For the week of Nov. 19, 2017
Discovery of Puerto Rico Day: Puerto Rico. This holiday commemorates the discovery of Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus in 1493.
Anniversary of the Revolution: Mexico. This holiday marks the anniversary of the social revolution launched by Francisco Madero against the dictatorship *of Porfirio Diaz that eventually led to the creation of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the creation of a constitutional democracy.
Capture of Alcatraz Island (1969): American Indian. On this date a group of American Indians led by Richard Oakes took over Alcatraz Island, site of a former federal prison, demanding that it be made available to Indians as a cultural center and declaring that all federal surplus property must by law revert to American Indians. The occupation of Alcatraz, which lasted until June 11, 1971, dramatized the long-standing grievances of American Indians against the federal government and signaled the rise of a new activism among Indians.
Carlos Bulosan (1913-1956): Filipino American. Writer and labor organizer. Arriving in the United States at the age of 17, Bulosan worked as a migrant agricultural laborer and eventually became involved in efforts to organize packinghouse and cannery workers. After he began to write for a union paper, he discovered writing as his vocation. With the coming of World War II and the involvement of the United States in combat in the Philippines, Bulosan rose to literary prominence, publishing poetry and essays in magazines and volumes of poetry and autobiographies. His most famous work, his memoir, America Is in the Heart, speaks eloquently of the economic exploitation and ethnic discrimination suffered by poor Filipinos in his adopted country.
Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-11949): Mexican. Painter. Along with Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros, Orozco was a leader of the Mexican muralist movement, one of the major creators of large-scale paintings on patriotic themes in the public buildings of the nation. His powerful works embody his own strong belief in the ideals of revolutionary Mexico and his faith in the courage and resilience of the common people. He also worked in the United States, where he painted an important series of frescoes at Dartmouth College.
Labor Thanksgiving Day (Keiro Kansha No Hi): Japan. This observance began as a harvest festival when Japan was primarily and agricultural society and now is a public holiday celebrating all those who work.
Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999): Italian American. Baseball player. Joe DiMaggio was one of the greatest baseball players of the century. During his career from 1936 to 1951 playing for the New York Yankees, DiMaggio won three Most Valuable Player awards and led the team to eight World Series championships. In the 1941 season, he had a 56 game hitting streak, a record many believe will never be broken. He retired at 37 with a lifetime batting average of .325. DiMaggio will be remembered by many baseball fans for his complete command of center field, which he covered in graceful, gliding strides that earned him the nickname, the Yankee Clipper. In 1955, DiMaggio was inducted into the Baseball hall of Fame.
Sojourner Truth (1797?-1883) : African American. Evangelist and social reformer. Born a slave, Isabella Baumfree fled her slave master in 1826 and became free in 1828 under the New York State Anti-Slavery Act. In 1843 Isabella experienced what she regarded as a command from God to preach. She changed her name to Sojourner Truth and became a traveling speaker and an eloquent advocate of the abolition of slavery and the grating of civil rights to women. Sojourner Truth visited President Abraham Lincoln in the White House in 1864. After the Civil War, she settled in Washington, D.C., and worked to help impoverished former slaves. She died on this date.