Yak’s Corner
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 April 30 in History

 Today's birthday

For the week of Apr. 24, 2016

Genocide Memorial Day. Armenia. This day, also known as Armenian Martyrs Day, commemorates the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915-1916. Most Armenians living in the United States are the children or grandchildren of survivors of the genocide. This day has been chosen to commemorate this tragic event since on this day in the 1915 many of Armenia's leading politicians, writers, and professionals in Constantinople were deported and/or killed.

Ella fitzgerald (1917-1996): African American. Singer. Ella fitzgerald, who was to win more Grammy Awards than any other jazz musician, began as a singer with Chick Webb and his band. She later sang with Dizzy Gillespie and became known for her improvisations and iscati singing, playing with words and musical notes. She demonstrated expert taste in material. Her recorded songbooks of music by the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and others remain definitive. Lyricists loved to have her record their works; her razor sharpness guaranteed that every work would be meaningful. Composers loved her dedication to melody, and jazz musicians loved her improvisation. Along with Billie Holiday, she is generally considered to be one of the greatest female jazz singers of her generation.

Anzac Day: Australia and New Zealand. This is Australiais most important national occasion of commemoration, marking the anniversary of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. Religious services are held at dawn across the nation. Later in the day, former servicemen and women meet and join in special marches, rekindling memories of their experiences. Commemorative ceremonies are held at war memorials around the country, including observing one or two minutes of silence.

Liberation Day: Italy. This commemorates the day in 1945 that that Italy was liberated from German occupation during World War II.

Liberation Day: Portugal. This commemorates the bloodless revolution in 1974 that overthrew the dictatorial regime of Antonio Salazar and the reestablishment of democracy.

Sinai Liberation Day: Egypt. This day commemorates the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1982.

Freedom Day : South Africa. This commemorates the day in 1994 when for the first time all South Africans had the right to vote.

Independence Day : Sierra Leone. This day commemorates Sierra Leoneis independence from Great Britain in 1961.

Ann Petry (1908)-1997): African American. Writer. Born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Ann Petry later married and moved to Harlem where she held a variety of jobs, including editor of the womenis pages of The Peopleis Voice, a weekly paper started by Adam Clayton Powell Jr, She published a story n iOn Saturday, the Sirens at Nooni n in The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP, that was later explained into a novel and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1946 as The Street. This novel was the first major literary work to focus on every day life in Harlem. It achieved critical and popular acclaim, selling 1.5 million copies. This is the day of her death.

Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington (1899-1974): African American. Composer, pianist, and jazz orchestra leader. A prolific composer and arranger and brilliant leader whose orchestra included some of the finest jazz soloists of his time, Ellington was one of the preeminent figures in jazz from the 1920is until his death. His compositions include such classic songs as iMood Indigoi and Satin Doll,i and concert works on jazz themes n some of them with religious tests.

Golden Week: Japan. This is a holiday that incorporates Greenery Day on April 29, Constitution Day on May 3, Holiday for Nation on May 4, and Children's day on May 5. This is a period when children have vacation from school and many workers have time off.

Greenery Day (Midori No Hi): Japan. This was originally the day to celebrate the birthday of the Showa Emperor but it is now also celebrated as a day for *fostering the planting of trees and other vegetation. *

May Day (Labor Day): International. In many countries the first day of May is celebrated as a spring festival, a time to celebrate the rebirth of life after winter. Some May Day customs can be traced back to ancient observances. The tradition of dancing around a pole hung with ribbons probably had its origin in the tree worship of the Celtic Druids, and the custom of filling baskets with flowers is derived from the ancient Romansi practice of gathering spring flowers on the festival of Floralia. May Day later took on another meaning: In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada drafted a resolution in support of an eight-hour working day to begin on May 1, 1886, and called for a general strike to achieve that goal. This strike led to the infamous Haymarket Affair in Chicago on May 4, 1886. On that day an anarchist labor rally was held in Haymarket Square to protest the police killing of strikers at a factory the day before. When the police tried to disperse the rally, someone threw a bomb that killed several policemen, and a riot ensued. Despite a lack of evidence, eight of Chicagois leading anarchists were charged with conspiracy to murder n four were hanged, one committed suicide in prison, and the remaining three were later pardoned. The Haymarket Affair was a pivotal event in the history of the labor movement, leading to a crackdown on labor organizations and a splintering of the Knights of Labor, the strongest U.S. labor organization, which was eventually supplanted by the American Federation of Labor. In 1889, an international Socialist congress convened in Paris and voted to support the United States labor movementis demands, choosing May 1 1890 as a day of demonstration in support of an eight-hour working day. Many countries now celebrate May Day, sometimes called Labor Day, as an official holiday honoring working people. The United States and Canada, however, celebrate Labor Day in September.