Developments

Buddhist immolates himself in protest


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Buddhist monk Quang Duc publicly burns himself to death in a plea for President Ngo Dinh Diem to show “charity and compassion” to all religions.

Diem, a Catholic who had been oppressing the Buddhist majority, remained stubborn despite continued Buddhist protests and repeated U.S. requests to liberalize his government’s policies.

More Buddhist monks immolated themselves during ensuing weeks. Madame Nhu, the president’s sister-in-law, referred to the burnings as “barbecues” and offered to supply matches.

In November 1963, South Vietnamese military officers assassinated Diem and his brother during a coup.

Buddhist monk Quang Duc publicly burns himself to death in a plea for President Ngo Dinh Diem to show “charity and compassion” to all religions.

A force of 4,000 South Vietnamese and 2,000 Cambodian soldiers battle 1,400 communist troops for control of the provincial capital of Kompong Speu, 30 miles southwest of Phnom Penh. At 50 miles inside the border, it was the deepest penetration that South Vietnamese forces had made into Cambodia since the incursion began on April 29.

The town was captured by the communists on June 13, but retaken by Allied forces on June 16. South Vietnamese officials reported that 183 enemy soldiers were killed, while 4 of their own died and 22 were wounded during the fighting. Civilian casualties in Kompong Speu were estimated at 40 to 50 killed.

Royal history is made in Ottawa on Jan. 19, 1943, when Dutch Princess Juliana gives birth to her daughter Margriet Francisca at the city’s Civic Hospital.
The first royal baby to ever be born in North America, the historic birth helped forge a bond between Canada and the Netherlands that endures to this day.

Crown Princess Juliana and her two small daughters arrived in Canada in June 1940, a month after they fled the Netherlands in the wake of the German army invasion.

The heir to the Dutch throne, Juliana lived in exile in Ottawa for four years and became a fixture in the capital city’s social circles.

After learning of Juliana’s pregnancy, the Canadian government proclaimed the hospital’s maternity suite “extraterritorial” so that the royal baby would have full Dutch citizenship. Princess Juliana and her daughters remained in Ottawa until May 1945, when the Netherlands was liberated from German occupation.

On May 5, the commander of the occupation forces surrendered to the 1st Canadian Army Corps.

Within days, Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana returned to their homeland. Beatrix, Irene, and Margriet followed a few months later. To express her gratitude for Canada’s hospitality, Juliana donated 100,000 tulip bulbs to the City of Ottawa in 1945 and promised another 20,000 bulbs every year of her life. Her one request was that some of the flowers be allowed to bloom on the grounds of the Civic Hospital, where her daughter was born.

Of course, whether or not this actually took place is still subject to debate, but nevertheless, there are certainly elements of truth in it.

For instance, some historians have suggested that the Trojan Horse was, in fact, a colossal battering ram shaped like a horse, in much the same manner as the Assyrians of the time employed powerful siege weaponry with animalistic names and features.

Others have suggested that the walled city’s defenses were actually destroyed by an earthquake, and there is archaeological evidence that supports this theory too. Then there is the question of Troy itself.

In Ancient Greece, it was thought that the city stood somewhere around the Dardanelles, in Turkey, and that the war took place in the 12th or 13th century BCE.

Then for a long time after, it was thought that the city probably never existed.

However, since the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann excavated the site of Troy VII in Turkey, it is widely accepted that it is a real place. In fact, Troy VII is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As for the date 11 June 1184 BCE, it is based on the calculations of Eratosthenes, a famous Greek scholar from the third century BCE.

Eratosthenes was a man of many talents: astronomer, athlete, geographer (he actually invented the word and concept of “geography”), mathematician, music theorist, poet and just about everything else. He is also thought to be the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth, the distance from the Earth to the Sun, the use of the leap day… and the practice of scientific chronology.

June 11, 1956: Kendrick Cole had been dismissed from his job with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the terms of the federal Loyalty Program (created by President Harry Truman on March 21, 1947).

He appealed, and in Cole v. Young the Supreme Court ruled that his dismissal was improper because his job as a food and drug inspector with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare did not involve sensitive national security matters.

During the summer of 1966, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) branches in Birmingham and Pittsburgh held peaceful protests outside of the US Steel Corporation to bring awareness to issues of employment discrimination.

On June 11, 1966, dozens participated in an NAACP-organized march demanding an end to discriminatory labor practices at US Steel in Birmingham.

The NAACP also filed more than 200 complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of US Steel’s African-American employees alleging unfair hiring and promoting practices.

Complaints included allegations that the company promoted white workers over more senior Afric (BH, see June 13; Labor, see December 15, 1967)