Monthly Archives: November 2016

WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2016

Universal Children’s Day

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Universal Children’s Day promotes the welfare of and understanding between children.
©iStockphoto.com/shironosov

What Do People Do?

Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.

In some areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children’s rights. These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or breastfeeding.

Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal Children’s Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal Children’s Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar observance, National Child’s Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

Public Life

Universal Children’s Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate this day.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

Symbols

Universal Children’s Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN’s blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

Universal Children’s Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat Nov 20 2010 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2012 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2013 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2015 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2017 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2018 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2019 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2020 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
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WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS: NOVEMEBR 20, 2016

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is held on the third Sunday of November each year to remember those who died or were injured from road crashes and the plight of their loved ones who must cope with the consequences of their deaths or injuries.

Road victims are remembered on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
©iStockphoto.com/Slobo Mitic

What Do People Do?

Remembrance services and flower-laying ceremonies are held in memory of dead road victims around the world on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Police officers, associations supporting families of road victims, governments and communities unite families and friends of those who died or were injured from road traffic crashes in promoting the day through various activities.

These activities include: media campaigns and coverage;  websites dedicated to the day; celebrity involvement; information distribution via the internet, posters and leaflets; DVD presentations on road traffic crashes; advocacy messages from world leaders; moments of silence; seminars and workshops; exhibitions and displays of photographs of injuries and road crash scenes; and marches or processions. These activities occur in many countries in nearly every continent.

A book, titled World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims: a guide for organizers, provides practical guidance to people or groups who organize events related to this day. WHO, the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and RoadPeace worked together in developing this book.

Public Life

The UN’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, road crashes are the leading cause of death in people aged between five to 34 years in the United States. It is the leading cause of death globally for children and young people aged between 10 to 24 years, and the third leading cause of death globally among people aged between 30 to 44 years. Every six seconds someone is killed or injured on the world’s roads, including drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was first observed by RoadPeace in 1993 and has since been held by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in many countries. Since then it has been observed and promoted worldwide by several non-governmental organizations, including the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and its associated organizations. On October 26, 2005, the United Nations endorsed it as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year.

Symbols

RoadPeace uses an image of red, bleeding flower on a black background with the words “Remember Me” underneath the flower to promote the day. WHO’s emblem is also found in promotions for the day. The emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes.

Note: Although the day became an official UN day on the third Sunday of November in 2005, many people around the world celebrated the day since 1993.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sun Nov 21 2010 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 18 2012 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 17 2013 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 16 2014 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 15 2015 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 19 2017 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 18 2018 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 17 2019 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance
Sun Nov 15 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims United Nations observance

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AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2016

Africa Industrialization Day

Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. It is a time when governments and other organizations in many African countries examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process. It is also an occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialization in Africa.

Africa Industrialization Day themes have focused on business and technology in previous times.
©iStockphoto.com/bonnie jacobs

What Do People Do?

Various events are held to mark Africa Industrialization Day. Many of these involve local and national leaders and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations. A special effort is made to unite leaders or representatives of as many African countries as possible to stimulate discussion on the industrialization of Africa and assess the progress made in the past year. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) plays an important role in coordinating events on or around Africa Industrialization Day.

In addition, statements are delivered at UNIDO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. These statements are from leaders from the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the UN. It is hoped that these parties will raise global consciousness of the importance of industrialization in Africa and remind the international community that more than 30 of the world’s 50 least developed countries are located in Africa

Public Life

Africa Industrialization Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 1989. During this session, November 20 was declared to be Africa Industrialization Day. On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly also proclaimed this date to be Africa Industrialization Day. It was first observed on November 20, 1990.

Each year events around Africa Industrialization Day concentrate on a particular theme. In the past the themes have been: “New information and communication technologies” (2002); “Acceleration of Africa’s integration in the global economy through effective industrialization and market access” (2003); “Strengthening productive capacity for poverty reduction within the framework of NEPAD” (2004); “Generating African competitiveness for sustainable market access” (2005); “Reducing poverty through sustainable industrial development” (2006); “Technology and innovation for industry: investing in people is investing in the future” (2007); and “Business through technology” (2008).

Symbols

A common symbol of Africa Industrialization Day is a geographical representation of the continent, including the island of Madagascar. Flags of international organizations in Africa, such as the African Union, or a selection of national flags may also be displayed.

2016 theme: “Financing industrialization in Africa: Challenges and winning strategies”

Africa Industrialization Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat Nov 20 2010 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2012 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2013 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2015 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2017 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2018 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2019 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2020 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-20-2016

LEON RUSSELL, HIT MAKER AND MUSICIAN’S MUSICIAN

Leon Russell performing in the early 1970s. Credit Robert Knight Archive/Redferns, via Getty Images

Leon Russell, the longhaired, scratchy-voiced pianist, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who moved from playing countless recording sessions to making hits on his own, died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 74.

His website said he had died in his sleep but gave no specific cause.

Mr. Russell’s health had incurred significant setbacks in recent years. In 2010, he underwent surgery for a brain fluid leak and was treated for heart failure. In July he had a heart attack and was scheduled for further surgery, according to a news release from the historical society of Oklahoma, his home state.

With his trademark top hat, hair well past his shoulders, a long, lush beard, an Oklahoma drawl and his fingers splashing two-fisted barrelhouse piano chords, Mr. Russell cut a flamboyant figure in the early 1970s. He led Joe Cocker’s band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, appeared at George Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh in New York City and had numerous hits of his own, including “Tight Rope.”

Many of his songs became hits for others, among them “Superstar” (written with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters, “Delta Lady” for Mr. Cocker and “This Masquerade” for George Benson. More than 100 acts have recorded “A Song for You,” which Mr. Russell said he wrote in 10 minutes.

The music Mr. Russell made on his own put a scruffy, casual surface on rich musical hybrids, interweaving soul, country, blues, jazz, gospel, pop and classical music. Like Willie Nelson, who collaborated with him, and Ray Charles, whose 1993 recording of “A Song for You” won a Grammy Award, Mr. Russell made a broad, sophisticated palette of American music sound down-home and natural.

The cover of Mr. Russell’s 1973 album “Leon Live.”

After his popularity had peaked in the 1970s, he shied away from self-promotion and largely set aside rock, though he kept performing. But he was prized as a musicians’ musician, collaborating with Elvis Costello and Elton John, among others. In 2011, after making a duet album with Mr. John, “The Union,”he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, Mr. John called him “the master of space and time”and added, “He sang, he wrote and he played just how I wanted to do it.”

Leon Russell was born Claude Russell Bridges in Lawton, Okla., on April 2, 1942. An injury to his upper vertebrae at birth caused a slight paralysis on his right side that would shape his music: A resulting delayed reaction time in his right hand forced him to think ahead about what it would play. “It gave me a very strong sense of duality,” he said last year in a Public Radio International interview.

He started classical piano lessons when he was 4, played baritone horn in his high school marching band and also learned trumpet. At 14 he started gigging in Oklahoma; since it was a dry state at the time, he could play clubs without being old enough to drink. Soon after he graduated from high school, Jerry Lee Lewis hired him and his band to back him on tour for two months.

He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950s and found club work and then studio work; he learned to play guitar, and he began calling himself Leon Russell, taking the name Leon from a friend who had lent him an ID so he could play California club dates while underage.

His music-making drew on both his classical training and his Southern roots, and he played everything from standards to surf-rock, from million-sellers to pop throwaways. He was glimpsed on television as a member of the Shindogs, the house band for the prime-time rock show “Shindig!” in the mid-1960s, and was in the house band for the 1964 concert film, “The T.A.M.I. Show.”

In 1967, he built a home studio and began working with the guitarist Marc Benno as the Asylum Choir, which released its debut album in 1968. He also started a record label, Shelter, in 1969 with the producer Denny Cordell. Mr. Russell drew more recognition as a co-producer, arranger and musician on Mr. Cocker’s second album, “Joe Cocker!,” which included Mr. Russell’s song “Delta Lady.”

Leon Russell performing in 2010 in New York. Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times

Mr. Russell also released his first solo album in 1970; it included “A Song for You” and had studio appearances from Mr. Cocker, Eric Clapton, two members of the Beatles and three from the Rolling Stones. But Mr. Russell’s second album, “Leon Russell and the Shelter People,” fared better commercially: It reached No. 17 on the Billboard chart.

Mr. Russell had his widest visibility as the 1970s began. He played the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden with Mr. Harrison, Bob Dylan and Mr. Clapton; he produced and played on Mr. Dylan’s songs “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and “Watching the River Flow.” He toured with the Rolling Stones and with his own band.

His third album, “Carney,” went to No. 2 with the hit “Tight Rope”; it also featured his own version of “This Masquerade.” In 1973, his “Leon Live” album reached the Top 10, and he recorded his first album of country songs under the pseudonym Hank Wilson. The fledgling Gap Band, also from Oklahoma, backed Mr. Russell in 1974 on his album “Stop All That Jazz.” His 1975 album “Will o’ the Wisp” included what would be his last Top 20 pop hit, “Lady Blue.”

But he continued to work. He made duet albums with his wife at the time, Mary Russell (formerly Mary McCreary). And he collaborated with Mr. Nelson in 1979 on “One for the Road,” a double LP of pop and country standards. It sold half a million copies.

That same year he married Janet Lee Constantine, who survives him, as do six children: Blue, Teddy Jack, Tina Rose, Sugaree, Honey and Coco.

Mr. Russell delved into various idioms over the next decades, mostly recording for independent labels. He toured and recorded with the New Grass Revival, adding his piano and voice to their string-band lineup. He made more country albums as Hank Wilson. He recorded blues, Christmas songs, gospel songs and instrumentals.

In 1992, the songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby, who had long cited Mr. Russell’s influence, sought to rejuvenate Mr. Russell’s rock career by producing the album “Anything Can Happen,”but it drew little notice. Mr. Russell continued to tour for die-hard fans, who called themselves Leon Lifers.

A call in 2009 from Mr. John, whom Mr. Russell had supported in the early 1970s, led to the making of “The Union” — which also had guest appearances by Neil Young and Brian Wilson — and a 10-date tour together in 2010. Mr. Russell also sat in on Mr. Costello’s 2010 album, “National Ransom.” Then he bought a new bus and returned to the road, on his own.

Correction: November 13, 2016
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this obituary misstated the day Mr. Russell died. It was Sunday, not Saturday. It also misstated the year of his birth. It is 1942, not 1941.
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DR. DENTON COOLEY, WHOSE PIONEERING HEART SURGERY SET OFF A 40-YEAR MEDICAL FEUD
Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1969 after becoming the first surgeon to implant a totally artificial heart in a patient. Credit Ralph Morse/Time Life Pictures, via Getty Images

Dr. Denton A. Cooley, the renowned surgeon who was the first to implant a totally artificial heart in a patient and in the process set off one of medicine’s greatest feuds, died on Friday at his home in Houston. He was 96.

The Texas Heart Institute, which Dr. Cooley founded, confirmed his death. He stopped performing surgery on his 87th birthday but had never retired, remaining active at the institute as its president emeritus. The institute said he last showed up there on Monday.

A former college basketball star who was a towering presence in the operating room, Dr. Cooley had by age 50 performed more than 5,000 cardiac operations, including 17 heart transplants.

For more than six decades his name was inextricably linked to that of his mentor and former partner, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the developer of the artificial heart. Their pioneering techniques for surgery on the heart and blood vessels have helped tens of thousands of patients.

But those advances were overshadowed on April 4, 1969, when Dr. Cooley, working independently of Dr. DeBakey, performed his groundbreaking implantation without Dr. DeBakey’s authorization. At the time, Dr. DeBakey and a medical team were developing the artificial heart — it was still an experimental device — at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. DeBakey felt betrayed. Suddenly his protégé was his archrival. So began a feud that would last 40 years, reveal much about the personalities and ambitions of the two renowned surgeons and end only a year before Dr. DeBakey’s death in 2008.

Dr. Cooley long defended his action as a doctor’s obligation to do whatever is necessary to save a patient’s life. “If you are a ship out in the ocean and someone throws you a life preserver, you don’t look at it to see if it has been approved by the federal government,” he said in an interview for this obituary.

Haskell Karp, the recipient of the first completely artificial heart, resting in his recovery room after the surgery, performed by Dr. Denton Cooley, in 1969. A biomedical engineer, John Jurgens, is at right. Mr. Karp lived three days with the device. Credit Bettmann/Corbis

The implantation was performed at the Texas Heart Institute; the patient was Haskell Karp, 47, from Skokie, Ill. About 16 months earlier, Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard had performed the world’s first human heart transplant in South Africa, a milestone that led many other surgeons to try the operation. One was Dr. Cooley, a professor of surgery at Baylor and the chief of cardiovascular surgery at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, who in 1968 performed what he claimed was the first successful heart transplant in the United States.

The rush to transplantation led researchers like Dr. DeBakey to renew their attempts to develop an artificial heart to keep patients alive until a donor heart could be found. He was believed to be the first to perform surgery using a partial artificial heart, known as a ventricular assist device.

But Mr. Karp’s failing heart could not pump enough blood. When efforts to repair it failed, Dr. Cooley enlisted Dr. Liotta to deliver the artificial heart from Dr. DeBakey’s laboratory and, with a 16-person medical team in a three-hour operation, removed Mr. Karp’s heart and implanted the artificial one, a half-pound device made of plastic and Dacron connected by tubes to a bedside control console.

The device worked for 64 hours, longer than it had in animal tests, while a frantic search began for a donor heart. When one was found, Dr. Cooley performed the operation. The new heart sustained Mr. Karp for another 32 hours, until he died of pneumonia.

(The first totally artificial heart intended for permanent use, the Jarvik 7, was implanted in Dr. Barney B. Clark at the University of Utah in 1982. He survived for 112 days. Since then, the federal government has approved the use of partial artificial hearts.)

Dr. DeBakey, who was Baylor’s chancellor, accused Dr. Cooley of committing an unethical and “childish” act to claim a medical first. He contended further that in using a device that was still under development, he had broken federal rules and jeopardized Baylor’s federal research support.

Dr. Cooley said that use of the device to save a patient’s life, even experimentally, did not violate the grant contract. He later maintained the operation was also an act of patriotism: He did not want the Russians to be the first to implant a total artificial heart and beat the United States as they had with their early space program.

Dr. Cooley, center, during heart surgery in Houston in 1970 as doctors and students from around the world look on.Credit Associated Press

Dr. Cooley resigned from Baylor, and the American College of Surgeons censured him for his unauthorized use of the device, which is now in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

For decades after that, Dr. Cooley and Dr. DeBakey rarely spoke to each other or were even in the same room. (The feud became so intense and so widely talked about that it became the subject of a cover story in Life magazine.)

The two reconciled in October 2007, two years after Dr. DeBakey had recovered from an operation at age 97. In a ceremony at St. Luke’s, Dr. DeBakey accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. After presenting the award, Dr. Cooley stepped down from the stage and knelt next to Dr. DeBakey, who sat in a motorized scooter. The two shook hands warmly.

Dr. Cooley had sought the reconciliation for years. “Because I owe a real debt to the people who have helped me in my career,” he said, “I would have been somewhat derelict if I had not had the chance to tell Mike DeBakey that.”

Denton Arthur Cooley was born in Houston on Aug. 22, 1920, to a wealthy family. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Denton Cooley, was a founder of the planned community Houston Heights. His father, Ralph, was a prominent dentist.

Dr. Cooley attributed his surgical skills to his athletic prowess. As a freshman at the University of Texas, he was told by his basketball coach to add at least 25 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame to avoid “getting murdered” on the court. He gained even more weight and went on to play forward and center for the team. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he graduated in 1941 with a degree in zoology.

He was attracted to surgery at age 17 when he visited an emergency room in San Antonio and observed a friend sewing up knife wounds inflicted in Saturday night brawls. After starting medical school in Galveston, he transferred to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, earning a medical degree in 1944.

Dr. Cooley receives the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton at the White House in April 1999. Credit Stephen Jaffe/Agence-France Presse

After serving in World War II and then continuing his training on a fellowship in England, where he studied with the heart surgeon Russell C. Brock, Dr. Cooley returned to Houston to work under Dr. DeBakey. Over the next few years, the two surgeons had important roles in virtually every major development in heart and blood-vessel surgery.

Dr. DeBakey and Dr. Cooley devised operations to repair potentially fatal bulges in aortas and to bypass arteriosclerotic damage in neck and leg arteries that could lead to strokes.

Dr. Cooley said that “if there is any contribution I should be recognized for,” it is reducing the need for blood transfusions in open-heart operations.

Dr. Cooley, who believed that the outcome of an operation was related to its length, became an exceptionally fast surgeon despite athletic injuries that damaged a few fingers and a wrist.

“I was always surprised how seemingly slow all his movements were in operating,” Dr. Roland Hetzer, a onetime colleague and former director of the German Heart Institute in Berlin, said in an interview there in 2010. “But every stitch was just perfect the first time, and he never had to do something a second time. So in the end he was very fast, a very good technical surgeon.”

In 1962, Dr. Cooley founded the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s and became its president. He also taught at the University of Texas and Baylor medical schools in Houston.

He worked in an era when federal regulation of the development of new medical and surgical devices was limited. Doctors could make their own devices and instruments and use them on patients with little outside oversight. Human experimentation committees, whose approval is needed before doctors can conduct an experiment on a patient, did not yet exist.

“All the progress we made in that period would take us a century now,” Dr. Cooley said. “We would just try something in the lab, have some personal conviction that it was a meaningful thing to do and try, and then we would go ahead and apply it.”

At his peak, Dr. Cooley was said to be the busiest heart surgeon in the United States, performing many operations a day using an assembly-line approach. Patients were assigned to separate operating rooms where younger doctors opened their chests and exposed the hearts. Dr. Cooley then scurried between operating rooms to do the crucial part of each operation. Some of his critics have questioned the quality of the surgery.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented Dr. Cooley with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, for “charting new territory in his search for ways to prolong and enrich human life.”

Dr. Cooley had homes in Houston and in Galveston, Tex. His wife of 67 years, the Louise Thomas Cooley, died before him, as did a daughter, Florence Talbot Cooley.

His survivors include four other daughters, Mary Cooley Craddock, Dr. Susan Cooley, Dr. Louise Cooley Davis and Helen Cooley Fraser; 16 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Dr. Cooley had his failures, both professional (a sheep-to-human experimental heart transplant was unsuccessful) and personal (he declared bankruptcy from failed real estate investments in the early 1980s).

And though he and Dr. DeBakey reconciled, their rivalry never completely abated. Dr. DeBakey has been called the greatest surgeon ever. Before his death in 2008, he said in an interview that Dr. Cooley was “one of the best cardiovascular surgeons” he had ever known.

Asked in a separate interview whom he considered the greatest surgeon, Dr. Cooley replied, “Besides myself?”

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ELEGY TO THE SPANISH REPUBLIC NO. 110

 

Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 110 by Robert Motherwell, Easter Day, 1971.  Acrylic with graphite and charcoal on canvas, 82 x 114 inches (208.3 x 289.6 cm).  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

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WORLD TOILET DAY: NOVEMBER 19, 2016

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day is a United Nations (UN) observance, on November 19, that highlights a serious problem – 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to proper sanitation.

Toilet with facilities for the handicapped.
About 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a toilet.
©iStockphoto.com/Stratol

Celebrate World Toilet Day

Each year thousands of people join in on promoting World Toilet Day via social media campaigns, online petitions, and by getting involved in a range of events held in different countries worldwide.

Public Life

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

About World Toilet Day

The provision of proper toilets could save the lives of more than 200,000 children in the world, according to the UN. The countries where open defecation is most widely practiced are the same countries with the highest numbers of under-five child deaths, high levels of under-nutrition and poverty, and large wealth disparities. Moreover, over one billion people defecate in the open due to lack of proper toilet facilities.

International organizations, particularly the World Toilet Organization, have promoted World Toilet Day for years. In 2013, the UN officially recognized November 19 as World Toilet Day in a bid to make sanitation for all a global development priority. It deemed the practice of open-air defecation as “extremely harmful” to public health.

Did You Know?

More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet. Of the world’s seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines – meaning that 2.5 billion people, mostly in rural areas, do not have proper sanitation.

World Toilet Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Tue Nov 19 2013 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 19 2014 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 19 2015 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Sat Nov 19 2016 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 19 2017 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 19 2018 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 19 2019 World Toilet Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 19 2020 World Toilet Day United Nations observance

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WORLD PHILOSOPHY DAY: NOVEMBER 17, 2016

World Philosophy Day

World Philosophy Day annually observed on the third Thursday of November to honor philosophical reflections around the world. It is a day for people to share thoughts, openly explore and discuss new ideas and inspire public debate or discussion on society’s challenges.

Philosophers such as Socrates have contributed to modern thinking in society..
©iStockphoto.com/Brigida_Soriano

What Do People Do?

World Philosophy Day is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative that draws people around the world to engage in shared reflection on contemporary issues. Various events and activities include:

  • Philosophical dialogues, debates, lectures, and meetings involving renowned philosophers.
  • International conferences on philosophical topics such as the connection between philosophy, education and culture.
  • Exhibitions and philosophy book fairs.
  • Philosophy cafes.

Different organizations, community groups and government agencies in many countries, including (but not exclusive to) Chile, France, Morocco, the Philippines, and Turkey, have participated in actively promoting World Philosophy Day.

Public Life

World Philosophy day is a global observance and is not a public holiday.

Background

Philosophy has opened the door for new concepts and innovative ideas, laying the foundations of critical thinking, independence and creativity across cultures for many centuries. UNESCO introduced World Philosophy Day in 2002 to honor philosophical reflections throughout the world by opening spaces and encouraging people to share their philosophical heritage, opening their minds to new ideas, and inspire public debate on society’s challenges.

UNESCO’s Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura gave a public message about World Philosophy Day in 2004 to highlight the day’s meaning and importance. He said that philosophy gave the conceptual grounding to the principles and values that shaped the possibility of world peace – democracy, human rights, justice and equality. Reflection on contemporary society’s unsolved problems and unanswered questions was always at the heart of philosophical analysis and thinking.

World Philosophy Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Nov 18 2010 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 17 2011 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 15 2012 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 21 2013 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 19 2015 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 17 2016 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 16 2017 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 15 2018 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 21 2019 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 19 2020 World Philosophy Day United Nations observance

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