On this day March 21, 1937

18 people and a 7-yr-old girl in Ponce, Puerto Rico are gunned down by a police squad acting under orders of US-appointed PR Governor, Blanton C. Winship.

blanton_winship

Blanton Winship

The Ponce Massacre is a violent chapter in the history of Puerto Rico. On March 21, 1937 (Palm Sunday) a march was organized in the southern city of Ponce, Puerto Rico by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

The march, organized to commemorate the end of Slavery in 1873, was also formed to protest the incarceration of nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, as well as to demand Puerto Rico’s independence from the United States.

Days before, the march organizers applied for and received permits for a peaceful protest with the municipality of Ponce, under Jose Tormos Diego. Read More…

On this day March 20, 1883

Eleven countries signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, one of the first intellectual property treaties.

The Convention was one of the first intellectual property treaties. As a result of this treaty, intellectual property systems, including patents, of any contracting state are accessible to the nationals of other states party to the Convention. Read More…

On this day March 19, 2003

President George W. Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office to announce the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”

The Senate committee found that many of the administration’s pre-war statements about Iraqi WMD were not supported by the underlying intelligence.

Approximately 148,000 soldiers from the United States, 45,000 British soldiers, 2,000 Australian soldiers and 194 Polish soldiers from the special forces unit GROM were sent to Kuwait for the invasion. The invasion force was also supported by Iraqi Kurdish militia troops, estimated to number upwards of 70,000.

On this day March 18, 1789

Catherine Murphy was executed at Newgate prison on March 18, 1789, for coining. Her co-defendants, including her husband, were executed at the same time by hanging, but as a woman the law provided that she should be burnt at the stake.

She was brought out past the hanging bodies of eight men and made to stand on a foot high 10in square platform in front of the stake. She was secured to the stake with ropes and an iron ring. When she finished her prayers, the hangman piled faggots of straw around the stake and lit them.

According to testimony given by Sir Benjamin Hammett, then Sheriff of London, she was hanged before being burned. In part through his efforts, burning as a method of execution was abolished the next year.

On this day March 17, 2011

United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on the situation in Libya, proposed by France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom.

Ten Security Council members voted in the affirmative (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, and permanent members France, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Five (Brazil, Germany, and India, and permanent members China and Russia) abstained, with none opposed.

The resolution formed the legal basis for military intervention in the Libyan civil war, demanding “an immediate ceasefire” and authorizing the international community to establish a no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.

On 18 March, Muammar Gaddafi’s government announced that they would comply with the resolution and implement a ceasefire. However, it quickly became clear that no ceasefire had in fact been implemented.

Libyan opposition forces in Benghazi cheered and fired guns and fireworks into the air as the resolution was adopted. A few hours before issuing the resolution, Gaddafi warned the opposition with a speech saying, “We are coming tonight, and there will be no mercy”.

On this day March 16, 1968

The massacre My Lai took place in the hamlets of Mỹ Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ village in Vietnam.

Was a mass murder of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, by United States Army soldiers of “Charlie” Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division.

Most of the victims were women, children (including babies), and elderly people. Some of the bodies were later found to be mutilated.While 26 US soldiers were initially charged with criminal offenses for their actions at Mỹ Lai, only Second Lieutenant William Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, was convicted.

Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but only served three and a half years under house arrest.

On this day October 1, 1949

Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

毛泽东 Mao Zedong Mao Tse-tung

毛泽东 Mao Zedong Mao Tse-tung

Mao’s first goal was a total overhaul of the land ownership system, and extensive land reforms.

China’s old system of landlord ownership of farmland and tenant peasants was replaced with a distribution system in favor of poor/landless peasants.

Mao laid heavy emphasis on class struggle and theoretical work, and in 1953 began various campaigns to persecute former landlords and merchants, including the execution of more powerful landlords.

Drug trafficking in the country as well as Foreign investment were largely wiped out. Many buildings of historical and cultural significance as well as countless artifacts were destroyed by the Maoist regime, since they were considered reminders of the “feudal” past. Read More…

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