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This week in history
For the week of May. 20, 2018
Lazaro Cardenas (1895-1970): Mexican. Political and military leader. As president of Mexico from 1934 to 1940, Cardenas did more than any other Mexican chief executive to achieve the goals of the Mexican Revolution: redistributing land from large landowners to peasants, organizing confederations of workers and peasants, and taking control over foreign-owned industries. He emerged from retirement in 1943 to serve as defense minister and then chief of the army, retiring again in 1945.
Victoria Day observed: Canada. This public holiday in Canada commemorates the birth of Queen Victoria, who lived from 1819 to 1901 and ruled Britain from 1837 to 1901, during which time England became the worldis leading industrial power and the center of the British Empire.
Leo Baeck (1873-1956): Jewish German. Religious leader. Baeck was a leader of German Jews and of Progressive Judaism. He became head of the World Union of Progressive Judaism and a leader of Reform Judaism, the branch of the faith that emphasized Judaism as a system of ethical monotheism.
Declaration of the Bab: Baha`i. This holiday commemorates the Babis prediction in Shiraz, Persia, in 1844 of the imminent appearance of the new messenger of God.
Ines Mexia (1870-1938) : Mexican American. Botanical explorer. Mexia discovered her vocation at the age of 55, when she took a summer course on flowering plants at the University of California. Over the next 13 years she traveled throughout the southwestern states, to Alaska, and through much of South America, often living in primitive conditions as she gathered thousands of specimens, many of them previously unclassified, for academic institutions and government agencies. Her intrepid spirit and her careful preservation of plant materials in difficult field conditions won her the admiration of her colleagues.
James Francis (Jim) Thorpe (1888-1953): American Indian (Sauk and Fox). Athlete. Chosen as the best athlete of the first half of the century in an Associated Press poll, Jim Thorpe won the decathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games and went on to play professional baseball and then professional football, and to be named to the college and professional football Halls of Fame. Thorpe was forced to give up his Olympic medals when it was discovered that he had briefly played professional baseball, disqualifying him from competition as an amateur. This action was rescinded in 1983 by the International Olympic Committee, which retroactively recognized his amateur status and presented his heirs with duplicates of his medals.
Coleman A. Young (1918-1997): African American. Politician. Coleman Young became the first African American Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, in 1973 and served in that office for the next twenty years, the longest period of time that any mayor had served in that position. During his administrations, Detroit rebuilt much if its business area, created the Renaissance Center and fought tirelessly the social and economic problems facing many of Americais cities.
Ascension Day: Christian. This marks the anniversary of the day Christians believe that Jesus rose to heaven.
Ascension Day: Eastern Orthodox Christian. This marks the anniversary of the day Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus rose to heaven.
Africa Day: Zambia and Zimbabwe. In these and some other African states, this is a holiday commemorating independence from colonial rule.
Anniversary of the May Revolution: Argentina. This commemorates the beginning of the war of independence from Spain in 1810 by Jose de San Martin.
Independence Day: Argentina. This day commemorates Argentinais declaration of independence from Spain in 1816.
Independence Day: Jordan. This marks the day in 1946 that Jordan under the Hashemite Monarchy gained independence from Britain.
Maulid an-Nabi (Prophet Muhammadis Birthday): Islam. This occurs on the 12th day of the Muslim month of Rabi ul-Awwal and marks the birth of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam in 570 A.C.E.
Susette LaFlesche Tibbles (1854-1903): American Indian (Omaha). Activist. Daughter of a chief, Susette La Flesche joined with her father, her brother , and her future husband, journalist Thomas Tibbles, to bring national attention to the plight of the Poncas, a kindred tribe that had been forcibly removed to Indian territory. This is the anniversary of her death.
Dragon Boat Festival (Tuan-wu): China. This is a holiday in honor of Chiu Yuan, Chinais first major poet, who drowned himself in 278 B.C.E. to protest the injustice and corruption of his princeis government. In the traditional dragon boat races, teams from different towns compete in long boats with bows shaped like large dragon heads. The customary holiday food is a dumpling made of rice with a sweet filling wrapped in a bamboo leaf.