Wednesday, May 9, 2007

On May 9, ...

...1950, presentation to the international media of a plan by Robert Schuman, France's foreign minister, set in motion creation 7 years later of the international organization now known as the European Union. Schuman declared in part:

World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. ... The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. ... With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that ... Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.
Celebrating "Europe Day," as today is known, are 27 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden) and 3 candidate countries (Croatia, Macedonia, and Turkey).
...1844, Belle Boyd, an actress and spy for the Confederacy, was born in Martinsburg, in what is now West Virginia. Her espionage career was marked by numerous imprisonments and escapes; at Civil War's end, she embarked on a stage career in England.

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