Saturday, June 16, 2007

On June 16, ...

... 1976, a march in Soweto, South Africa, by more than 10,000 students opposed to the apartheid government, turned into a riot in which police killed hundreds. Another hundred died soon after in rioting throughout the country. International attention made the event a watershed in the path to majority rule in South Africa.
... 1897 (110 years ago today), the United States and the Republic of Hawaii signed a Treaty of Annexation of Hawaii in Washington, D.C. The following day Lili‘uokalani (right), who'd become Queen of Hawaii in 1891 and objected for years to the "provisional government" that purported to represent the islands, wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Sherman:
I ... do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty ... purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown, and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me.

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