For the week of Jul. 5, 2015
Independence Day: Venezuela. first colonized by Spain in the fifteenth century, Venezuela began a war of independence led by Francisco de Miranda and Simon Bolivar that lasted from 1810 to 1821. It is on this day in 1811 that Venezuela declared its independence from Spain. This day is celebrated in Venezuela as a national holiday.
Martyrdom of the Bab: Bahaii. This holiday commemorates the arrest, torture, imprisonment, and eventual execution of the Bab in Tabriz, Persia, in 1850. The Babis body is buried at the Bahaii temple in Haifa, Israel.
Arthur Ashe (1943-1993): African American. Athlete, writer, and activist. The first Black tennis player to win the menis titles at the U.S. Open (1968) and Wimbledon (1975), Arthur Ashe became known for his power and skill as a player and for his dignity and eloquence as a leader, particularly in efforts to combat racial discrimination. He helped integrate professional sports in South Africa and founded and worked to maintain tennis programs for inner-city youth in the United States. After heart problems led to his retirement from professional play in 1980, he researched and wrote The Hard Road to Glory, published in 1988. After announcing in the spring of 1992 that he had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, Ashe spent the last year of his life campaigning for greater public awareness of the disease and raising funds for research and treatment programs.
Nicolas Guillen (1902-1989: Cuban. Poet. A Cuban of mixed European and African ancestry, Guillen became a major exponent in the late 1920s and 1930s of poetry that is often called Afro-Cuban. He is also known for his poetry of social protest and his other writings advocating political and social reform.
Independence Day: Bahamas. This commemorates the Bahamasi gaining independence within the Commonwealth of Great Britain in 1973. This holiday is observed from July 3 through July 10.
Flemish Community Holiday: Belgium. Celebrated in Flemish communities in Belgium, this day commemorates the battle in 1302 in which the Flemish declared their independence from France.
Constantine Brumidi (1805-1880): Italian American. Painter. A successful painter in Italy, Brumidi came to the United States in 1852 as a political refugee. In 1855 he began a quarter century of work at the U.S. Capitol building, decorating it with frescoes on patriotic themes. His most famous work is iThe Apotheosis of Washingtoni in the Capitol Dome.
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