For the week of Jul. 12, 2020
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.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991): Jewish American. Writer. Singer was the leading writer in the Yiddish language after World War II and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. Most of his works have been translated into English. *
Bastille Day: France. This celebrates the fall of the Bastille prison, marking the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789.
(Saint) Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917): Italian American. Founder of a religious order. A women of phenomenal energy and organizational genius, Sister Frances Cabrini founded the Missionary /sisters of the Scared Heart, an order of nuns devoted to service in schools, orphanages, hospitals, and prisons. Under her direction the order spread between 1880 and 1910 from a single convent in her native Italy to an international institution, with 65 housed spread across Europe and the Americas and 1,500 sisters. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1909. Canonized in 1946, she is the first American saint.
Ida B. Wells-Barnet (1862-1931): African American. Journalist and civil rights activist. Ida B. Wells-Barnet devoted her life to drawing attention to the widespread practice of lynchingnthe murder of Blacks by mobs of whites-in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. She launched her crusade in 1892 in the pages of the Memphis, Tennessee, weekly newspaper of which she was part owner. After a white mob destroyed her newspaper office, she moved to New York City, where she continued writing against lynching and carried her crusade on lecture tours of the United States and Britain.
Constitution Day: South Korea. After the division of Korea into North Korea and South Korea at the end of World War II, South Korea formed a republic with its capitol I Seoul and Syngman Rhee as its first president.
Luis Munoz Rivera (1859-1916): Puerto Rico. Poet, journalist, and political leader. When Spain granted political autonomy to Puerto Rico in 1898, Luis Munoz Rivera became its leader. Only five months later, however, the United States invaded and took possession of the island, and Munoz Rivera spent the rest of his life working to regain the independence of his nation. As Resident Commissioner in Washington in 1916, he denounced the proposed Jones Act, which was to give citizenship to Puerto Ricans but retain the island as a U.S. possession. The act was passed shortly after his death.
Tisha B'Av: Jewish. This holiday commemorates the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. and again in 70 C.E.
Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935): African American. Author, teacher, and social worker. Briefly married to the Poet Laurence Dunbar, Alice Dunbar-Nelson was an accomplished writer of poems and short stories, newspaper columns, diaries, and speeches. Her career as an educator included 18 years of teaching and administration at Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware, and 4 years at a school she helped to found for delinquent African American girls. Deeply committed to racial equality, womenis rights, and world peace, she devoted much of her energy to writing, lecturing, and political organizing in support of these causes.
First Special Olympics Games (1968) : United States On this date the first Special Olympics, an athletic competition for children and adults with cognitive disabilities, opened at Soldiers field in Chicago. The first Special Olympics had 1.000 participants from the United States and Canada; by 1995, this competition expanded to include Winter Special Olympics(added in 1977 and to involve 7,000 participants from all 50 states and 143 countries. The program of event has also grown dramatically, from three at the first Special Olympics to more than twenty. The international competition is held in the year before the regular Olympics.
National Liberation Day: Nicaragua. The family of Anastasio Somoza ruled Nicaragua as a dictatorship from 1937 to 1979. After an uprising led by the National Liberation Army, the Somoza family fled Nicaragua on this day in 1979.