For the week of May. 31, 2020
Founding of the NAACP (1910): African American. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formally established on this date. The NAACP is the largest membership organization supporting African American interest in the United States.
Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. On June 11, 1999, President Clinton issued a presidential proclamation designating June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In that proclamation the president said ... Since our earliest days as a nation, Americans have strived to make real the ideals of equality and freedom so eloquently expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. We now have a rare opportunity to enter a new century and a new millennium as one country, living those principles, recognizing our common values, and building on our shared strengths. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities that celebrate our diversity, and to remember throughout the year the gay and lesbian Americans whose many and varied contributions have enriched our national life.
Brigham Young (1801-1877): Mormon. Religious leader. Religious leader Brigham Young was converted to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon. He became the second president to the Mormon Church and, fleeing persecution, led Its followers to establish Salt Lake City as the center of the Mormon Church.
Madaraka (Self-Rule) Day: Kenya. This marks the day in 1994 that Kenya attained self-rule as a republic with Jomo Kenyatta as its first president.
Republic Day: Ghana. On this day in 1960, Ghana gained independence within the Commonwealth of Great Britain.
Dorothy West (1907-1998): African American Writer. Nicknamed ithe Kidi by Langston Hughes, Dorothy West was, when she died, the last remaining member of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Born into a Black upper class Boston family, West first published at 14 and later attended Boston University and the Columbia School of Journalism. In 1934, she founded the literary journal, Challenge to give young Black writers a place to publish. West later joined the Federal Writers Project. In 1947, she left New York for Marthais Vineyard, where she lived the rest of her life. Westis novel, iThe Weddingi, begun in the 1960s and published in 1995, focuses as much on class as on race; in 1998 it aired as a television miniseries produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950): African American. Physician. A Pioneer in blood research, Dr. Drew introduced the use of plasma on the battlefield; organized the worldis first mass blood bank project, Blood for Britain; and established the American Red Cross Blood Bank, of which he was the first director.
Roland Hayes (1887-1976) : African American. Concert singer Roland Hayes was one of the first African Americans to have an international concert career. His magnificent tenor voice brought him wide acclaim from 1917 until his retirement from the concert stage in the 1950s.
Constitution Day: Denmark. This day commemorates Denmarkis adoption of a constitutional monarchy in 1849, ending absolute rule by the monarchy.
Shavuoth (Festival of Weeks): Jewish. Shavuoth, taking place seven weeks after Passover, is the festival of the first fruits, and the weeks between are the most important in the harvesting season. The holiday is also celebrated in commemoration of the day when Moses received the Torah and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
Alfred Kazin (1915-1998): Jewish American. Writer, critic, teacher. Born of immigrant parents, Kazin attended the City College of New York, receiving both his bacheloris and masteris degrees in English. In 1942, Kazin published his first book, entitled On Native Ground. A wide-ranging review of the history of American literature from William Dean Howells to William Faulkner, the book set a new standard for literary criticism. Kazin continued to write many articles and essays, as well as novels and literary criticism. His works include the postwar novel, A Walker in the City, and literary volumes such as A Writeris America and God and the American Writer.
National Day: Sweden. This day commemorates Swedenis gaining independence from Denmark and the ascension to the throne of King Gustavus in 1523.