Nov 25 2010

On This Day in History: November 25

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 25 is the 329th day of the year (330th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 36 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1999, The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution designating November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The resolution, which was introduced by the Dominican Republic, marked the anniversary of the death of three sisters, Maria, Teresa, and Minerva Mirabel, who were brutally murdered there in 1960. While women in Latin America and the Caribbean had honored the day since 1981, all UN countries did not formally recognize it until 1999.

Many organizations, including the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), had been pushing for international recognition of the date for some time.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The Mirabal sisters were four Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Three of the sisters were assassinated by persons unknown.

Patria Mercedes Mirabal (February 27, 1924 – November 25, 1960), Belgica Adela “Dede” Mirabal-Reyes (March 1, 1925 – present), Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal (March 12, 1926 – November 25, 1960) and Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal (October 15, 1935 – November 25, 1960) were citizens of the Dominican Republic who fervently opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Dede Mirabal was not assassinated and has lived to tell the stories of the death of her sisters. Presently, she lives in Salcedo, Dominican Republic in the house where the sisters were born. She works to preserve her sisters’ memory through the Museo Hermanas Mirabal which is also located in Salcedo and was home to the women for the final ten months of their lives. She published a book Vivas en El Jardin, released on August 25, 2009.

The Mirabal women grew up in an upper class, well-cultured environment. Their father was a successful businessman. All became married family women. When Trujillo came to power, their family lost almost all its fortune. They believed that Trujillo would send their country into economic chaos. Minerva became particularly passionate about ending the dictatorship of Trujillo after talking extensively with an uncle of hers. Influenced by her uncle, Minerva became more involved in the anti-Trujillo movement. She studied law and became a lawyer, but because she declined Trujillo’s romantic advances, he ordered that while she would be issued a degree she was not to receive her practitioner’s license. Her sisters followed suit, and they eventually formed a group of opponents to the Trujillo regime, known as the Movement of the Fourteenth of June. Within that group, they were known as “The Butterflies” (Las Mariposas in Spanish) because that was the underground name that Minerva was given. Two of the sisters, Maria Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal, were incarcerated and tortured on several occasions. While in prison they were repeatedly raped. Three of the sisters’ husbands were incarcerated at La Victoria Penitentiary in Santo Domingo.

Despite these setbacks, they persisted in fighting to end Trujillo’s leadership. After the sisters’ numerous imprisonments, Trujillo was blamed for their murders, but this is now being questioned. During an interview after Trujillo’s assasination, General Pupo Roman claimed to have personal knowledge that they were killed by Luis Amiama Tio, perhaps to create a rise in anti-Trujillo sentiment. On November 25, 1960, he sent men to intercept the three women after they visited their husbands in prison. The unarmed sisters were led into a sugar cane field and executed, they didn’t even have the luxury of being shot, instead they were beaten to death, along with their driver, Rufino de la Cruz. Their car was later thrown off of a mountain known as La Cumbre, between the cities of Santiago and Puerto Plata, in order to make their deaths look like an accident.

This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence. The end of the 16 Days is December 10, International Human Rights Day.

 1034 – Mael Coluim mac Cinaeda, King of Scots dies. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethoc and Crinan of Dunkeld, inherits the throne.

1120 – The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.

1177 – Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeat Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.

1343 – A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastates Naples (Italy) and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

1491 – The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, begins.

1667 – A deadly earthquake rocks Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.

1703 – The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reaches its peak intensity which it maintains through November 27. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people die.

1755 – King Ferdinand VI of Spain grants royal protection to the Beaterio de la Compania de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.

1758 – French and Indian War: British forces capture Fort Duquesne from French control. Fort Pitt is built nearby and it grows into modern Pittsburgh.

1783 – American Revolutionary War: The last British troops leave New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.

1839 – A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (which has never been completely rebuilt). The storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge – At Missionary Ridge in Tennessee, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant break the Siege of Chattanooga by routing Confederate troops under General Braxton Bragg.

1864 – American Civil War: A group of Confederate operatives calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan starts fires in more than 20 locations in an unsuccessful attempt to burn down New York City.

1874 – The United States Greenback Party is established as a political party consisting primarily of farmers affected by the Panic of 1873.

1876 – Indian Wars: In retaliation for the American defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, United States Army troops sack Chief Dull Knife’s sleeping Cheyenne village at the headwaters of the Powder River.

1917 – German forces defeat Portuguese army of about 1200 at Negomano on the border of modern-day Mozambique and Tanzania.

1918 – Vojvodina, formerly Austro-Hungarian crown land, proclaims its secession from Austria-Hungary to join the Kingdom of Serbia.

1926 – The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history strikes on Thanksgiving day. 27 twisters of great strength are reported in the Midwest, including the strongest November tornado, an estimated F4, that devastates Heber Springs, Arkansas. There are 51 deaths in Arkansas alone, 76 deaths and over 400 injuries in all.

1936 – In Berlin, Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, agreeing to consult on measures “to safeguard their common interests” in the case of an unprovoked attack by the Soviet Union against either nation. The pact is renewed on the same day five years later with additional signatories.

1940 – World War II: First flight of the deHavilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.

1943 – World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina is re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1947 – Red Scare: The “Hollywood Ten” are blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios.

1947 – New Zealand ratifies the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

1952 – Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history.

1958 – French Sudan gains autonomy as a self-governing member of the French Community.

1960 – The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic are assassinated.

1963 – President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1970 – In Japan, author Yukio Mishima and one compatriot commit ritualistic suicide after an unsuccessful coup attempt.

1973 – George Papadopoulos, head of the military Regime of the Colonels in Greece, is ousted in a hardliners’ coup led by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannidis.

1975 – Suriname gains independence from the Netherlands.

1977 – Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. is found guilty by the Philippine Military Commission No. 2 and is sentenced to death by firing squad.

1982 – The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroys an entire city block, including the Northwestern National Bank building and the recently closed Donaldson’s Department Store.

1984 – 36 top musicians gather in a Notting Hill studio and record Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

1986 – Iran Contra Affair: US Attorney General Edwin Meese announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1987 – Typhoon Nina pummels the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm.

1992 – The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

1999 – The United Nations establishes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic.

2005 – Polish Minister of National Defence Radek Sikorski opens Warsaw Pact archives to historians. Maps of possible nuclear strikes against Western Europe, as well as the possible nuclear annihilation of 43 Polish cities and 2 million of its citizens by Soviet-controlled forces, are released.

2009 – Powerful storm brings 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sparking terrible floods known as the 2009 Jeddah Floods, which kill over 150 people and sweep thousands of cars away right in the middle of Hajj in the second largest city of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah.

Holidays and observances

  * Eid al-Ghadeer in Shia Islam; On the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar to commemorate the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad as first Imam and his immediate successor.

   * Christian Feast Day:

         o Catherine of Alexandria

         o Elizabeth of Reute

   * Evacuation Day (19th century New York City)

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Suriname from the Netherlands in 1975.

   * International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (International)

   * National Day (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

   * Teacher’s Day or Hari Guru (Indonesia)

   * Vajiravudh Day (Thailand)

   * Oxmas University of Oxford

1 comment

  1. TMC

    Dalai Lama

    A sense of concern for others’ well-being brings inner strength and self confidence.

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