Monthly Archives: October 2017

IN REMEMBRANCE: 10-22-2017


Cornelia Bailey with her grandson Jemarcus on Sapelo Island in 2008. With young people increasingly leaving in search of higher education and jobs, she worried that the island’s culture would disappear. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Cornelia Bailey, a vivid storyteller who fought to protect a vanishing slice of African-American culture on Sapelo Island, off the coast of Georgia, died on Oct. 15 in Brunswick, Ga. She was 72.

Inez Grovner, president of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, which Ms. Bailey helped found and where she was vice president, confirmed the death. The cause was not announced.

Ms. Bailey was among a shrinking number of people to have been born and educated on the island, where descendants of slaves have lived for generations, the isolation of island life allowing them to retain elements of West African traditions, language and religion that have become known as Gullah-Geechee culture.

That culture has been threatened over the decades by dispersion and, most recently, development pressures and high taxes. Ms. Bailey, as the unofficial historian of Sapelo, was among the leaders of efforts to preserve and pass along the island’s heritage, ends that she furthered through advocacy, entrepreneurialism and activities that included a fall cultural festival.

“She would always present the culture to anyone she could get across to,” said her friend Carletha Sullivan of the McIntosh County Shouters, a performance group that practices the tradition known as ring shouting. “If she knew someone who could do something pertaining to the Gullah-Geechee culture, she would always try to open a doorway for them.”

Ms. Bailey’s main preservation achievement may have simply been telling the stories of her ancestors and her own life, something she did eloquently in the memoir “God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia” (2001, with Christena Bledsoe).

“Back in my youth in the 1940s and 1950s,” she wrote in the book, “we had five Geechee communities on Sapelo and more than 450 people. Today, we have one community left and fewer than 70 people; and I fear for the survival of my people on this island.”

Cornelia Walker Bailey was born on June 12, 1945. Her father, Hicks Walker, often worked for R. J. Reynolds Jr., the tobacco heir, at the mansion he owned on the island. The house had been the centerpiece of a plantation where, in the early 1800s, Thomas Spalding used slave labor to grow cotton, rice and sugar cane.

After the Civil War, descendants of slaves established settlements on Sapelo Island, reachable only by boat.

Credit The New York Times

Ms. Bailey’s mother, Hettie Bryant, was, like many in the community, a believer in spirits; when the eyeglasses that she was sure she had left on a particular table would disappear, she would suspect a long-dead uncle of having moved them.

“Mama would call on the spirit of Uncle Shed to put her glasses back,” Ms. Bailey wrote, “and then she’d go and do her work and come back, and those glasses would be on the table right where she left them.”

Sapelo, which is about 11 miles long and part of a chain of barrier islands, is accessible only by boat or air. Today, almost all of it is owned by the state, but in the decades after the Civil War former slaves and their descendants bought land there and established several settlements. Ms. Bailey grew up in one of these, Belle Marsh, and wrote of a childhood that was both idyllic and rugged.

The family cooked with a wood stove, the dishes a genuine version of the Gullah cuisine trend now evident along the coast. They had, she wrote, “what most people would call an ‘outhouse’ but we called a ‘toilet,’ because we still used a few words from the French era of Sapelo and that was one of them.”

She would tell the story of how, when she was 3, she died — or so it appeared. She had become sick after eating unripe pears and seemed to expire. Her parents, who had already seen two infant sons die of fever, were preparing to bury her — they had a coffin made — when her mother’s sister, Mary, operating on some sixth sense, got some crushed garlic, “packed it in my nose, my mouth and God only knows where else, and I came around.”

After that, she said, everyone thought she had a some sort of special gift, an expectation that she could find burdensome.

“I just wanted to be a normal kid,” she wrote. “I didn’t want to be able to see the future or predict whether someone was gonna have a baby boy or girl. The only signs I wanted to read were the signs Papa could read from nature, like when the tide is right for fishing.”

Ms. Bailey traced her family to a man named Bilali Muhammad, an important slave on the Spalding plantation who is thought to have come from West Africa by way of the Caribbean and, like many other slaves, was a Muslim, a heritage evident in the distinctive Gullah-Geechee adaptations to the Christianity of their slave masters. When she was young, Ms. Bailey noted, children were taught to pray facing east; Sapelo women covered their hair in church.

Growing up, Ms. Bailey absorbed Gullah-Geechee culture even as she watched it shrink. It disappeared entirely from other barrier islands, and on Sapelo it was consolidated into one community, Hog Hammock, where she and her husband, Julius, acquired several pieces of property. They operated a guesthouse, the Wallow, and gave history-filled tours to visitors.

Ms. Bailey in front of a store on Sapelo Island, Ga., in 2008. “I fear for the survival of my people on this island,” she said. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Ms. Bailey’s preservation battle was a difficult one, as young people left the island in search of higher education and jobs. In 1910 the island had a black population of 539; by 1970 it was estimated at 175, and when a reporter for The New York Times wrote about the island in 2012, it was around 50.

The island’s school closed in the 1970s. More recently, Sapelo’s limited amount of private land caught the eye of well-off people looking for vacation properties. Ms. Bailey did not want to see it go the way of nearby islands like Hilton Head, S.C., with its yachts and golf courses, and was blunt about her preferences.

“On the verge of sounding racist,” she told The Times in 2008, “which I have been accused of, which I don’t give a hoot — I would rather my community be all black. I would rather have my community what it was in the ’50s.”

In 2012, Hog Hammock residents were hit with a substantial property tax increase that some felt was an effort to drive out the remaining Geechee residents. “I call it cultural genocide,” Ms. Bailey said in a video interview in 2013. Some tax relief was negotiated, though the issue remains a concern.

In 2004, Ms. Bailey received a Governor’s Award in the Humanities for her preservation work.

Survivors include her husband as well as several children and grandchildren.

Although Gullah and Geechee — terms whose origins have been much debated and may trace to specific African tribes or words — are often used interchangeably these days, Ms. Bailey always stressed that she was Geechee. And, specifically, Saltwater Geechee (as opposed to the Freshwater Geechee, who lived 30 miles inland).

“We thought our speech was a bit more musical than theirs,” she wrote in her book, “because we talked a little faster, with fewer rest stops between our words, so that everything ran together. We’d listen to them and say, ‘Can’t they talk any faster than that? People don’t have all day.’ ”

Ms. Grovner said Ms. Bailey had been instrumental in a continuing effort by the Sapelo Island cultural society to establish a Geechee historical village on 25 acres on the island, where visitors could see how people cooked, planted and lived in times past.

“Hopefully we can get it up and going on her behalf,” Ms. Grovner said.




Roy Dotrice and Cherry Jones in “A Moon for the Misbegotten” at the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway. Mr. Dotrice’s performance earned him a Tony Award. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Roy Dotrice, a British stage, film and television actor who began performing as a prisoner of war in Germany and worked in Britain and America for six decades, notably in one-man shows portraying Abe Lincoln, the diarist John Aubrey and other historical figures, died on Monday at his home in London. He was 94.

His family confirmed the death, The Associated Press reported.

Hailed by critics for suffusing his character with fine-tuned blarney, malevolent passions and brooding gloom, Mr. Dotrice won the Tony Award for best featured actor in 2000 for his portrait of the conniving Irish father and pig farmer in an acclaimed Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” with Gabriel Byrne and Cherry Jones.

Reviewing the production in The New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote, “To watch Ms. Jones, Mr. Byrne and Roy Dotrice, who completes the triangle of principal performers, react to one another is to realize the degree to which O’Neill’s last completed play is about how everyone is an actor, a deceiver, by necessity.”

Roy Dotrice at the Tony Awards ceremony in New York in 2000. He was named best featured actor in a play for his performance in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” Credit Richard Drew/Associated Press

Mr. Dotrice appeared in more than 50 plays in London, New York and other cities, not counting some 300 more as a young British repertory stalwart. He performed for nine years with the troupe that became the Royal Shakespeare Company, took scores of roles in television and Hollywood films, and became familiar to millions on television series and mini-series broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic.

With a nimble voice that evoked creatures from realms of fantasy, Mr. Dotrice was a popular storyteller on albums and audiobooks. He narrated the epic tales of “The Lion King,” the adventures of Richard Adams’s rabbits in “Watership Down” and the myriad characters of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the fantasy books by George R. R. Martin that were adapted for the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” He also had a small role in “Game of Thrones,” as Hallyne the Pyromancer, the head alchemist in the city of King’s Landing.

But Mr. Dotrice was perhaps best known for one-man shows, including “Brief Lives,” a portrayal of the 17th-century writer John Aubrey, which opened in London in 1967 and ran intermittently there and in the United States for years. Onstage for two and a half hours, his Aubrey ruminated insightfully on the lives of English worthies of his Elizabethan age. “Brief Lives” became one of the most successful solo productions of its generation, and won Mr. Dotrice a mention for a time in the Guinness Book of Records, with 1,782 nonconsecutive performances. (Hal Holbrook went on to give more nonconsecutive performances as Mark Twain.)

Mr. Dotrice as Abraham Lincoln and John Aubrey.

In another one-man tour de force, in 1980, Mr. Dotrice starred in Herbert Mitgang’s “Mister Lincoln” at Ford’s Theater in Washington, where Lincoln was slain in 1865, and later on Broadway and on PBS. He had immersed himself for months in Lincoln’s life, and colleagues said his renderings of Lincoln, and especially of the Gettysburg Address, were performances of remarkable subtlety and power. Mr. Mitgang, who wrote the play, was the author of two biographies of Lincoln. He also wrote for The New York Times.

“The role of Lincoln is probably one of the hardest to play of any historical character,” Frankie Hewitt, the play’s executive producer, told The Times. “If you try to humanize him, it can get corny and awkward, and if you try to play him larger than life, he is turned into a Disney World mechanical Lincoln. But Roy is such a superb actor, he succeeds where everyone else has basically failed.”

Roy Louis Dotrice was born on the Island of Guernsey, a British dependency off the French coast, on May 26, 1923, to Louis Dotrice, a Belgian pastry chef, and the former Neva Wilton, an English baker. In 1940, when Nazi troops occupied Guernsey, Roy and his mother escaped to Britain, where he joined the Royal Air Force and became a radio operator and gunner in a bomber.

Mr. Dotrice, right, as Mozart’s father and Tom Hulce as Mozart in Milos Forman’s movie “Amadeus” in 1984. Credit Orion Pictures Corporation, via Photofest

On a raid in 1942, his plane was shot down over the Baltic. He and a few other survivors floated in a dinghy for days and were washed ashore. They were captured and spent the rest of the war as prisoners in Germany. To keep captive spirits up in the stalag, the prisoners staged makeshift plays. Mr. Dotrice’s first role was the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella.”

“We didn’t have any real women, unfortunately,” he said.

After the war, he rejected a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and plunged into acting. For 12 years he performed in, and sometimes directed, hundreds of plays in repertory companies, often a new production every week, in a thespian grind of lines, characters, plots and venues: Liverpool, Manchester and, he said, “every dreary North Country town.”

In 1947, he married Katherine Newman, an actress. They had three daughters, Michele, Yvette and Karen, who all became actresses. His wife died in 2007. His daughters survive him, as do seven grandchildren and a great-grandson, The A.P. reported.

Mr. Dotrice, center, with Gabriel Byrne, left, and John C. Hensley in 2000 in an episode of “Madigan Men,” a short-lived intergenerational sitcom on ABC. Credit Eric Liebowitz/Touchstone TV

In 1957, Mr. Dotrice joined the forerunner of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, and for nine years he appeared as Hamlet, Iago, Falstaff, Julius Caesar and other Shakespearean characters with casts that included future luminaries of the British theater, including Charles Laughton and Albert Finney.

While he kept a home in London, Mr. Dotrice lived in Los Angeles and worked mostly in the United States after 1980. He appeared in New York stage productions of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” (1985) and Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” (1991). On film, he portrayed Mozart’s father in Milos Forman’s “Amadeus” (1984) and a skating coach in Paul M. Glaser’s “The Cutting Edge” (1992).

On television, he played Charles Dickens in Masterpiece Theater’s 13-part “Dickens of London” (1976); a British monarch in the mini-series “Shaka Zulu” (1986); the father of the beast on the CBS crime series “Beauty and the Beast” (1987-90); and a priest on the CBS dramatic series “Picket Fences” (1993-96). In recent years he recorded many audiobooks, creating voices for hundreds of characters in the saga adapted for “Game of Thrones.”

Looking back on his career in an interview in 1980, Mr. Dotrice recalled one of his more unusual achievements: introducing baseball — learned from Canadian P.O.W.s during the war — to cricket-playing members of his Shakespeare troupe in 1959. He put together an “all-star” team to challenge Americans at a nearby air base.

“Paul Robeson played first base, Sam Wanamaker second and Laurence Olivier third,” he said. “Peter O’Toole was shortstop, Albert Finney was catcher, I pitched and Charles Laughton was umpire. We wore black tights and white Hamlet blouses. The women said, ‘Never mind the game, look at their legs.’”

Correction: October 16, 2017
An earlier version of this obituary misstated part of the name of the books by George R.R. Martin that were adapted for the television series “Game of Thrones.” It is “A Song of Ice and Fire,” not “Fire and Ice.”

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Astronomers Catch Gravitational Waves from Colliding Neutron Stars

Sky & Telescope
Spacetime ripples from neutron star smash-up usher in age of multi-messenger astronomy. Read more…

Aboriginal Australians Observed Red Giant Stars’ Variability

Sky & Telescope
New interpretations of oral accounts by Aboriginal Australians show that they included references to the variability of red giants Antares, Betelgeuse, and Aldebaran. Read more…

Seeing the Far Side of the Milky Way

Sky & Telescope
The detection of a star-forming region 66,500 light-years from Earth, on the other side of our galaxy’s center, lends weight to the existence of an extended arm of the Milky Way. Read more…

Surprising Science from Cassini’s Grand Finale

Sky & Telescope
You’d think scientists would have Saturn all figured out after watching it up close for 13 years. They don’t. Read more…

New High-End Search for Lunar Impacts

Sky & Telescope
A professional observatory in Greece has begun recording flashes created when bits of interplanetary debris strike the Moon.. Read more…


This Week’s Sky at a Glance, October 20 – 28

Sky & Telescope
Learn what’s in the sky this week. The modest Orionid shower peaks this weekend – wishing clear skies for you all. Read more…

Orionid Meteors Max Out Sunday, Zodiacal Light Returns

Sky & Telescope
See what cosmic dust can do! Head outside this weekend for the peak of the Orionid meteor shower and an eyeful of zodiacal light. Read more…

Tour October’s Sky: Saturn in the Southwest

Sky & Telescope
October’s astronomy podcast helps you track down Saturn after sunset and offers a peek at what’s in view before dawn. Read more…


Celestial Harvest Showpiece Roster

Sky & Telescope
Download a handy list of 300 of the best deep-sky objects to explore with telescopes from 2- to 14-inches in aperture. Read more…

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HATEWATCH: 10-20-2017

Hatewatch Headlines 10/20/2017

Key institutions help fund white nationalism; protesters drown out Spencer’s hate; FBI seeing a black menace where little exists; and more.


Think Progress: These wealthy institutions are enriching Robert Mercer and quietly financing white nationalism.

Huffington Post: Thousands of protesters show up in Florida to drown out Richard Spencer’s hate.

AlterNet: The alt-right group Spencer asked to protect him at one time discussed bombing a federal building.

Washington Post: Richard Spencer is not an emergency, and it was foolish of Florida to treat him like one.

ProPublica: Racist, violent, unpunished: A white hate group’s campaign of menace.

New York Times: The FBI’s phantom black menace.

Tech Crunch: Twitter says it’s done with hate symbols, violent groups, and a raft of other toxic online behaviors.

Vice: Far-right militias are hoping for a societal collapse, and here’s what they want to see happen afterward.

USA Today: Open-carry militias plus armed protesters equals a recipe for tragedy.

BuzzFeed: From the gym to the gun range, here’s where and how antifascist activists are training to fight the far right.

Tennessean: A week before White Lives Matter rally, Nashville immigrants speak at vigil on Muslim ban.

Miami New Times (FL): Cuban white supremacist asks for help with legal fees after charging at protesters.

Harvard Crimson (Cambridge, MA): Derek Black, son of Stormfront founder and now ex-Nazi, explains how the far right recruits, organizes.

The Daily Beast: Public Enemy frontman Chuck D explains how and why Donald Trump is a white supremacist.

Right Wing Watch: FRC’s Tony Perkins says LGBT people in the military create ‘moral confusion’ that makes men harass women.

Media Matters: This Periscope demonstrates that there’s no meaningful difference between the ‘new right’ and the alt-right.

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White men and White women have been the most sadistic, twisted, barbaric, filthy, and perverse in their abominations against Black women, Black men, and Black children.

No greater evidence of this is what is seen in the so-called behavior of vicious and monstrous White Christians during the nadir of lynching spectacles.

Kirvin, Tex., where three black men accused of killing a white woman were set on fire in 1922 before a crowd of hundreds. Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

Not until historical documentation did the understanding of lynchings become known as a form of racial domestic terrorism against Black people.

But for the documented lynchings, those are only the known lynchings that people know of; so many more occurred that we Black people will never know of, since the many non-black people in this Whore of Babylon do not give a damn about our suffering in this cesspool of savage racist hate.

The packing of lunches and drink to indulge in their barbecues and picnics of defenseless Black women, Black men, Black children—entire Black families—while these beings enjoyed their reign of brutish terrorism. The early indoctrination of white children into the belief that black life was not human and was to be torn to pieces on a daily basis. The sending of postcards through the United States Postal Service to relatives, friends—-across country through the mail.

The actions of the most vicious form of beastiality, for what is racist white supremacy if not evidence of beastiality in the actions of those subhuman, anti-human, savages?

File:Lynching of Laura Nelson, May 1911.jpg

Laura Nelson, who was brutalized and raped before being lynched by fine, upstanding Christians. Her 14-year-old son was also lynched along with her. (The barefoot corpse of lynched Laura Nelson. May 25, 1911, Okemah, Oklahoma. Gelatin silver print. Real photo postcard. 3 1/2 x 5 1/2″. Etched in the negative:”copyright-1911-g.h.farnum, okemah. okla 2898.” Stamp on reverse, “unmailable.” )

The following map is just a sample of where lynchings occurred.

Keep in mind not all lynchings occurred just in the America South. Many occurred outside of the South as far north and west as Minnesota, Illinois, California, and Oregon.

Map of 73 Years of Lynchings


The following article states how lowlife these White Christians were, and obviously how they still are, who have not, will not, and can never, ever give a damn about the lives of Black women, men, and children.



February 27, 2013

This week’s pulse comes from pastor Dominique Gilliard:

In continuing with our Black History Month reflections, this week we are going to make a connection between what many are calling a modern day manifestation of lynching—the prison industrial complex—and the historical practice of lynching which was so pervasive in our nation less than a century ago.

Since this heinous practice is both an extremely difficult aspect of our national history & a subject matter that most people quite honestly would rather not deal with, most people know little to nothing about this period of American history. Lynching and its horrors are not covered in our nation’s textbooks, nor are they acknowledged or even lamented by the broader Church. This unfortunate reality has left the Black Church isolated in its grief over the reality that during a fifty year period ranging from 1890 to 1940, approximately 5,500 African Americans were documented as lynch victims. Lynching reached its peak in 1892, shortly after reconstruction with 155 African Americans lynched in this year alone.

In fact, the practice of lynching was so widespread that the Tuskegee Institute, a predominately black institution in Alabama, decided in 1881 to begin issuing annual reports on the incidents of lynching within the country, and it was not until 1952 that the institution was able to report that there was not a single lynching to report within a given year. Popular belief holds that lynching only occurred in the South; however, while lynching was particularly prevalent in the South, it was not exclusively a Southern horror, but was one that was enacted as far north and west as Minnesota, Illinois, California, and Oregon.

A major reason why lynching is connected to Christianity is that most lynchings actually occurred on Sunday afternoons, shortly after church services concluded. After Sunday services were let out, these executions were well attended by Christians. This harsh reality is not only beyond frightening, but it also serves to prove the necessity of beginning this conversation. In fact, many of those believers who were present at lynchings did not consider themselves to be racist, because in their minds the racist were the ones actually conducting the lynching. These individuals would avoid the stigma of racism and the conviction of the Holy Spirit by rationalizing their presence as purely spectators; arguing that they just happened to be present at the scene of the hanging, which in their minds did not make them culpable.

Lynchings were photographed and turned into postcards, which would then be used to promote future lynchings. People would send these postcards to their friends inviting them to attend the next lynching as if it were a social soiree.  According to historian Ralph Ginzberg, “lynching [which also frequently included burning, castrating, & disfiguring the victim,] were spectacles, announced in advance, attended by whites including women and children, and covered on assignment by newspaper reporters in a manner not unlike contemporary coverage of sporting events.”[1] The most disturbing part about this spiritually is that people who self-identified as Christians played a significant role in these events, in both the promotion and execution of lynchings. Dr. James Cone interview helped us think through the implications of this harsh reality in the interview we posted Friday (2-22) and his most recent book The Cross & the Lynching Tree.

Theologically, this exists as the most disturbing part of the lynching phenomenon. Believers’ lack of values and ethical response to God’s love was so nonexistent that it was commonly acceptable within the last one hundred years of this nation to watch someone be tortured, burned, castrated, and killed for sport just because of the color of their skin. Moreover, one’s faith was thought to have nothing to do with coming to the defense of these helpless victims. In fact, one’s faith did not even prohibit Christians from participating as enthusiastic observers within the crowds. Furthermore, it was normative for infants and children to be taken by their parents to see these spectacle lynchings. Imagine the psychological trauma of growing up seeing this sort of barbarism on a semi-regular basis. This had to have had a profound impact on these young minds. Being taken to public executions, where African Americans were looked upon as a kind of game animal to be caught and executed for pleasure, had to permanently hallmark the image of black inferiority within the young, impressionable minds of children.

Thus, the psychological impact of these pervasively grotesque images cannot be divorced from the racial imagination that exists in this country. The remnants of racism that exist within our society, many of which have become institutionalized, have to be understood in relation to the reverberating effects of the trauma of the lynching tree. Although racism today seeks to hide behind its institutionalized manifestations, which makes the facade of colorblindness a tempting one for many citizens, it is our inability to talk about race, to confront the legacy of the lynching tree, which forces us to deal with this country’s history of black bodies swinging from trees, which undergirds the existence of racism in the U.S. today.

Pastor Dominique


[1] Ralph Ginzberg. 100 Years of Lynching (New York, NY: Lancer publishing: 1962), 46. Lynching frequently included ritualized burning at the stake, castration, and mutilation in addition to the victim being hung from a tree.


See also, The Cross and the Lynching Tree

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International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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.

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.


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.


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
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
Mon Oct 17 2016 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Tue Oct 17 2017 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Wed Oct 17 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Thu Oct 17 2019 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance
Sat Oct 17 2020 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty United Nations observance

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International Day of Rural Women

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.

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.


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.


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
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
Sat Oct 15 2016 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Sun Oct 15 2017 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Mon Oct 15 2018 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Tue Oct 15 2019 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance
Thu Oct 15 2020 International Day of Rural Women United Nations observance

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International Day of the Girl Child

The International Day of the Girl Child promotes girls’ rights and highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys. It is a UN observance that is annually held on October 11.

sisters at camp for internally displaced

A young girl sits in the shade, while her sister sleeps behind her, at an IDP camp in Baidoa for victims of a drought currently affecting Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

What Do People Do?

The International Day of the Girl Child gives people and organizations the opportunity to raise public awareness of the different types of discrimination and abuse that many girls around the world suffer from. On this day, many community and political leaders talk to the public about the importance of girls’ right to equal education and their fundamental freedoms. Various events are held to showcase the work that people are doing to empower girls through active support and engagement with parents, families, and the wider community.

Public Life

The International Day of the Girl Child is a UN observance and not a public holiday.


Discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights still happen. The UN felt a need to raise awareness of the challenges that millions of girls face every day. In December 2011, the UN declared that it would annually observe the International Day of the Girl Child, starting from October 11, 2012.

International Day of the Girl Child Observances


Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Tue Oct 11 2011 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Thu Oct 11 2012 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Fri Oct 11 2013 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Sat Oct 11 2014 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Sun Oct 11 2015 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Tue Oct 11 2016 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Wed Oct 11 2017 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Thu Oct 11 2018 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Fri Oct 11 2019 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance
Sun Oct 11 2020 International Day of the Girl Child United Nations observance

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