Monthly Archives: March 2017

IN REMEMBRANCE: 3-26-2017

JONI SLEDGE, SINGER IN THE ‘WE ARE FAMILY’ GROUP SISTER SLEDGE

Joni Sledge in August 2006. Credit Fred Prouser/Reuters

Joni Sledge, who along with her three sisters formed the disco-era family quartet Sister Sledge, best known for the hit song “We Are Family,” was found dead in her home in Phoenix on Friday. She was 60.

Her sisters announced her death in a statement on Facebook. The cause has not been determined, the band’s publicist, Biff Warren, said on Sunday.

Ms. Sledge was the second oldest sister in the family act, along with Debbie, Kim and Kathy, who founded Sister Sledge in 1971, when they were all under 21. Sister Sledge first played at churches and events around Philadelphia and then toured for many years, opening for big acts like the Spinners while the sisters were in high school and college.

By the mid-1970s, while Joni Sledge was attending Temple University, Sister Sledge was the only female vocal group signed to Atlantic Records. Its singing talents had attracted a loyal following; its 1974 debut album, “Circle of Love,” climbed the R&B charts; and the sisters drew comparisons to the Jackson 5.

After playing shows in smaller clubs in Harlem, Sister Sledge had one of its first big shows in 1975, opening for Marvin Gaye at Radio City Music Hall. A review in The New York Times said the “liveliest part of the show” was the four sisters.

SISTER SLEDGE – WE ARE FAMILY (1979) OFFICIAL VIDEO Video by FESTACARIOCADISCO

In 1979, Sister Sledge gained mainstream success with the hit album “We Are Family,” which included the single by the same name, which was adopted by the 1979 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates as their theme song, and has endured as a disco anthem. Its memorable chorus — “We are family/I got all my sisters with me” — reflected the group’s wholesome message of togetherness, and the song shot up the single charts, peaking at No. 2.

Sister Sledge enjoyed commercial success into the early 1980s and had several Top 20 hit songs, including “My Guy” and “Frankie.” But their commercial success started to fade with Kathy’s departure in 1989 to start a solo career. The three remaining sisters continued to tour and record music, and Kathy occasionally reunited for shows.

When Sister Sledge performed for Pope Francis in 2015 in Philadelphia, Kathy was absent. She said her sisters refused to let her participate, and in a statement released on her behalf, she blamed a “familial dispute that has long been developing between the sisters.”

Joan Elise Sledge was born on Sept. 13, 1956, in Philadelphia to Edwin Sledge, a performer on Broadway, and Florez Sledge, an actress who oversaw her daughters’ careers as their business manager and traveled with them on tours.

In addition to her sisters, Ms. Sledge is survived by her son, Thaddeus.

Correction: March 14, 2017
A picture with an earlier version of this obituary was published in error. The photograph, provided by Getty Images, was of Debbie Sledge, not Joni Sledge.SOURCE

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CHUCK BARRIS, ‘GONG SHOW’ HOST

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Takashi Seida/REX/Shutterstock

March 21, 2017 | 10:32PM PT

Chuck Barris, who hosted “The Gong Show” and created “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” died Tuesday of natural causes in Palisades, N.Y., his publicist confirmed. He was 87.

His autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” was made into a film directed by George Clooney and starred Sam Rockwell as Barris. In the book (subtitled “An Unauthorized Autobiography”), he claimed to have worked for the CIA as an assassin during the 1960s and ’70s, a claim which the CIA denied. “He also fabricated his life because it might have been the best way of getting at the truth. The truth was that back when he was the Jerry Springer of his day, he couldn’t stomach being attacked for doing something he considered harmless,” wrote Joel Stein in Time magazine.

The multi-talented game show creator was also a songwriter, writing songs such as “Palisades Park” as well as music for his game shows.

Born Charles Hirsch Barris in Philadelphia, he started out working as a page at NBC in New York, then worked backstage at “American Bandstand.” “Palisades Park” was recorded by Freddy Cannon and hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

He formed Chuck Barris Productions in 1965 and created “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange, which introduced swinging 1960s double entendres to the formerly staid game show genre and ran for 11 out of the next 15 years. In 1966 he launched “The Newlywed Game,” hosted by Bob Eubanks, which ran for 19 years; Game Show Network still airs a version of the show.

Over his long career, Barris wore many hits, from pop singer to author to film producer. He also produced the original 1966 off-Broadway staging of the musical “Dames at Sea,” which starred Bernadette Peters.

Barris worked as a programming executive at ABC for about a year before launching the Chuck Barris Productions banner in 1965 with a $20,000 loan from his stepfather. Three years later, the company was delivering 22 half-hours of programming to networks per week. It went public in 1968.

Barris finally made it in front of the camera when he began hosting “The Gong Show” in 1976. Though it only ran two years on NBC and four years in syndication, the show is still remembered for its wacky spoof of the talent show format. He introduced the amateur contestants dressed in colorful clothing with odd props, with judges Jamie Farr, Jaye P. Morgan and Arte Johnson adding to the goofy atmosphere. Other offbeat characters on the show included “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine” and Murray Langston, the “Unknown Comic,” who wore a paper bag over his head.

The show was so popular it spawned a feature film, “The Gong Show Movie,” which failed to catch on the way the TV show had.

Among the other shows he created or produced were a revival of “Your Hit Parade,” “Three’s a Crowd,” which faced criticism as it seemed to promote adultery; “Camouflage,” and “Treasure Hunt.”

In the 1980s after a period living in France, he formed Barris Industries and revived “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game” before selling his shares in the company to Burt Sugarman. Barris Industries acquired Guber-Peters Productions, which was then acquired by Sony Corporation.

Barris’ books include the novels “You and Me, Babe” (1974) and “The Big Question” (2007). In 2010 he published “Della: A Memoir of My Daughter,” recalling his only child, who died of a drug overdose at age 36.

Barris is survived by his wife, Mary.

Donations may be made to the New York Police Foundation.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

SOURCE

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DEREK WALCOTT, POET AND NOBEL LAUREATE OF THE CARIBBEAN

Derek Walcott in 1986. Credit Jill Krementz, All Rights Reserved

Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died early Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia. He was 87.

His death was confirmed by his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. No cause was given, but he had been in poor health for some time, the publisher said.

Mr. Walcott’s expansive universe revolved around a tiny sun, the island of St. Lucia. Its opulent vegetation, blinding white beaches and tangled multicultural heritage inspired, in its most famous literary son, an ambitious body of work that seemingly embraced every poetic form, from the short lyric to the epic.

With the publication of the collection “In a Green Night” in 1962, critics and poets, Robert Lowell among them, leapt to recognize a powerful new voice in Caribbean literature and to praise the sheer musicality of Mr. Walcott’s verse, the immediacy of its visual images, its profound sense of place.

He had first attracted attention on St. Lucia with a book of poems that he published himself as a teenager. Early on, he showed a remarkable ear for the music of English — heard in the poets whose work he absorbed in his Anglocentric education and on the lips of his fellow St. Lucians — and a painter’s eye for the particulars of the local landscape: its beaches and clouds; its turtles, crabs and tropical fish; the sparkling expanse of the Caribbean.

I seek,
As climate seeks its style, to write
Verse crisp as sand, clear as sunlight,
Cold as the curled wave, ordinary
As a tumbler of island water.

He told The Economist in 1990: “The sea is always present. It’s always visible. All the roads lead to it. I consider the sound of the sea to be part of my body. And if you say in patois, ‘The boats are coming back,’ the beat of that line, its metrical space, has to do with the sound and rhythm of the sea itself.”

There was nothing shy about Mr. Walcott’s poetic voice. It demanded to be heard, in all its sensuous immediacy and historical complexity.

“I come from a place that likes grandeur; it likes large gestures; it is not inhibited by flourish; it is a rhetorical society; it is a society of physical performance; it is a society of style,” he told The Paris Review in 1985. “I grew up in a place in which if you learned poetry, you shouted it out. Boys would scream it out and perform it and do it and flourish it. If you wanted to approximate that thunder or that power of speech, it couldn’t be done by a little modest voice in which you muttered something to someone else.”

Derek Walcott at home in Saint Lucia after he awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature. Credit Micheline Pelletier/Corbis, via Getty Images

Mr. Walcott quickly won recognition as one of the finest poets writing in English and as an enormously ambitious artist — ambitious for himself, his art and his people.

Two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The prize committee cited him for “a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”

As a poet, Mr. Walcott plumbed the paradoxes of identity intrinsic to his situation. He was a mixed-race poet living on a British-ruled island whose people spoke French-based Creole or English.

Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?

Derek Alton Walcott was born on Jan. 23, 1930, in Castries, a port city on the island of St. Lucia. His father, Warwick, a schoolteacher and watercolorist, died when he was an infant, and he was raised by his schoolteacher mother, the former Alix Maarlin.

Both his parents, like many St. Lucians, were the products of racially mixed marriages. Derek was raised as a Methodist, which made him an exception on St. Lucia, a largely Roman Catholic island, and at his Catholic secondary school, St. Mary’s College.

Published in 1973, “Another Life” is a 4,000-line inquiry into Mr. Walcott’s life and surroundings. Credit Farrar, Straus and Giroux

He published his first poem at 14, in a local newspaper. With a loan from his mother, he began publishing his poetry in pamphlets while still at St. Mary’s. His early models were Marlowe and Milton.

At the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, where he majored in French, Latin and Spanish, he began writing plays, entering into a lifelong but rocky love affair with the theater. His first play, about the revolutionary Haitian leader Henri Christophe, was produced in St. Lucia in 1950.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1953, Mr. Walcott taught school in St. Lucia, Grenada and Jamaica while continuing to write and stage plays. His verse dramas “Ione” and “Sea at Dauphin” were produced in Trinidad in 1954. “Ti-Jean and His Brothers,” a retelling of a Trinidadian folk tale in which Lucifer tries to steal the souls of three brothers, was produced in Trinidad in 1958.

Mr. Walcott studied directing with José Quintero in New York for a year and, on returning to the West Indies, founded a repertory company, the Little Carib Theater Workshop, which in the late 1960s became the Trinidad Theater Workshop. One of the group’s first productions was Mr. Walcott’s “Malcochon.”

“The Prodigal,” from 2004, is a late-life summation with a distinctly elegiac undercurrent. Credit Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The lyric strain in Mr. Walcott’s poetry never disappeared, but he increasingly took on complex narrative projects and expanded his vision of the Caribbean to accommodate an epic treatment of the themes that had always engaged him. The artistic self-portrait of “Another Life,” with its rich, metaphor-heavy intertwining of the artist’s developing sensibility and the lush landscape of St. Lucia, set the bar for Mr. Walcott’s later, increasingly ambitious poetry.

Travel and exile were constants in Mr. Walcott’s poetry. “Tiepolo’s Hound” (2000) presented a dual portrait of the author and the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, who spent his childhood in the Caribbean before being transplanted to Paris. Like his father, Mr. Walcott was an accomplished watercolorist; his landscape paintings appear on his book jackets, and in “Tiepolo’s Hound” they are interspersed through the book.

The wanderings in “Omeros” were rivaled by Mr. Walcott’s own zigzag itinerary as a teacher and lecturer at universities around the world. He taught at Boston University from 1981 until retiring in 2007, dividing his time among Boston, New York and St. Lucia but constantly en route.

“The Prodigal” (2004), a late-life summation with a distinctly elegiac undercurrent, offered a glimpse of the author’s restless movements, which take him, in the course of the poem, to Italy, Colombia, France and Mexico. “Prodigal, what were your wanderings about?” he wrote. “The smoke of homecoming, the smoke of departure.”

“I am disappointed that such low tactics have been used in this election, and I do not want to get into a race for a post where it causes embarrassment to those who have chosen to support me for the role or to myself,” he told The Evening Standard of London. He added, “While I was happy to be put forward for the post, if it has degenerated into a low and degrading attempt at character assassination, I do not want to be part of it.”

Mr. Walcott was always conscious of writing as a man apart, from a corner of the world whose literature was in its infancy. This peculiar position, he argued, had its advantages. “There can be virtues in deprivation,” he said in his Nobel lecture, describing the “luck” of being present in the early morning of a culture.

“For every poet, it is always morning in the world,” he said. “History a forgotten, insomniac night; History and elemental awe are always our early beginning, because the fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world, in spite of History.”

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH DETAINED AND MISSING STAFF MEMBERS: MARCH 25, 2017

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

March 25 is the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members. This date is the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a journalist who died while working for the UN.

Diversity
March 25 is the UN Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing UN Personnel.
©iStockphoto.com/Jay and Varina Patel

What Do People Do

The UN promotes the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members to encourage governments to do more in their power to protect UN personnel in their jobs.

The day is also a moment to remember UN personnel who have been abducted whilst doing their job, such as journalist Alec Collett. Collett worked for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East when he was abducted by armed gunman in on March 25, 1985.  His body was found in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in 2009 and eventually returned to his family.

Public Life

The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is a UN observance and not a public holiday

Background

Over the years, many UN personnel have been kidnapped while working for the UN and many more continue to face threats to their freedom and security.  According to the UN’s Department of Safety and Security, at least 28 UN civilian personnel were detained or arrested in 2010 in cases that were considered job-related.

The UN’s International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members was created to bring awareness to these kidnappings and to call for governments and communities to protect UN workers.

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Mar 25 2010 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2011 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2012 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2013 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2014 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2015 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2016 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sat Mar 25 2017 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2018 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2019 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2020 International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF SLAVERY VICTIMS AND THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: MARCH 25, 2017

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is on March 25 each year. It honors the lives of those who died as a result of slavery or experienced the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. It is also an occasion to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice.

Broken Chain
The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade remembers the lives of transatlantic slave trade victims.
©iStockphoto.com/Perttu Sironen

What Do People Do?

Various events are held on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. These include memorial services and vigils for those who died in slavery, as a result of the slave trade, or from campaigning to end of slavery. In addition, African-American inspired music is performed and exhibitions of art and poetry inspired during the slave trade era are opened.

This day is also an occasion to educate the public, especially young people, about the effects of racism, slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Educational events are held in schools, colleges and universities.

Public Life

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

About 17 million people were transported against their will from Africa to North, Central and South America during the 16th century and up until the 19th century. Millions more died while being transported to the Americas. This mass deportation and resulting slavery are seen as one of the worst violations of human rights. Some experts believe that its effects are still felt in Africa’s economies.

Slavery was officially abolished in the United States on February 1, 1865. However, racial segregation continued throughout most of the following century and racism remains an important issue today. Hence, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is an occasion to discuss the transatlantic slave trade’s causes, consequences and lessons. It is hoped that this will raise awareness of the dangers of racism and prejudice.

On December 17, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 25 as the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It was first observed in 2008.

Themes

The theme in 2008 was “Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget”.

International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Mar 25 2010 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2011 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2012 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2013 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Tue Mar 25 2014 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2015 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Fri Mar 25 2016 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sat Mar 25 2017 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Sun Mar 25 2018 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Mon Mar 25 2019 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance
Wed Mar 25 2020 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: COMET 41P IN NORTHERN EVENING SKY, TRY SEEING VENUS’S CRESCENT, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Runaway Star Points to Stellar Nursery Free-for-all

Sky & Telescope

The discovery of a runaway star in Hubble’s image of the Orion Nebula suggests a stellar tussle ejected three stars 540 years ago.

Read more…

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, March 24 – April 1

Sky & Telescope

Venus reaches inferior conjunction, and Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is becoming nicely visible in amateur telescopes high in the northern evening sky. New Moon on Monday (exact at 10:57 p.m. EDT).

Look up…

See an Ultrathin Venus Crescent

Sky & Telescope

With Venus approaching inferior conjunction, don’t miss the chance to see one of the thinnest Venus crescents of your life.

Ready for a challenge?…

Tour March’s Sky: Venus Sinks, Mercury Rises

Sky & Telescope

In this month’s easy-to-download podcast, find out how you can glimpse Venus in both the evening and predawn skies.

Tune in…

COMMUNITY

New Webinar: How to Photograph the Milky Way, with Babak Tafreshi

Sky & Telescope

Interested in photographing the Milky Way over picturesque landscapes? Join S&T‘s live webinar on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Read more…

Guide to the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Sky & Telescope

The Moon’s umbral shadow will cross the United States on August 21, 2017, creating a coast-to-coast total solar eclipse visible to millions. We’ve assembled the resources here to help you prepare for this grand celestial spectacle.

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Astronomy Q&A

Sky & Telescope

Find answers to all your science- and hobby-based questions.

Read more…

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE RIGHT TO THE TRUTH CONCERNING GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND FOR THE DIGNITY OF VICTIMS: MARCH 24, 2017

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

The United Nations (UN) holds a special day to promote a human rights issue on March 24 each year. This day is called the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”.

The UN encourages people to learn about human rights issues, including the right to truth.
©iStockphoto.com/ RichVintage

What Do People Do

The UN holds various global activities to promote this event. It also encourages governments and people worldwide to observe this international day by:

  • Honoring victims of human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice.
  • Paying tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.
  • Recognizing the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, after denouncing human rights violations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposing violence.

Public Life

The International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is a UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 2006 the UN confirmed that people had the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law. Furthermore, this right was linked to governments’ duty and obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations.

In December 2010, in a bid to promote human rights, the UN proclaimed March 24 as the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”. The day remembers human rights victims, including Archbishop Romero, who campaigned for human rights for many years and was shot at a church altar in 1980.

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Mar 24 2011 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2012 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2013 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Mon Mar 24 2014 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2015 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Thu Mar 24 2016 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Fri Mar 24 2017 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2018 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2019 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2020 International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims United Nations observance

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WORLD TUBERCULOSIS DAY: MARCH 24, 2017

World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis Day is a worldwide event that aims to raise public awareness of tuberculosis and the efforts made to prevent and treat this disease. This event is held on March 24 each year and is promoted by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

Stethoscope and x-ray image of lungs.
The efforts made to prevent and treat tuberculosis are recognized on World Tuberculosis Day.
©iStockphoto.com/k0SS

What Do People Do?

Various World Tuberculosis Day events and activities are organized by various organizations involved in the Stop TB Partnership. WHO is a United Nations’ (UN) health authority that works with this network to promote World Tuberculosis Day each year. Campaign activities include:

  • Community discussion groups that are organized to look at ways to prevent TB.
  • Award ceremonies or other events to honor the life and work of those who dedicate their lives to prevent and fight against TB.
  • Photo exhibitions that showcase images to raise worldwide awareness of TB.
  • Charity events to raise funds for disease control (of TB) in countries that need assistance.

People, community groups and government agencies may also take the time to work with broadcast, print and online media to promote stories on the awareness of tuberculosis and the works of those who help fight against the spread of the disease.

Public Life

World Tuberculosis Day is an observance and is not a public holiday.

Background

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the disease. WHO estimates that the largest number of new TB cases in 2005 occurred in south-east Asia, which accounted for 34 percent of incident cases globally. However, the estimated incidence rate in sub-Saharan Africa is nearly twice that of south-east Asia.

World Tuberculosis Day, annually held on March 24, marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. World Tuberculosis Day can be traced back to 1982, when the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease launched World TB Day on March 24 that year, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Dr Koch’s discovery.

In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) joined the union and other organizations to promote World TB Day. The Stop TB Partnership, called the Stop TB Initiative at the time of its inception, was established in 1998. It is a network of organizations and countries fighting tuberculosis. WHO works with this partnership on to support the activities and events that take place on World Tuberculosis Day each year.

Symbols

The global campaign for World Tuberculosis Day has had different themes and slogans over the years. For example, the 2010–2011 campaign’s theme was “Innovation” and the slogan was “On the move against tuberculosis. Innovate to accelerate action”.

2017 Theme: “Unite to End TB: Leave No One Behind”

World Tuberculosis Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Mar 24 2010 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Thu Mar 24 2011 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2012 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2013 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Mon Mar 24 2014 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2015 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Thu Mar 24 2016 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Fri Mar 24 2017 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Sat Mar 24 2018 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Sun Mar 24 2019 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance
Tue Mar 24 2020 World Tuberculosis Day United Nations observance

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WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY: MARCH 23, 2017

World Meteorological Day

The United Nations’ (UN) World Meteorological Day is annually held on or around March 23 to remember the World Meteorological Organization’s establishment on that date in 1950. Many different activities and events are organized for this occasion.

Weather equipment
Weather stations help pass information about weather forecasts and temperatures.
©iStockphoto.com/Saso Novoselic

What Do People Do?

World Meteorological Day often features various events such as conferences, symposia and exhibitions for meteorological professionals, community leaders and the general public. Some events aim to attract media attention to raise meteorology’s profile.

Many prizes for meteorological research are presented or announced on or close to World Meteorological Day. These prizes include:

  • The International Meteorological Organization Prize.
  • Professor Dr. Vilho Väisälä Award.
  • The Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award.

Many countries issue postage stamps or special postage stamp cancellation marks to celebrate World Meteorological Day. These stamps often reflect the event’s theme or mark a country’s meteorology achievements.

Public Life

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

Background

The International Meteorological Organization was established at the first International Meteorological Congress in Vienna, Austria, in 1873. The organization aimed to establish meteorological station networks. These networks were linked by telegraph and improved weather forecasts. This contributed to shipping services’ safety and efficiency.

The International Meteorological Organization became the World Meteorological Organization on March 23, 1950. It became the UN’s specialized agency for meteorology, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences in 1951.

The World Meteorological Organization plays a crucial role in contributing to people’s safety and welfare. Its work is important in providing food security, water resources and transport. World Meteorological Day has been observed on March 23 each year since 1961.

Themes

Recent themes of World Meteorological Day have been:

  • Weather, climate and the air we breathe (2009).
  • Observing our planet for a better future (2008).
  • Polar meteorology: Understanding global impacts (2007).
  • Preventing and mitigating natural disasters (2006).
  • Weather, climate, water and sustainable development (2005).
  • Weather, climate, water in the information age (2004).
  • Our future climate (2003).

A new theme is allocated to each different year for World Meteorological Day.

2017 Theme: “Understanding Clouds”

World Meteorological Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Tue Mar 23 2010 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Wed Mar 23 2011 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Fri Mar 23 2012 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Sat Mar 23 2013 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Sun Mar 23 2014 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Mon Mar 23 2015 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Wed Mar 23 2016 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Thu Mar 23 2017 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Fri Mar 23 2018 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Sat Mar 23 2019 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance
Mon Mar 23 2020 World Meteorological Day United Nations observance

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