For the week of Nov. 29, 2015
Education for All Handicapped Children Act. (1975): United States. Signed into U.S> law on this date, this act establishes the right of every child with a disability to a free and appropriate public education. It requires states to identify such children and develop individualized education programs for them, and to provide educational services in the least restrictive environment possible. The law also protects the rights of such children and their parents in educational decisions.
Bonifacio's Day: Philippines. This holiday commemorates the birth in 1863 of *Andres Bonifacio, leader of the Philippine revolt against Spain in 1896. *
Guru Nanak Ji's Birthday (1469-1539): Sikh. Nanak was the founder of Sikhism, which comes from the Hindi word sikh, meaning disciple. Sikhism is one of the three religions most widely practiced in India with approximately 16 million followers, mostly concentrated in the state of Punjab in northern India. Sikhism is based on the revelations of its founder, the mystic guru Nanak. It opposes idolatry and emphasizes the unity of one god and all peoples. Sikhs also celebrate the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji (1666-1708).
Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986): Japanese American. Architect. A highly successful designer of public buildings, Yamasaki is best known for his designs for the Wayne State University campus in Detroit and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: United States. This law substantially revised the system of immigration quotas that had been in effect since 1924. The former system, which had set specific ceilings on the number of immigrants who could enter the United States from a particular country, was replaced by limits of 170,000 for immigrants from outside the Western (with a maximum of 20,000 for any one country) and of 120,000 for the Western Hemisphere, with no limitations on any one country. U. S. citizens and political refugees were exempted from the quotas. The act greatly expanded immigration opportunities for non-Europeans.
Rosa Park's Day: African American. On this day in 1955 Mrs. Rosa Parks, A Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress and member of the local chapter of the NAACP, refused to surrender her seat to a white man, defying the established practice of racial segregation in public transportation. After her arrest, the Blacks of the city organized to boycott the buses, causing the bus company's profits to drop by 65 percent. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. first came to national prominence as a leader of the boycott. After a Supreme Court decision in November 1956, the boycott was ended and integrated service began.
World AIDS Day. Also known as United Nation World AIDS Day. This has been declared by the World Health Organization as a time to increase education and awareness of AIDS.
Advent: Christian. Advent, which means arrival, begins the Christmas season and includes the four Sundays before Christmas: December 2, December 9, December 16, and December 23.
Joseph Conrad (born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) (1857-1924): Polish British. Writer. After spending his youth as a merchant seaman on French and British ships, Conrad settled in England and began a career as a novelist and short story writer. His works, many of them set on the high seas, are absorbing stories that raise profound questions about the nature of fate and individual responsibility.
Giuseppe Maria Francisco Vigo (1747-1836): Italian. Trader and supporter of the American Revolution. After amassing a fortune in the fur trade in the Northwest Territory, Vigo supplied arms and supplies to the colonial forces led by his friend George Rogers Clark. During a brief period of captivity at the British-held fort at Vincennes, Vigo provided Clark with information that led to Clark's capture of the fort in 1779, a key victory in the securing of the Northwest.
Josef Pilsudski (1867-1935):Polish. Political and military leader. Born to a Polish family when the territory of historic Poland was divided and ruled by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, Pilsudski devoted his energies to the cause of restoring his nation's independence, beginning as a youthful revolutionary and evolving into a statesman who became the chief of state when Poland was reestablished as a nation in 1918. He served until 1922, leading Polish forces in their successful war against Russia in 1919-1920. He seized *power again in 1926 and dominated the government until his death. *
Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784): African American Poet. This is the anniversary of the death of the first distinguished African American Poet, who was brought to America as a slave at about eight years of age. Educated in Latin and English by her master and mistress, Wheatley became famous for her learned and elegant poetry.
Saint Nicholas Day: Netherlands. This begins the Christmas season in the Netherlands. On this day Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, arrives. Cities have parades where he comes riding on a white horse or in a barge or even on a motorcycle wearing a bishop's hat and a red cape. That evening, adults have parties and exchange gifts, while children set out shoes filled with carrots and hay for Saint Nicholas' horse. In the morning, they find the shoes filled with gifts.
Ira Gershwin (1896-1983): Jewish American. Lyricist and playwright. Ira Gershwin collaborated with his brother, the composer George Gershwin, to write *Many of the classics of American popular song, of them scores of musical comedies for the stage and movies. The Gershwins' shows include Funny Face, Lady Be Good, and the Black folk opera Porgy and Bess. *
Constitution Day: Spain . After the death of Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, in 1975, Spain became a democracy and on this day in 1978 a new constitution was adopted by referendum.