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 July 31 in History


 Today's birthday

For the week of Jul. 26, 2015

26
Hector P. Garcia (1914-1996): Hispanic American. Medical doctor and civil rights activist. Dr. Garcia practiced medicine in Corpus Christi, Texas, after receiving hid medical degree from the University of Texas. He was also involved in the civil rights movement for Hispanic Americans, and in 1948 founded the American G. I. Forum, a national advocacy organization for Mexican American war veterans. In 1968, he became the first Hispanic to serve on the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and in 1984, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the day of his death at age 82.

26
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990): United States. Signed into law on this date, this milestone of U.S. civil rights legislation protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the areas of employment, transportation, and public accommodation. (Earlier legislation had addressed discrimination in housing.) The law requires a wide range of public and private establishments to make new and renovated facilities accessible to people with disabilities and to make ireadily achievable i changes to existing facilities in order to increase accessibility.

27
Jose Celso Barbosa: Puerto Rico. This is a public holiday honoring Barbosa, a doctor and a politician born on this day in 1857. I 1899, he founded the Republican Party if Puerto Rico that advocated statehood for the island.

27
Seventh Night (Chii-hsi), or Weaving Maid and Herd Boy Festival, is a romantic festival based on a tale of a couple who disobeyed the chief deity and are, therefore, held in the sky as stars on either side of the Milky Way. On this night, magpies fly up from earth and join their wings to form a bridge over the Milky Way so that the lovers can meet.

28
Independence Day Celebrated: Peru. This two-day national holiday celebrates the final defeat of Spanish forces by Simon Bolivar along with Jose de San Martin 1824.

01
National Day: Switzerland. This holiday commemorates the founding in 1291 of the Swiss Confederation.

02
James Baldwin (1924-1987): African American. Writer. In his novels and plays and especially in his essays, Baldwin bore powerful witness to the harsh realities of racial injustice in United States. Although he made his permanent home in France beginning in 1948, he returned to the United States periodically in the decades thereafter and was an active participant in the civil rights movement as well as its most prominent literary voice.