Monthly Archives: October 2012

IN REMEMBRANCE: 10-28-2012

RUSSELL MEANS, AMERICAN INDIAN ACTIVIST

United Press International

Russell Means, left, and Dennis Banks in 1973, when they led a protest at Wounded Knee, S.D.

By

Published: October 22, 2012

Russell C. Means, the charismatic Oglala Sioux who helped revive the warrior image of the American Indian in the 1970s with guerrilla-tactic protests that called attention to the nation’s history of injustices against its indigenous peoples, died on Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72.

Ed Andrieski/Associated Press

Protesting at a Columbus Day Parade in Denver in 2000.

The cause was esophageal cancer, which had spread recently to his tongue, lymph nodes and lungs, said Glenn Morris, Mr. Means’s legal representative. Told in the summer of 2011 that the cancer was inoperable, Mr. Means had already resolved to shun mainstream medical treatments in favor of herbal and other native remedies.

Strapping, and ruggedly handsome in buckskins, with a scarred face, piercing dark eyes and raven braids that dangled to the waist, Mr. Means was, by his own account, a magnet for trouble — addicted to drugs and alcohol in his early years and later arrested repeatedly in violent clashes with rivals and the law. He was tried for abetting a murder, shot several times, stabbed once and imprisoned for a year for rioting.

He styled himself a throwback to ancestors who resisted the westward expansion of the American frontier. With theatrical protests that brought national attention to poverty and discrimination suffered by his people, he became arguably the nation’s best-known Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

But critics, including many Indians, called him a tireless self-promoter who capitalized on his angry-rebel notoriety by running quixotic races for the presidency and the governorship of New Mexico, by acting in dozens of movies — notably in a principal role in “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992) — and by writing and recording music commercially with Indian warrior and heritage themes.

He rose to national attention as a leader of the American Indian Movement in 1970 by directing a band of Indian protesters who seized the Mayflower II ship replica at Plymouth, Mass., on Thanksgiving Day. The boisterous confrontation between Indians and costumed “Pilgrims” attracted network television coverage and made Mr. Means an overnight hero to dissident Indians and sympathetic whites.

Later, he orchestrated an Indian prayer vigil atop the federal monument of sculptured presidential heads at Mount Rushmore, S.D., to dramatize Lakota claims to Black Hills land. In 1972, he organized cross-country caravans converging on Washington to protest a century of broken treaties, and led an occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He also attacked the “Chief Wahoo” mascot of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, a toothy Indian caricature that he called racist and demeaning. It is still used.

And in a 1973 protest covered by the national news media for months, he led hundreds of Indians and white sympathizers in an occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., site of the 1890 massacre of some 350 Lakota men, women and children in the last major conflict of the American Indian wars. The protesters demanded strict federal adherence to old Indian treaties, and an end to what they called corrupt tribal governments.

In the ensuing 71-day standoff with federal agents, thousands of shots were fired, two Indians were killed and an agent was paralyzed. Mr. Means and his fellow protest leader Dennis Banks were charged with assault, larceny and conspiracy. But after a long federal trial in Minnesota in 1974, with the defense raising current and historic Indian grievances, the case was dismissed by a judge for prosecutorial misconduct.

Mr. Means later faced other legal battles. In 1976, he was acquitted in a jury trial in Rapid City, S.D., of abetting a murder in a barroom brawl. Wanted on six warrants in two states, he was convicted of involvement in a 1974 riot during a clash between the police and Indian activists outside a Sioux Falls, S.D., courthouse. He served a year in a state prison, where he was stabbed by another inmate.

Mr. Means also survived several gunshots — one in the abdomen fired during a scuffle with an Indian Affairs police officer in North Dakota in 1975, one that grazed his forehead in what he called a drive-by assassination attempt on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975, and one in the chest fired by another would-be assassin on another South Dakota reservation in 1976.

Undeterred, he led a caravan of Sioux and Cheyenne into a gathering of 500 people commemorating the centennial of Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s last stand at Little Big Horn in Montana in 1876, the nation’s most famous defeat of the Indian wars. To pounding drums, Mr. Means and his followers mounted a speaker’s platform, joined hands and did a victory dance, sung in Sioux Lakota, titled “Custer Died for Your Sins.”

Russell Charles Means was born on the Pine Ridge reservation on Nov. 10, 1939, the oldest of four sons of Harold and Theodora Feather Means. The Anglo-Saxon surname was that of a great-grandfather. When he was 3, the family moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where his father, a welder and auto mechanic, worked in wartime shipyards.

Marcy Nighswander/Associated Press

Russell Means in 1989.

Russell attended public schools in Vallejo and San Leandro High School, where he faced racial taunts, had poor grades and barely graduated in 1958. He drifted into delinquency, drugs, alcoholism and street fights. He also attended four colleges, including Arizona State at Tempe, but did not earn a degree. For much of the 1960s he rambled about the West, working as a janitor, printer, cowboy and dance instructor.

In 1969, he took a job with the Rosebud Sioux tribal council in South Dakota. Within months he moved to Cleveland and became founding director of a government-financed center helping Indians adapt to urban life. He also met Mr. Banks, who had recently co-founded the American Indian Movement. In 1970, Mr. Means became the movement’s national director, and over the next decade his actions made him a household name.

In 1985 and 1986, he went to Nicaragua to support indigenous Miskito Indians whose autonomy was threatened by the leftist Sandinista government. He reported Sandinista atrocities against the Indians and urged the Reagan administration to aid the victims. Millions in aid went to some anti-Sandinista groups, but a leader of the Miskito Indian rebels, Brooklyn Rivera, said his followers had not received any of that aid.

In 1987, Mr. Means ran for president. He sought the Libertarian Party nomination but lost to Ron Paul, a former and future congressman from Texas. In 2002, Mr. Means campaigned independently for the New Mexico governorship but was barred procedurally from the ballot.

Mr. Means retired from the American Indian Movement in 1988, but its leaders, with whom he had feuded for years, scoffed, saying he had “retired” six times previously. They generally disowned him and his work, calling him an opportunist out for political and financial gain. In 1989, he told Congress that there was “rampant graft and corruption” in tribal governments and federal programs assisting American Indians.

Mr. Means began his acting career in 1992 with “The Last of the Mohicans,” Michael Mann’s adaptation of the James Fenimore Cooper novel, in which he played Chingachgook opposite Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. Over two decades he appeared in more than 30 films and television productions, including “Natural Born Killers” (1994) and “Pathfinder” (2007). He also recorded CDs, including “Electric Warrior: The Sound of Indian America” (1993), and wrote a memoir, “Where White Men Fear to Tread” (1995, with Marvin J. Wolf).

He was married and divorced four times and had nine children. He also adopted many others following Lakota tradition. His fifth marriage, to Pearl Daniels, was in 1999, and she survives him.

Mr. Means cut off his braids a few months before receiving his cancer diagnosis. It was, he said in an interview last October, a gesture of mourning for his people. In Lakota lore, he explained, the hair holds memories, and mourners often cut it to release those memories, and the people in them, to the spirit world.

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.

SOURCE

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LINCOLN ALEXANDER, CANADIAN POLITICIAN

Gary Hershorn/Reuters

Lincoln Alexander in Toronto in 1986, when he was lieutenant governor of Ontario.

By

Published: October 22, 2012

  • Lincoln Alexander, the son of a hotel maid and railway porter who became Canada’s first black member of Parliament and first black cabinet minister, died on Friday in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 90.

David C. Onley, the lieutenant governor of Ontario, announced the death.

Mr. Alexander was also Canada’s first black lieutenant governor, but when he was elected to the House of Commons in 1968, he said he had tired of being called “the first Negro” anything. He sought to speak for all victims of injustice, he said. Blacks make up 2.5 percent of Canada’s population.

With his election to Parliament, he was one of the few urban members of the Progressive Conservative Party to buck the landside vote for Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals that year. In the Commons he became a leader in issues like immigration overhaul and urban renewal.

When the Conservatives gained power in 1979, he was named labor minister and promoted literacy education to enhance job preparation.

Mr. Alexander had a strong personality, bragging that nobody could beat him at “working a room” and roaring in Parliament that Liberals had “bamboozled” the public.

“I’ve never really been in awe of anyone,” he once said. “When you’re 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and good lookin’, you know, you’re not in awe of too many people.”

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander was born in Toronto on Jan. 21, 1922. His parents had come from the Caribbean. He was the only black in his classrooms through high school, except during the two years he lived in the Bronx, from age 15 to age 17. His mother had taken him and his brother there in a time of marital discord, but she sent him back to his father in Toronto when Lincoln began hanging out on New York streets and carrying a switchblade.

After working as a machinist and being a wireless operator for the Royal Canadian Air Force, he studied history and economics at McMaster University in Hamilton, graduating in 1949. He earned a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was a partner in one of Canada’s first interracial law firms before winning election to Parliament.

After five terms, Mr. Alexander became chairman of Ontario’s workmen’s compensation board, Ontario’s lieutenant governor, a largely ceremonial post, and chancellor of the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Mr. Alexander’s wife of 51 years, the former Yvonne Harrison, died in 1999. In 2011 he married Marni Beale, who survives him. A son, Keith, and two granddaughters are also survivors.

Among the places named for Mr. Alexander is the Lincoln Alexander Parkway in Hamilton, although he never learned to drive and feared traffic. He always sat “in the back, real low,” he said, “so I can’t see what’s going on.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 26, 2012

An obituary on Tuesday about Lincoln Alexander, the first black member of Canada’s Parliament and the country’s first black cabinet minister, referred incorrectly to Osgoode Hall Law School, from which he earned a law degree. Although it is now part of York University, it was not affiliated with York or any other university when Mr. Alexander was a student there.

SOURCE

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JEFF BLATNICK, 1984 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER IN WRESTLING

By

Published: October 24, 2012

  • Jeff Blatnick, who overcame cancer to win a gold medal for the United States in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Olympics, died on Wednesday in Schenectady, N.Y. He was 55.

United Press International

Jeff Blatnick, top, defeated Thomas Johansson to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Olympics.

The cause was complications of heart surgery, his wife, Lori, said.

Competing in the super heavyweight class at the Summer Games in Los Angeles, Blatnick, 6 feet 2 inches and 248 pounds, defeated Thomas Johansson of Sweden to take Olympic gold.

Blatnick and his teammate Steve Fraser, who competed in the 198-pound weight class at those Games, became the first Americans to win Olympic gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling, which allows holds only above the waist. Blatnick’s win came barely two years after his victory over cancer.

After retiring from wrestling in 1988, Blatnick worked as a motivational speaker and as a network television wrestling analyst. At his death, he was a varsity wrestling coach at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, north of Albany.

Jeffrey Carl Blatnick was born on July 26, 1957, in Niskayuna, N.Y., near Schenectady. He began wrestling in high school, becoming the state heavyweight champion in 1975. At Springfield College in Massachusetts, from which he earned a degree in physical education in 1979, he was a two-time N.C.A.A. Division II national champion and a three-time Division II all-American.

Blatnick was named to the Olympic Greco-Roman team in 1980; the United States boycotted the Moscow Games that year to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

In 1982 Blatnick developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the spleen and other organs. After surgery to remove his spleen, followed by radiation, he resumed training and made the 1984 Olympic team.

Blatnick, who lived in Ballston Lake, was inducted into the United States Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999. He was also a longtime commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts promotion company.

Besides his wife, the former Lori Nowak, Blatnick is survived by his mother, Angela; a brother, Andrew; a son, Ian; and a daughter, Niki.

Blatnick, who was chosen by his teammates to carry the American flag at the closing ceremony of the ’84 Games, was philosophical about his renown.

“If I didn’t have cancer, nobody would know who I was,” he told The Lancaster New Era, a Pennsylvania newspaper, in 2007. “Not a lot of wrestlers make the news.”

SOURCE

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WORLD DAY FOR AUDIOVISUAL HERITAGE: OCTOBER 27, 2012

 

WORLD DAY FOR AUDIOVISUAL HERITAGE

Quick Facts

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed on October 27 every year.

Local names

Name Language
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage English
Día Mundial del Patrimonio Audiovisual Spanish

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2012 Theme: “Audivisual Heritage Memory? The Clock is Ticking”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is annually observed on October 27 to build global awareness of issues on preserving audiovisual material, such as sound recordings and moving images.

cutout of 16mm motion picture projectorThe World Day for Audiovisual Heritage explores issues such as ways to preserve audiovisual material and documents. ©iStockphoto.com/Michael Kurtz

What do people do?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works with organizations, governments and communities promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on October 27 each year. Activities and events include:

  • Competitions, such as a logo contest, to promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
  • Local programs organized as a joint effort between national film archives, audiovisual societies, television or radio stations, and governments.
  • Panel discussions, conferences, and public talks on the importance of preserving important audiovisual documents.
  • Special film screenings.

Countries previously involved in observing the day included (but were not exclusive to) Canada, Denmark, Thailand, and the United States.

Public life

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Many sound recordings, moving images and other audiovisual material are lost because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Organizations such as UNESCO felt that more audiovisual documents would be lost if stronger and concerted international action was not taken. A proposal to commemorate a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was approved at a UNESCO general conference in 2005. The first World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was held on October 27, 2007.

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken. It also focuses on acknowledging the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.

Symbols

UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Oct 27 2007 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Mon Oct 27 2008 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Tue Oct 27 2009 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Wed Oct 27 2010 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Thu Oct 27 2011 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Sat Oct 27 2012 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Sun Oct 27 2013 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Mon Oct 27 2014 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance
Tue Oct 27 2015 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: REVISITING ORION’S STARS, MILKY WAY BLACK HOLE’S FLAREUP, AND MORE

News
Orion Nebula

NASA / ESA / M. Robberto / HST Orion Treasury Project Team

Bulletin at a Glance

Revisiting Orion’s Stellar Membership

October 22, 2012 | The Orion Nebula hosts a well studied star cluster, the gold standard by which astronomers measure all other clusters. New research suggests that this benchmark might need to be revised. > read more

Auroras Grace Stellar Skies

October 23, 2012 | Stunning auroras play in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and similar cascading curtains grace the skies of giant planets, brown dwarfs — and even small stars. > read more

Beads on a Galaxy-Scale String

October 24, 2012 | A new image from the Australia Telescope Compact Array shows a series of brilliant knots along the jet shooting from a supermassive black hole. While not the first sighting of a string of pearls gracing a galaxy’s jet, the new image is a striking look at a mysterious phenomenon. > read more

The Flares from Milky Way’s Black Hole

October 25, 2012 | Our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole emits regular, mysterious X-ray flares. For the first time, NASA’s newest sharp-eyed telescope has captured a high-energy view of the action. > read more

Fomalhaut b: An Exoplanet Redeemed

October 26, 2012 | New analysis suggests that Fomalhaut b — an exoplanet discovered in 2008 and disputed ever since — really does exist. > read more

Observing
Cassiopeia and Polaris

Sky & Telescope diagram

Tour November’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

October 21, 2012 | Mars is very low in the west after sunset, and Jupiter rises a couple hours later. But most of the planetary action is in the eastern sky before dawn. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance
The scene around 9 p.m.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

October 26, 2012 | The Moon shines with forthcoming winter sights low in the east, while summer stars still descend in the west — including Arcturus, now taking on its guise as the Ghost of Summer Suns. > read more

SkyWeek Television Show
View SkyWeek as seen on PBS click here to watch this week’s episodeSponsored by Meade Instruments

October 22 - 28, 2012 Powered by TheSkyX from Software Bisque

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WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY: OCTOBER 24, 2012

 

WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day falls on October 24 each year.

Local names

Name Language
World Development Information Day English
Día Mundial de Información sobre el Desarrollo Spanish

World Development Information Day 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

World Development Information Day 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

World Development Information Day activities attract the media, including television journalists. ©iStockphoto.com/sapandr

What do people do?

Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.

In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.

Public life

World Development Information Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.

This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN’s work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.

In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.

World Development Information Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Oct 24 1980 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 1981 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 24 1982 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 24 1983 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 24 1984 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 24 1985 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 24 1986 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 1987 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 24 1988 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 24 1989 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 24 1990 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 24 1991 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 1992 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 24 1993 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 24 1994 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 24 1995 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 24 1996 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 24 1997 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 1998 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 24 1999 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 24 2000 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 24 2001 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 24 2002 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 24 2003 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 24 2004 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 24 2005 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 24 2006 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 24 2007 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 24 2008 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 2009 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 24 2010 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 24 2011 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 24 2012 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 24 2013 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 24 2014 World Development Information Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 24 2015 World Development Information Day United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: OCTOBER 17, 2012

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is annually observed on October 17 to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty worldwide.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty English
Día Internacional para la Erradicación de la Pobreza Spanish

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year since 1993. It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty promotes awareness of the need to eradicate poverty worldwide. ©iStockphoto.com/VikramRaghuvanshi

What do people do?

Various non-government organizations and community charities support the Day for the Eradication of Poverty by actively calling for country leaders and governments to make the fight against poverty a central part of foreign policy. Other activities may include signing “Call to action” petitions, organizing concerts and cultural events, and holding interfaith gatherings that may include a moment of silence.

Public life

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to October 17, 1987. On that date, more than 100,000 people gathered in Paris, France, to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. Since that moment, individuals and organizations worldwide observed October 17 as a day to renew their commitment in collaborating towards eradicating poverty. In December, 1992, the UN General Assembly officially declared October 17 as the date for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (resolution 47/196 of December 22, 1992).

In December 1995, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997–2006), following the Copenhagen Social Summit. At the Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half the number of people living in extreme poverty by the year 2015.

Symbols

The United Nations Postal Administration previously issued six commemorative stamps and a souvenir card on the theme “We Can End Poverty”.  These stamps and the souvenir card featured drawings or paintings of people, particularly children, working together in the fight against poverty. Many of these images used strong colors and contrasts.  These stamps resulted from an art competition where six designs were selected from more than 12,000 children from 124 countries.

Note: Although the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first officially celebrated by the UN in 1993, many people around the world celebrated the day annually on October 17 since 1987.

External Links

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Oct 17 1987 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Mon Oct 17 1988 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Tue Oct 17 1989 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Wed Oct 17 1990 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Thu Oct 17 1991 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sat Oct 17 1992 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sun Oct 17 1993 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Mon Oct 17 1994 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Tue Oct 17 1995 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Thu Oct 17 1996 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Fri Oct 17 1997 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sat Oct 17 1998 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sun Oct 17 1999 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Tue Oct 17 2000 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Wed Oct 17 2001 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Thu Oct 17 2002 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Fri Oct 17 2003 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sun Oct 17 2004 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Mon Oct 17 2005 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Tue Oct 17 2006 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Wed Oct 17 2007 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Fri Oct 17 2008 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sat Oct 17 2009 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sun Oct 17 2010 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Mon Oct 17 2011 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Wed Oct 17 2012 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Thu Oct 17 2013 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Fri Oct 17 2014 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sat Oct 17 2015 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance

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WORLD FOOD DAY: OCTOBER 16, 2012

 

WORLD FOOD DAY

Quick Facts

World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 each year.

Local names

Name Language
World Food Day English
Día Mundial de la Alimentación Spanish

World Food Day 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

World Food Day 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Food Day is annually held on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year has a different theme.

World Food Day helps raise people’s awareness of problems in food supply and distribution. ©iStockphoto.com/fajean

What do people do?

Many events are organized on and around World Food Day. On and around October 16, a wide-ranging program is organized at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. The program is aimed at leaders of political and non-political organizations at all levels and at increasing press attention on topical issues around food supply. Other UN organizations and universities around the world organize symposia, conferences, workshops and presentations of particular issues around food production, distribution and security. In addition, special initiatives, such as the “International Year of Rice” in 2004 and the “International Year of the Potato” in 2008 were launched.

Across the globe, many different events are organized to raise awareness of problems in food supply and distribution and to raise money to support projects to aid in the cultivation of food plants and the distribution of food. An example of this is TeleFood, which funds micro projects to help small-scale farmers at the grassroots level. The projects aim to help farmers be more productive and improve both local communities’ access to food and farmers’ cash income. Fundraising events include sponsored sports events, charity auctions, concerts, and marches.

Public life

World Food Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The FAO aims to raise levels of nutrition across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. It also provides assistance to countries changing their agricultural policy, to aid regions out of famine situations, to help implement appropriate technology and facilitate a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.

At the FAO’s 20th session in Rome, Italy, in November 1979 the conference called for the observance of World Food Day on October 16, 1981, and on the same date each year. The UN General Assembly ratified this decision on December 5, 1980, and urged governments and international, national and local organizations to contribute to observing World Food Day. World Food Day has been held each year since 1981.

Symbols

The FAO’s symbol consists of a circle. Inside the circle is a graphical image of an ear of wheat and the letters F, A and O. The FAO’s motto “fiat panis” (let there be bread) appears under the ear of wheat. The first version of this design was a badge distributed to delegates at an FAO conference in Copenhagen in 1946. The current version was registered with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property on July 1, 1964, and has been used widely since about 1977.

A World Food Day official symbol consists of three abstract human figures harvesting, distributing and sharing food. The figures are depicted in a bluish-grey color and the food in an orange shade. This draws attention to the food. The whole image aims to bring attention to the necessity and joy of growing, harvesting and distributing food.

World Food Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Oct 16 1981 World Food Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 16 1982 World Food Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 16 1983 World Food Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 16 1984 World Food Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 16 1985 World Food Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 16 1986 World Food Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 16 1987 World Food Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 16 1988 World Food Day United Nations observance
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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN: OCTOBER 15, 2012

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF RURAL WOMEN

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Rural Women is annually celebrated on October 15 to recognize rural women’s role in supporting their communities.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Rural Women English
Día Internacional de las Mujeres Rurales Spanish

International Day of Rural Women 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

International Day of Rural Women 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors the role of rural women on October 15 each year. It recognizes rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development worldwide.

A fair trade coffee farmer picking organic coffee beans from the tree.Rural women are honored worldwide on the International Day of Rural Women. ©iStockphoto.com/ranplett

What do people do?

Many people, government agencies, community groups and non-government associations celebrate the International Day of Rural Women on October 15 every year. Television, radio, online, and print media broadcast or publish special features to promote the day. Panel discussions, research papers, and conferences are also held to review and analyze rural women’s role in society, particularly in areas such as economic improvement and agricultural development.

Other activities and events held to promote the day include:

  • Global exchange programs for women in agriculture.
  • The launch of fundraising projects to support rural women.
  • Expos and workshops showcasing rural women’s contribution to their societies.
  • Strategic meetings to present issues on topics, such as empowering women farmers, to policy makers.

Some world leaders inspired by this initiative previously proclaimed October 15 as International Rural Women’s Day, drawing special focus on the role of rural women in their countries.

Public life

The International Day of Rural Women is a global observance and is not a public holiday.

Background

The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on October 15, 2008. This day recognizes the role of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

The idea of honoring rural women with a special day was put forward at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995. It was suggested that October 15 be celebrated as “World Rural Women’s Day,” which is the eve of World Food Day, to highlight rural women’s role in food production and food security. “World Rural Women’s Day” was previously celebrated across the world for more than a decade before it was officially a UN observance.

Symbols

Images of rural woman from different parts of the world are shown in news features and promotional material, including posters, pamphlets, newsletters and other publications on the International Day of Rural Women.

The UN logo is also associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in black against a white background.

Note: The International Day of Rural Women was first celebrated as an official UN observance on October 15, 2008. However, many people around the world celebrated this day in previous years.

International Day of Rural Women Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Wed Oct 15 2008 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Thu Oct 15 2009 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Fri Oct 15 2010 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Sat Oct 15 2011 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Mon Oct 15 2012 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Tue Oct 15 2013 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Wed Oct 15 2014 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Thu Oct 15 2015 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance

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