This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
March 8 is the 67th day of the year (68th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 298 days remaining until the end of the year.
International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on the 8th of March every year. It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.
Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until recently housed Ungdomshuset). An ‘International Women’s Day’ was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19. In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the united Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in Russia proved to be the first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”
The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty. In many countries, International Women’s Day is an occasion to honor and praise women for their accomplishments. In 2012, Oxfam America is inviting people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts make a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2012, the ICRC is calling for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict. The vast majority of people who go missing in connection with conflict are men. As well as the anguish of not knowing what has happened to the missing person, many of these women face economic and practical difficulties. The ICRC underlines the duty of parties to a conflict to search for the missing and provide information for the families.
1618 – Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion.
1655 – John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in Britain’s North American colonies.
1702 – Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
1722 – The Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.
1775 – An anonymous writer, though by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes “African Slavery in America,” the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.
1777 – Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth, sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, mutiny in the town of Ochsenfurt.
1782 – Gnadenhutten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.
1817 – The New York Stock Exchange is founded.
1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.
1862 – American Civil War: The iron-clad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) is launched at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
1868 – Sakai incident: Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai near Osaka.
1910 – French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot’s license.
1911 – International Women’s Day is launched in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.
1916 – World War I: A British force unsuccessfully attempts to relieve the siege of Kut (present-day Iraq) in the Battle of Dujaila.
1917 – International Women’s Day protests in St. Petersburg mark the beginning of the February Revolution (so named because it was February on the Julian calendar).
1917 – The U.S. Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.
1920 – The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, is established.
1921 – Spanish Premier Eduardo Dato Iradier is assassinated while exiting the parliament building in Madrid.
1924 – The Castle Gate mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.
1936 – Daytona Beach Road Course holds their first oval stock car race.
1937 – Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.
1942 – World War II: The Dutch surrender to Japanese forces on Java.
1949 – Mildred Gillars (“Axis Sally”) is condemned to prison on count of treason
1957 – Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.
1957 – The 1957 Georgia Memorial to Congress, which petitions the U.S. Congress to declare the ratification of the 14th & 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution null and void, is adopted by the state of Georgia.
1957 – Ghana joins the United Nations.
1963 – The Ba’ath Party comes to power in Syria in a Coup d’etat by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.
1966 – A bomb planted by young Irish protesters destroys Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin.
1974 – Charles de Gaulle Airport opens in Paris, France.
1978 – The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.
1979 – Philips demonstrates the Compact Disc publicly for the first time.
1983 – President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union an “evil empire”.
1985 – A failed assassination attempt on Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, Lebanon, kills at least 45 and injures 175 others.
1999 – The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.
2004 – A new constitution is signed by Iraq’s Governing Council.
2010 – The stolen body of Tassos Papadopoulos, 5th President of Cyprus, is discovered in a cemetery near the capital.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Earliest day on which Canberra Day can fall, while March 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Monday in March. (Australian Capital Territory)
* Earliest day on which Commonwealth Day can fall, while March 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Monday in March. (Commonwealth of Nations)
* Earliest day on which Passion Sunday can fall, while April 11 is the latest; observed on the fifth Sunday of Lent. (Christianity)
* Revolution Day (Syria)