Juan with an invasion force of 7,000 troops and an armada consisting of 64 warships under the command of General Ralph Abercromby. Captain General Don Ramón de Castro and his army successfully resisted the attack. Amidst the constant attacks, the first threads of Puerto Rican society emerged. A 1765 census conducted by Lt. General Alejandro O'Reilly showed a total population of 44,883, of which 5,037 (11.2%) were slaves, a low percentage compared to the other Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. In 1786 the first comprehensive history of Puerto Rico—Historia Geográfica, Civil y Política de Puerto Rico by Fray Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra—was published in Madrid, documenting the history of Puerto Rico from the time of Columbus' landing in 1493 until 1783. The book also presents a first hand account of Puerto Rican identity, including music, clothing, personality and nationality. In 1779, Puerto Ricans fought in the American Revolutionary War under the command of Bernardo de Gálvez, who was named Field Marshalof the Spanish colonial army in North America. Puerto Ricans participated the capture of Pensacola, the capital of the British colony of West Florida and the cities of Baton Rouge, St. Louis and Mobile. The Puerto Rican troops, commanded by Brigadier General Ramón de Castro, helped defeat the British and Indian army of 2,500 soldiers and British warships in Pensacola.
Early 19th century:
The 19th century brought many changes to Puerto Rico, both political and social. In 1809, the Spanish government, in opposition to Napoleon, was convened in Cádiz in southern Spain. While still swearing allegiance to the king, the Supreme Central Junta invited voting representatives from the colonies. Ramón Power y Giralt was nominated as the local delegate to the Cádiz Cortes. The Ley Power ("the Power Act") soon followed, which designated five ports for free commerce—Fajardo, Mayagüez, Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo and Ponce—and established economic reforms with the goal of developing a more efficient economy. In 1812, the Cádiz Constitution was adopted, dividing Spain and its territories into provinces, each with a local corporation or council to promote its prosperity and defend its interests; this granted Puerto Ricans conditional citizenship. On August 10, 1815, the Royal Decree of Grace was issued, allowing foreigners to enter Puerto Rico (including French refugees from Hispaniola), and opening the port to trade with nations other than Spain. This was the beginning of agriculture-based economic growth, with sugar, tobacco and coffee being the main products. The Decree also gave free land to anyone who swore their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. Thousands of families from all regions of Spain (particularly Asturias, Catalonia, Majorca and Galicia), Germany, Corsica, Ireland, France, Portugal, the Canary Islandsand other locations, escaping from harsh economic times in Europe and lured by the offer of free land, soon immigrated to Puerto Rico. However, these small gains in autonomy and rights were short lived. After the fall of Napoleon, absolute power returned to Spain, which revoked the Cádiz Constitution and reinstated Puerto Rico to its former condition as a colony, subject to the unrestricted power of the Spanish monarch. The integration of immigrants into Puerto Rican culture and other events changed Puerto Rican society. On June 25, 1835, Queen María Cristina abolished the slave trade to Spanish colonies. In 1851, Governor Juan de la Pezuela Cevallos founded the Royal Academy of Belles Letters. The academy licensed primary school teachers, formulated school methods, and held literary contests that promoted the intellectual and literary progress of the island. In 1858, Samuel Morse introduced wired communication to Latin America when he established a telegraph system in Puerto Rico. Morse's oldest daughter Susan Walker Morse (1821-1885), would often visit her uncle Charles Pickering Walker who owned the Hacienda Concordia in the town of Guayama. Morse, who often spent his winters at the Hacienda with his daughter and son-in-law, who lived and owned the Habienda Henriqueta, set a two-mile telegraph line connecting his son-in-law's hacienda to their house in Arroyo. The line was inaugurated on March 1, 1859 in a ceremony flanked by the Spanish and American flags. The first lines transmitted by Morse that day in Puerto Rico were: "Puerto Rico, beautiful jewel! When you are linked with the other jewels of the Antilles in the necklace of the world's telegraph, yours will not shine less brilliantly in the crown of your Queen!"
Struggle for sovereignty:
The last half of the 19th century was marked by the Puerto Rican struggle for sovereignty. A census conducted in 1860 revealed a population of 583,308. Of these, 300,406 (51.5%) were white and 282,775 (48.5%) were persons of color, the latter including people of primarily African heritage, mulattos and mestizos. The majority of the population in Puerto Rico was illiterate (83.7%) and lived in poverty, and the agricultural industry—at the time, the main source of income— was hampered by lack of road infrastructure, adequate tools and equipment, and natural disasters, including hurricanes and droughts. The economy also suffered from increasing tariffs and taxes imposed by the Spanish Crown. Furthermore, Spain had begun to exile or jail any person who called for liberal reforms. On September 23, 1868, hundreds of men and women in the town of Lares—stricken by poverty and politically estranged from Spain—revolted against Spanish rule, seeking Puerto Rican independence. The Grito de Lares("Lares Cry" or "Lares Uprising") was planned by a group led by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances, at the time exiled to the Dominican Republic, and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. Dr. Betances had founded the Comité Revolucionario de Puerto Rico (Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico) in January 1868. The most important figures in the uprising were Manuel Rojas, Mathias Brugman, Mariana Bracetti, Francisco Ramirez Medina and Lola Rodríguez de Tió. The uprising, although significant, was quickly controlled by Spanish authorities. Following the Grito de Lares revolt, political and social reforms occurred toward the end of the 19th century. On June 4, 1870, due to the efforts of Román Baldorioty de Castro, Luis Padial and Julio Vizcarrondo, the Moret Lawwas approved, giving freedom to slaves born after September 17, 1868 or over 60 years old; on March 22, 1873, the Spanish National Assembly officially abolished, with a few special clauses, slavery in Puerto Rico. In 1870, the first political organizations on the island were formed as two factions emerged. The Traditionalists, known as thePartido Liberal Conservador (Liberal Conservative Party) were led by José R. Fernández, Pablo Ubarri and Francisco Paula Acuña and advocated assimilation into the political party system of Spain. The Autonomists, known as the Partido Liberal Reformista (Liberal Reformist Party) were led by Román Baldorioty de Castro, José Julián Acosta, Nicolás Aguayo and Pedro Gerónimo Goico and advocated decentralization away from Spanish control. Both parties would later change their names to Partido Incondicional Español (Unconditional Spanish Party) and Partido Federal Reformista (Reformist Federal Party), respectively. In March 1887, the Partido Federal Reformista was reformed and named the Partido Autonomista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Autonomist Party); it tried to create a political and legal identity for Puerto Rico while emulating Spain in all political matters. It was led by Román Baldorioty de Castro, José Celso Barbosa, Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón and Luis Muñoz Rivera. Leaders of "El Grito de Lares", who were in exile in New York City, joined the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Committee, founded on December 8, 1895, and continued their quest for Puerto Rican independence. In 1897, Antonio Mattei Lluberas and the local leaders of the independence movement of the town of Yauco, organized another uprising, which became known as the "Intentona de Yauco". This was the first time that the current Puerto Rican was unfurled in Puerto Rican soil. The local conservative political factions, which believed that such an attempt would be a threat to their struggle for autonomy, opposed such an action. Rumors of the planned event spread to the local Spanish authorities who acted swiftly and put an end to what would be the last major uprising in the island to Spanish colonial rule. The struggle for autonomy came close to achieving its goal on November 25, 1897, when the Carta Autonómica (Charter of Autonomy), which conceded political and administrative autonomy to the island, was approved in Spain. In the past 400-plus years, after centuries of colonial rule, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, the Prime Minister of Spain granted the island an autonomous government on November 25, 1897 in the empire's legislative body in Cádiz, Spain, and trade was opened up with the United States and European colonies. The charter maintained a governor appointed by Spain, who held the power to veto any legislative decision he disagreed with, and a partially elected parliamentary structure. That same year, the Partido Autonomista Ortodoxo (Orthodox Autonomist Party), led by José Celso Barbosa and Manuel Fernández Juncos, was founded. On February 9, 1898, the new government officially began. Local legislature set its own budget and taxes. They accepted or rejected commercial treaties concluded by Spain. In February 1898, Governor General Manuel Macías inaugurated the new government of Puerto Rico under the Autonomous Charter which gave town councils complete autonomy in local matters. Subsequently, the governor had no authority to intervene in civil and political matters unless authorized to do so by the Cabinet. General elections were held in March and on July 17, 1898 Puerto Rico's autonomous government began to function, but not for long.
Invasion of 1898:
The last half of the 19th century was marked by the Puerto Rican struggle for sovereignty. A census conducted in 1860 revealed a population of 583,308. Of these, 300,406 (51.5%) were white and 282,775 (48.5%) were persons of color, the latter including people of primarily African heritage, mulattos and mestizos. The majority of the population in Puerto Rico was illiterate (83.7%) and lived in poverty, and the agricultural industry—at the time, the main source of income— was hampered by lack of road infrastructure, adequate tools and equipment, and natural disasters, including hurricanes and droughts. The economy also suffered from increasing tariffs and taxes imposed by the Spanish Crown. Furthermore, Spain had begun to exile or jail any person who called for liberal reforms. In 1890, Captain Alfred Thayler Mahan, a member of the Navy War Board and leading U.S. strategic thinker, wrote a book titled The Influence of Sea Power upon History in which he argued for the creation of a large and powerful navy modeled after the British Royal Navy. Part of his strategy called for the acquisition of colonies in the Caribbean Sea which would serve as coaling and naval stations and which would serve as strategical points of defense upon the construction of a canal in the Isthmus. This idea was not new, since William H. Seward, the former Secretary of State under the administrations of various presidents, among them Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant, had stressed that a canal be built either in Honduras, Nicaragua or Panama and that the United States annex the Dominican Republic and purchase Puerto Rico and Cuba. The idea of annexing the Dominican Republic failed to receive the approval of the U.S. Senate and Spain did not accept the 160 million dollars which the U.S. offered for Puerto Rico and Cuba. Captain Mahan made the following statement to the to the War Department: "Having therefore no foreign establishments either colonial or military, the ships of war of the United States, in war will be like land birds, unable to fly far from their own shores. To provide resting places for them where they can coal and repair, would be one of the first duties of a government proposing to itself the development of the power of the nation at sea" Since 1894, the Naval War College had been formulating plans for war with Spain. By 1896, the Office of Naval Intelligence had prepared a plan which included military operations in Puerto Rican waters. Not only was Puerto Rico considered valuable as a naval station, Puerto Rico and Cuba were also abundant in a valuable commercial commodity which the United States lacked, that commodity was sugar. On March 10, 1898, Dr. Julio J. Henna and Robert H. Todd, leaders of the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, began to correspond with United States President William McKinley and the United States Senate in hopes that they would consider including Puerto Rico in the intervention planned for Cuba. Henna and Todd also provided the US government with information about the Spanish military presence on the island. On April 24, Spanish Minister of Defense Segismundo Bermejo sent instructions to Spanish Admiral Cervera to proceed with his fleet from Cape Verde to the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In May, Lt. Henry H. Whitney of the United States Fourth Artillery was sent to Puerto Rico on a reconnaissance mission. He provided maps and information on the Spanish military forces to the US government that would be useful for an invasion. Following the sinking of the battleship USS Maine on February 15, 1898, in Havana harbor, Cuba, the United States forwarded an ultimatum to Spain to withdraw from Cuba. In response, Spain broke off diplomatic relations with the United States, and on April 23, 1898, Spain declared war. On April 25, the U.S. Congress declared that a state of war between the United States and Spain had existed since April 20. One of the United States' principal objectives in the Spanish-American War was to take control of Spanish possessions in the Atlantic — Puerto Rico and Cuba — and their possessions in the Pacific — the Philippines and Guam. On May 10, Spanish forces at Fort San Cristóbal under the command ofCapt. Ángel Rivero Méndez in San Juan exchanged fire with the USS Yale under the command of Capt. William C. Wise. Two days later on May 12, a squadron of 12 US ships commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson bombarded San Juan, causing panic among the residents. On June 25, the USS Yosemite blocked San Juan harbor. On July 18, General Nelson A. Miles, commander of US forces, received orders to sail for Puerto Rico and to land his troops. On July 21, a convoy with nine transports and 3,300 soldiers, escorted by USS Massachusetts, sailed for Puerto Rico from Guantánamo. General Nelson Miles landed unopposed at Guánica, located in the southern coast of the island, on July 25, 1898 with the first contingent of American troops. Opposition was met in the southern and central regions of the island but by the end of August the island was under United States control. On August 12, peace protocols were signed in Washington, D.C. and Spanish Commissions met in San Juan on September 9 to discuss the details of the withdrawal of Spanish troops and the cession of the island to the United States. On October 1, an initial meeting was held in Paris to draft the Peace Treaty and on December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed (ratified by the US Senate February 6, 1899).Spain renounced all claim to Cuba, ceded Guam and Puerto Rico and its dependent islets to the United States, and transferred sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States for $20,000,000 ($530 million as of 2011). General John R. Brooke became the first United States military governor of the island.
Television Day Worldwide - Nov 21 In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day commemorating the date on which the first World Television Forum was held in 1996. Opposition to this declaration took the form of 11 abstentions to a vote on the resolution; in expressing their opposition, the delegation from Germany said:
There are already three United Nations days encompassing similar subjects: World Press Freedom Day; World Telecommunication Day; and World Development Information Day. To add another day does not make much sense... [T]elevision is only one means of information and an information medium to which a considerable majority of the world population has no access... That vast majority could easily look at World Television Day as a rich man's day. They do not have access to television. There are more important information media and here I would mention radio in particular. We think it is more important to enhance the role of those media than that of television.
Feast of St Cecilia St. Lucia - Nov 22
Saint Cecilia (Latin: Sancta Caecilia) is the patron saint of musicians and Church music because as she was dying she sang to God. It is also written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". St. Cecilia was an only child. Her feast day is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches on November 22. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. It was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband Valerian, his brother Tiburtius, and a Roman soldier Maximus, suffered martyrdom, c. 230, under the Emperor Alexander Severus. The research of Giovanni Battista de Rossi, however, appears to confirm the statement of Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers (d. 600), that she perished in Sicily under Emperor Marcus Aurelius between 176 and 180. A church in her honor exists in Rome from about the 5th century, was rebuilt with much splendor by Pope Paschal I around the year 820, and again by Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrati in 1599. It is situated in Trastevere, near the Ripa Grande quay, where in earlier days the ghetto was located, and is the titulus of a Cardinal Priest, currently Carlo Maria Martini. The martyrdom of Cecilia is said to have followed that of her husband and his brother by the prefect Turcius Almachius. The officers of the prefect then sought to have Cecilia killed as well. She arranged to have her home preserved as a church before she was arrested. At that time, the officials attempted to kill her by smothering her by steam. However, the attempt failed, and she was to have her head chopped off. But they were unsuccessful three times, and she would not die until she received the sacrament of Holy Communion. Cecilia survived another three days before succumbing. In the last three days of her life, she opened her eyes, gazed at her family and friends who crowded around her cell, closed them, and never opened them again. The people by her cell knew immediately that she was to become a saint in heaven. When her incorruptible body was found long after her death, it was found that on one hand she had two fingers outstretched and on the other hand just one finger, denoting her belief in the trinity. The Sisters of Saint Cecilia are a group of women consecrated religious sisters. They are the ones who shear the lambs' wool used to make the palliums of new metropolitan archbishops. The lambs are raised by the Cistercian Trappist Fathers of the Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) Abbey in Rome. The lambs are blessed by the Pope every January 21, the Feast of the martyr Saint Agnes. The pallia are given by the Pope to the new metropolitan archbishops on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29.
Meaning of the name Origin The name "Caecilia" was shared by all women of the Roman gens known as the Caecilii, whose name may be related Mickey Mouse was created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an earlier cartoon character created by
the Disney studio for Charles Mintz of Universal Studios. In the spring of 1928, with the series going strong, Disney asked Mintz for an increase in the budget. But Mintz instead demanded that Walt take a 20 percent budget cut, and as leverage, he reminded Disney that Universal owned the character, and revealed that he had already signed most of Disney's current employees to his new contract. Mintz owned Oswald and thought he had Disney over a barrel. Angrily, Disney refused the deal and returned to produce the final Oswald cartoons he contractually owed Mintz. Disney was dismayed at the betrayal by his staff, but determined to restart from scratch. The new Disney Studio initially consisted of animator Ub Iwerks and a loyal apprentice artist, Les Clark, who together with Wilfred Jackson were among the few who remained loyal to Walt. One lesson Disney learned from the experience was to thereafter always make sure that he owned all rights to the characters produced by his company. In the spring of 1928, Disney asked Ub Iwerks to start drawing up new character ideas. Iwerks tried sketches of various animals, such as dogs and cats, but none of these appealed to Disney. A female cow and male horse were also rejected. They would later turn up as Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. (A male frog, also rejected, would later show up in Iwerks' ownFlip the Frog series.) Walt Disney got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse from his old pet mouse he used to have on his farm. In 1925, Hugh Harman drew some sketches of mice around a photograph of Walt Disney. These inspired Ub Iwerks to create a new mouse character for Disney. "Mortimer Mouse" had been Disney's original name for the character before his wife, Lillian, convinced him to change it, and ultimately Mickey Mouse came to be. Actor Mickey Rooney has claimed that, during his Mickey McGuire days, he met cartoonist Walt Disney at the Warner Brothers studio, and that Disney was inspired to name Mickey Mouse after him.
Design Ub Iwerks designed Mickey's body out of circles in order to make the character simple to animate. Disney employees
John Hench and Marc Davis believed that this design was part of Mickey's success – it made him more dynamic and appealing to audiences. Mickey's circular design is most noticeable in his ears, which in traditional animation, always appear circular no matter which way Mickey faces. This made Mickey easily recognizable to audiences and made his ears an unofficial personal trademark. Even today, the symbol is often used by the Disney company to represent Mickey. This later created a dilemma for toy creators who had to recreate a three dimensional Mickey. In animation in the 1940s Mickey's ears were animated in perspective. Animator Fred Moore would later redesign Mickey's body away from its circular design to a pear-shape design. Colleague Ward Kimball praised Moore for being the first animator to break from Mickey's "rubber hose, round circle" design. Although Moore himself was nervous at first about changing Mickey, Walt Disney liked the new design and told Moore "that's the way I want Mickey to be drawn from now on." Each of Mickey's hands have only three fingers and a thumb. Disney said that this was both an artistic and financial decision, explaining "Artistically five digits are too many for a mouse. His hand would look like a bunch of bananas. Financially, not having an extra finger in each of 45,000 drawings that make up a six and one half minute short has saved the Studio millions." In the film The Opry House (1929), Mickey was given his white gloves which were a simple way of contrasting his naturally black hands against his black body. Mickey's eyes, as drawn in Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho, were large and white and defined by black outlines. In Steamboat Willie the black outlines were removed, although the upper edges still contrasted with his head. Mickey's eyes were later re-imagined as only consisting of the small black dots which were his pupils, while what was the upper edges of his eyes became a hairline. This is evident only when Mickey blinks. Fred Moore later redesigned the eyes to be small white eyes with pupils and gave his face a caucasian skin tone instead of plain white. This new Mickey first appeared in 1938 on the cover of a party program, and in animation the following year with the release of The Pointer. Mickey is sometimes given eyebrows as seen in The Simple Things (1953) and in the comic strip, although he does not have eyebrows in his most recent appearances. Besides Mickey's gloves and shoes, he typically wears only a pair of shorts with two large buttons in the front. Although the animated Mickey was seen only in black and white for over seven years, print images confirmed that the shorts were red. When Mickey is not wearing his red shorts, he is often still wearing red clothing. This includes a red bandmaster coat (The Band Concert, The Mickey Mouse Club), red overalls (Clock Cleaners, Boat Builders), a red cloak (Fantasia, Fun and Fancy Free), a red coat (Squatter's Rights, Mickey's Christmas Carol), and a red shirt (Mickey Down Under, The Simple Things).
Garifuna Settlement Day Belize - Nov 19
On November 19th the celebrations commence to mark the arrival of the first Garifuna to Belize in 1832. The festivaL marks the arrival of the Garifuna people to Dangriga. A mixture of African music and religion with native Carib language and traditions blends into a vibrant, tasty, stimulating experience. Garifuna Settlement Day, is celebrated throughout the country, but especially in Dangriga, the cultural capital of Belize. There is traditional Garifuna and Belizean food, live punta music, games and Jonkunu dancers. In addition they reenact 'The Landing.' There are also festivities in Punta Gorda town at Earth Runnins Café and Bukut Bar. The Garifuna are a people produced from the merging of two cultures. The history goes that two slave ships were shipwrecked in the Caribbean near the island of St. Vincent. The slaves escaped the sinking boat and reached the shores of the island, where they were welcomed by the Caribs, who offered their protection. Their intermarriage formed the Garifuna people. The Garifuna adopted the Carib language but kept their African musical and religious traditions. In 1795 the Garifuna people rebelled against the British. The British punished them for their insolence by deporting them to the island of Roatán, off Honduras. According to legend, the Garífuna hid cassava, a mainstay of their diet, inside their clothes, where it stayed alive watered by the sweat of the tightly packed captives. They planted the cassava on Roatán, where it grew abundantly. In 1832, many Garifuna left Honduras after a civil war there and settled in Dangriga, Belize on November 19th. Garifuna Settlement Day began to be celebrated in Dangriga in 1941. The matriarchal structure of Garifuna culture reflects their West African roots. The mother is the center of her family, which in turn is the basic unit of society. The culture's ancient wisdom is past down through women, and it is even believed that they can communicate with the dead. Garifuna believe the dead can directly influence the living, and the women are periodically 'possessed' by relatives eager to talk. This is done at a formally organized encounter called a dugu. They also believe they can direct the forces of good and evil through spells. Each year in Belize on Garifuna Settlement Day, locals reenact ‘The Landing’ by slipping out to sea in boats, then riding the surf onto shore, waving palm fronds and banana leaves to symbolize the cassava that sustained their ancestors. This ritual is rich in music and dance. Dining opportunities in Dangriga include Garifuna dishes with fish, chicken, pork, corn and manioc or cassava, and wonderfully prepared coconuts. In the town, one can find original works of art, palm crafts, Garifuna handmade dolls, calabash maracas and drums, which their makers say last for a century. "The Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations, which lasted for three days, were something else. The dancing bordered on the erotic and the amount of alcohol consumed was staggering. However the most amazing thing about Dangriga is how welcome we were made to feel and how pleasant and inquisitive everyone was towards us."
Día de la Revolución Mexico - Nov 20 The Day of the Revolution (in Spanish, “Día de la Revolución”) is celebrated annually in Mexico on November 20, the anniversary of the 1910 start of the popular movement which led to the overthrow of dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori after 34 years of military rule but ushered in over a decade of civil war which ultimately led to the promulgation of the nation ’s constitution in 1917 and the 1920 ascension to the presidency of General Álvaro Obregón.
to the root of 'caecus', blind. Legends and hagiographies, mistaking it for a personal name, suggest fanciful etymologies. Among those cited by Chaucer in The Second Nun's Tale are: lily of heaven; the way for the blind; contemplation of heaven and the active life; as if lacking in blindness; a heaven for people to gaze upon.
Patroness of musicians
Cecilia's musical fame rests on a passing notice in her legend that she was beheaded and at the same time praised God, singing to Him, as she lay dying a martyr's death. She is frequently depicted playing an organ or other musical instrument. Musical societies and conservatories frequently have been named for St. Cecilia. Her feast day became an occasion for musical concerts and festivals that occasioned well-known poems by John Dryden and Alexander Pope, and music by Henry Purcell (Ode to St. Cecilia), George Frideric Handel (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, Alexander's Feast) and Benjamin Britten (Hymn to St. Cecilia), as well as Herbert Howells with text from a poem by W. H. Auden. Gerald Finzi's "For Saint Cecilia", Op. 30, was set to verses written by Edmund Blunden.
Use in contemporary music
The New York post-hardcore band Polar Bear Club refer to St. Cecilia in their song "Song To Persona". David Byrne and Brian Eno's song, The River, on the album, Everything that Happens Will Happen Today, also refers to St. Cecilia's Day. Paul Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, wrote the song "The Coast" which references her when a family of musicians taking refuge in the Church of St. Cecilia. There is also evidence that another of Paul Simon's songs was also in her honor, as "Cecilia" can be interpreted to refer to her and the frustration of song writing. English lyrics were written for a Swedish popular song "Min soldat" and released as "The Shrine of Saint Cecilia". It was recorded by a number of American close harmony and doo-wop groups during the 20th century like Willie Winfield and the HarpTones. Others were the Bon Aires and the Andrew Sisters. The song was first released in the U.S. in 1941. StalkForrest group (an early incarnation of Blue Oyster Cult) recorded a song called "St. Cecilia" on their album that was scrapped by Elektra records. The album finally saw a limited release in 2003 through Rhino Handmade under the title St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings. Then in 2007 Radioactive Records released the album (on cd and vinyl) as St. Cecilia: The California Album – Remastered.
Use in contemporary poetry
A poem by Australian poet A.D.Hope (1907–2000) "Moschus Moschiferus" is sub-titled 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day'. The poem is of 12 stanzas and was written in the 1960s.
John F. Kennedy's Assassination U.S. - Nov 22
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was fatally shot while traveling with his wife Jacqueline, Texas governor John Connally, and the latter's wife, Nellie, in a Presidential motorcade. The ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission, 1963–1964, concluded that the President was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone and that Jack Ruby acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. These conclusions were initially supported by the American public; however, polls conducted from 1966 to 2004 found that as many as 80 percent of Americans have suspected that there was a plot or cover-up. Contrary to the Warren Commission, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1979 concluded that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The HSCA found both the original FBI investigation and the Warren Commission Report to be seriously flawed. While agreeing with the Commission that Oswald fired all the shots which caused the wounds to Kennedy and Governor Connally, it stated that there were at least four shots fired and that there was a "high probability" that two gunmen fired at the President. No gunmen or groups involved in the conspiracy were identified by the committee, but the CIA, Soviet Union, organized crime and several other groups were said to be not involved, based on available evidence. The assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios.
Kinro Kansha no Hi Japan - Nov 23
Labor Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place annually on November 23. The law establishing the holiday cites it as an occasion for commemorating labor and production and giving one another thanks. Events are held throughout Japan, one such being the Nagano Labor Festival. The event encourages thinking about the environment, peace and human rights. It is not unusual for early grade elementary students to create drawings for the holiday and give them as gifts to local kōbans, or police stations.
History Labor Thanksgiving Day is the modern name for an an-
cient cereals (rice, barley/wheat, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, proso millet, and beans)harvest festival known as Niiname-sai believed to have been held as long ago as November of 678, Traditionally, it celebrated the year's hard work; during the Niiname-sai ceremony, the Emperor would dedicate the year's harvest to kami (spirits), and taste the rice for the first time. The modern holiday was established after World War II in 1948 as a day to mark some of the changes of the postwar constitution of Japan, including fundamental human rights and the expansion of workers rights. Currently Niiname-sai is held privately by the Imperial House of Japan while Labor Thanksgiving Day has become a national holiday. 1 May is also celebrated as Labor Day by many trade unions in Japan, which hold large rallies and marches in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
Day of National revival Azerbaijan Nov 17
On 17 November, Azerbaijani people celebrate National Revival Day. On that day in 1988, began a several day meeting on former Lenin square (now Azadlig [Freedome] square). This meeting was organized by students of the Republic. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting against Moscow’s policies toward Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The demonstrations were suppressed some 18 days later, but it was the beginning of new national movement which ended with decleration of independence by Azerbaijan from USSR.
President Day Marshall Islands - Nov 17
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has designated November 17 as President's Day, a day to remember the nation's first president, Amata Kabua. Kabua started his career as a school teacher and rose to become paramount chief of the Island of Majuro and head of state of the Marshall Islands. He served five terms as president of the Marshall Islands, beginning in 1979 when the country became independent and continuing until his death in 1996. There are no organized activities or events on this day.
Independence Day Lebanon Nov 22
minister, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence. French troops withdrew from Lebanon in 1946. Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975– 1990), the country experienced a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. Because of its financial power and diversity, Lebanon was known in its heyday as the "Switzerland of the East". It attracted large numbers of tourists, such that the capital Beirut was referred to as "Paris of the Middle East." At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. Until July 2006, Lebanon enjoyed considerable stability, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and increasing numbers of tourists poured into the nation's resorts. Then, the month-long 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon Lebanon officially the Republic of caused significant civilian death and Lebanon is a country in Western Asia, on heavy damage to Lebanon's civil infrathe eastern shore of the Mediterranean structure. Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north Due to its tightly regulated financial sysand east, and Israel to the south. tem and the highest gold reserve in the Lebanon's location at the crossroads of Middle East, Lebanese banks largely the Mediterranean Basin and the Araavoided the financial crisis of 2007– bian hinterland has dictated its rich his2010. In 2009, despite a global recestory, and shaped a cultural identity of s i o n , religious and ethnic diLebanon versity. enjoyed The earliest evidence of 9% ecocivilization in Lebanon n o m i c dates back more than growth 7,000 years—predating a n d recorded history. hosted the Lebanon was the home largest of the Phoenicians, a number of maritime culture that tourists in flourished for nearly its history; 2,500 years (3000–539 h o w e v e r, BC). Following the colby 2011, lapse of the Ottoman economic Empireafter World War I, g r o wth the five provinces that h a d comprise modern slowed to Lebanon were mandated below avto France. The French erage for expanded the borders of the region. Mount Lebanon, which Lebanon is was mostly populated by known for Maronite Catholics and its unique Druze, to include more efforts in Muslims. Lebanon the Middle gained independence in East to 1943, and established a guarantee unique political system, civil rights known as confessionaland freeism, a power-sharing mechanism based on re- Prince Bashir II "the Great" was dom to its ligious communities – Emir of Mt. Lebanon from 1788 until c i t i z e n s , ranking Bechara El Khoury who 1840. first in the became independent Middle Lebanon first President and Riad ElEast and 26th worldwide (out of 66 counSolh, who became Lebanon's first prime
tries) in the The World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index 2011.
The name Lebanon comes from the Semitic root lbn, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon. Upon his arrival to Lebanon around 47 BC, Julius Caesar proclaimed "Lub" "Na'an", meaning "White-Land" in Semitic. Occurrences of the name have been found in texts from the library of Ebla, which date to the third millennium BC, nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh (perhaps as early as 2100 BC). The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L.
Geology and Archaeology Lebanon is mainly composed of Jurassic
age rock overlaid in places with a Cretaceous layer, the oldest of which is sandstone, usually occurring at altitudes of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above sea level. Evidence of early habitation in Lebanon has been shown in flint industries dating to the Lower Paleolithic.
Evidence of an early settlement in Lebanon was found in Byblos, which is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and date back to earlier than 5000 BC. Archaeologists discovered remnants of prehistoric huts with crushed limestone floors, primitive weapons, and burial jars left by the Neolithic and Chalcolithic fishing communities who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea over 7,000 years ago. Lebanon was the homeland of the Phoenicians, a seafaring people that spread across the Mediterranean before the rise of Cyrus the Great. After two centuries of Persian rule, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great attacked and burned Tyre, the most prominent Phoenician city. Throughout the subsequent centuries leading up to recent times, the country became part of numerous succeeding empires, among them Egyptian Empire, Persian, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, Arab, Seljuk, Mamluk, Crusader, and the Ottoman Empire.
In 1590, Fakhr-al-Din II became successor to Korkmaz. He was a skilled politician and described as a pupil of Machiavelli. Fakhr-al-Din II adjusted to the lifestyles of the Druze, Christianity and Islam, according to his needs. He paid tribute to the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire and shared the spoils of war with his masters. Eventually, Fakhr-
al-Din II was appointed Sultan of Mt. Lebanon, with full authority. He was considered one of the greatest rulers of the region, also across the Middle of Lebanon. But, his enemies and governors angered the Ottoman Sultanate. Hence, a campaign, calling for the arrest of Fakhr-al-Din II, found the deposed leader in Istanbul, where he was executed by hanging. Shortly afterwards, the Emirate of Mt. Lebanon that lasted more than 500 years was replaced, instead of the emirate meteor.
French troops withdrew in 1946. Lebanon's unwritten National Pact of 1943 required that its president be Maronite Christian, its speaker of the parliament to be a Shiite Muslim, its prime minister be Sunni Muslim, and the deputy speaker of Parliament and the deputy prime minister be Greek Orthodox. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and turmoil (including a civil conflict in 1958) interspersed with prosperity built on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade.
Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years, until 1918 when the area became a part of the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon following World War I. By the end of the war, famine had killed an estimated 100,000 people in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, about 30% of the total population. On 1 September 1920, France reestablished Greater Lebanon after the Moutasarrifiya rule removed several regions belonging to the Principality of Lebanon and gave them to Syria. Lebanon was a largely Christian (mainly Maronite territory with some Greek Orthodox) enclaves but it also included areas containing many Muslims (including Druze). On 1 September 1926, France formed the Lebanese Republic. A constitution was adopted on 25 May 1926 establishing a democratic republic with a parliamentary system of government. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, while France was occupied by Germany. General Henri Dentz, the Vichy High Commissioner for Syria and Lebanon, played a major role in the independence of the nation. The Vichy authorities in 1941 allowed Germany to move aircraft and supplies through Syria to Iraqwhere they were used against British forces. The United Kingdom, fearing that Nazi Germany would gain full control of Lebanon and Syria by pressure on the weak Vichy government, sent its army into Syria and Lebanon. After the fighting ended in Lebanon, General Charles de Gaulle visited the area. Under political pressure from both inside and outside Lebanon, de Gaulle recognized the independence of Lebanon. On 26 November 1941 General Georges Catroux announced that Lebanon would become independent under the authority of the Free French government. Elections were held in 1943 and on 8 November 1943 the new Lebanese government unilaterally abolished the mandate. The French reacted by throwing the new government into prison. In the face of international pressure, the French released the government officials on 22 November 1943 and recognized the independence of Lebanon. The allies kept the region under control until the end of World War II. The last
In May 1948, Lebanon supported neighbouring Arab countries against Israel. While some irregular forces crossed the border and carried out minor skirmishes against Israel, it was without the support of the Lebanese government, and Lebanese troops did not officially invade.Lebanon agreed to support the forces with covering artillery fire, armored cars, volunteers and logistical support. On 5–6 June 1948, the Lebanese army captured Al-Malkiyya. This was Lebanon's only success in the war. During the war, some 100,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon, and Israel did not permit their return at the end of hostilities. Palestinians, previously prevented from working at all due to denial of citizenship, are now forbidden to work in some 20 professions after liberalization laws. Today, more than 400,000 refugees remain in limbo, about half in camps.
French mandate and independence:
1948 Arab-Israeli war:
Civil war and beyond:
In 1975, civil war broke out in Lebanon. The Lebanese Civil War lasted fifteen years, devastating the country's economy, and resulting in massive loss of human life and property. It is estimated that 150,000 people were killed and another 200,000 wounded. Some 900,000 people, representing one-fifth of the prewar population, were displaced from their homes. The war ended in 1990 with the signing of the Taif Agreement and parts of Lebanon were left in ruins.
On 14 February 2005, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a car bomb explosion near the Saint George Hotel in Beirut. Leaders of the March 14 Alliance, a pro-Western coalition, accused Syria of the attack because of its extensive military and intelligence presence in Lebanon, and the public rift between Hariri and Damascus over the Syrian-backed constitutional amendment extending President Lahoud's term in office. Others, namely the March 8 Alliance and Syrian officials, claimed that the assassination may have been executed by the Israeli Mossad in an attempt to destabilize the country. This incident triggered a series of
demonstrations, dubbed the 'Cedar Revolution,' which demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the establishment of an international commission to investigate the assassination. The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1559 on 7 April 2005, which called for an investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Preliminary findings of the investigation were officially published on 20 October 2005 in the Mehlis report, which cited indications that high-ranking members of the Syrian and Lebanese governments were involved in the assassination. Eventually, and under pressure from the West, Syria began withdrawing its 15,000-strong army troops from Lebanon. By 26 April 2005, all uniformed Syrian soldiers had already crossed the border back to Syria.The Hariri assassination marked the beginning of a series of assassination attempts that resulted in the loss of many prominent Lebanese figures.
The UN Investigation and the controversy:
In 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Mehlis as the Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other people in Beirut. In October 2005, Jund al-Sham threatened to
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict:
On 12 July 2006, after a few Israeli soldiers entered the Lebanese side of the border fence, Hezbollah captured two of them and killed many others. Israel responded by bombing Lebanon, causing damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure (including Beirut's airport). Beirut's southern suburb was razed to the ground by Israeli airplanes. The month-long conflict caused a significant loss of life; some 1,600 Lebanese and nearly 160 Israelis were killed in the conflict. In Israel, 3,970 Hezbollah rockets landed on northern Israel, landing many in urban areas and killing 44 civilians. The conflict officially ended on 14 August 2006, when the United Nations Security Council issued resolution 1701 ordering a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel and After Israel Declared Hezbollah's Victory. Goldwasser and Regev, two captured Israeli soldiers, were held for two years, without indication as to their health, until their remains were returned by Hezbollah to Israel on 16 July 2008 in a trade for all Lebanese prisoners, both dead and living. Hezbollah had told Israel, prior to the prisoner swap, that these soldiers were alive.
Nahr al-Bared conflict:
Nahr al-Bared (Arabic: درابلا رهن, literally: Cold River) is a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, 16 km from the city of Tripoli. Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendants live in and around the camp, which was named after the river that runs south of the camp. The camp was established in December 1949 by the League of Red Cross Societies in order to accommodate the Palestinian refugees suffering from the difficult winter conditions in the Beqaa Valley and the suburbs of Tripoli. The Lebanese Army is banned from entering all Palestinian camps under the 1969 Cairo Agreement. Late in the night of Saturday 19 May 2007, a building was surrounded by Picture of the 1983 Beirut barracks Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) in which a group of Fatah albombing Islam militants accused of taking part in a bank robbery earlier that slaughter Detlev Mehlis while he was day were hiding. The ISF attacked the heading the UN inquiry into the assassibuilding early on Sunday 20 May 2007, nation of Rafik Hariri, claiming that unleashing a day long battle between the Mehlis was connected with Israel and ISF and Fatah al-Islam militants. As a rethe CIA. sponse, members of Fatah al-Islam in The Mehlis report was presented to the Nahr al-Bared Camp attacked an army Secretary General on 20 October 2005. checkpoint, killing several soldiers in It implicated Lebanese and Syrian Militheir sleep. The army immediately retary Intelligence in the assassination, sponded by shelling the camp and and it accused Syrian officials, including Launching Rockets Bringing down Spenow Foreign Minister Muallem, of miscific Buildings. leading the investigation. A second reThe camp became the center of the port was submitted on 10 December fighting between the Lebanese Army and 2005. On 11 January 2006 Mehlis, upon Fatah al-Islam. It sustained heavy his own suggestion, was replaced by shelling while under siege.UNRWA estiSerge Brammertz.
mates the battle between the army and Islamic militant group Fatah al-Islam destroyed or rendered uninhabitable as much as 85 percent of homes in the camp and ruined infrastructure. The camp’s up to 40,000 residents were forced to flee, many of them sheltering in the already overcrowded Beddawi camp, 10 km south. At least 169 soldiers, 287 insurgents and 47 civilians were killed in the army’s battle with the al-Qaeda-inspired militants. Funds for the reconstruction of the area have been slow to materialize, and life for the displaced refugees is difficult.
2008 Internal Strife:
When Émile Lahoud's presidential term ended in October 2007, the opposition refused to vote for a successor unless a power-sharing deal was reached, leaving Lebanon without a president. On 9 May 2008, Hezbollah and Amal forces, sparked by a government declaration that Hezbollah's communications network was illegal, seized western Beirut in Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975–90 civil war. Moreover, the violence, decried by the Lebanese government as an attempted coup, threatened to escalate into another civil war. At least 62 people died in the resulting clashes between pro-government and opposition militias. On 21 May 2008, after five days of negotiation under Arab League mediation in Qatar, all major parties signed the Doha Agreement, which ended the fighting. Under the accord, both sides agreed to elect former army head Michel Suleiman president and establish a national unity government with a veto share for the opposition. This ended 18 months of political paralysis. The agreement was a victory for opposition forces, who received concessions regarding the composition of the cabinet, Hezbollah's telecommunications network, and the airport security chief, increasing their political clout.
2011 government collapse:
In early January 2011, the national unity government collapsed after all ten opposition ministers and one presidential appointee resigned due to tensions stemming from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which was expected to indict Hezbollah members in the assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri. The collapse plunged Lebanon into its worst political crisis since the 2008 fighting, and indicated further political gains for the Hezbollah-led opposition March 8 Alliance, which gained a parliamentary majority. The parliament elected Najib Mikati, the 8 March candidate, Prime Minister of Lebanon, making him responsible for forming a new government.