Tuesday, June 5, 2007

On June 5, ...

... 1851, abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe (left) began publishing serial installments of Uncle Tom's Cabin: or Life Among the Lowly in a Washington weekly. Her account of slavery in the South was an instant bestseller when issued in book form the following year. President Abraham Lincoln is said to have declared on meeting Stowe in 1862, "So this is the little lady who made this big war? "
... 1967 (40 years ago today), marked the beginning of what is now known as the Six-Day War, when Israel engaged in pre-emptive strikes against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
... 1947 (60 years ago today), U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University (below) in which he outlined the Marshall Plan for reconstruction of a Europe still foundering in the aftermath of World War II. Unless the United States helped struggling economies the "demoralizing effect on the world at large" would make possible "disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people," risking detrimental "consequences to the economy of the United States," warned Marshall, 1953 Nobel Peace Prizewinner. "Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." His tacit reference to the Soviet Union revealed a Cold War subtext: "Any government that is willing to assist in the task of recovery will find full cooperation," but all "which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States."
... 2007 (today), is World Environment Day, a U.N.-sponsored opportunity to learn more about "Melting Ice -- A Hot Topic?"

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