Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On July 11, ...

... 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird 1st was published. Harper Lee's novel about the courage of Southern schoolgirl Scout, her father, attorney Atticus Finch, and his client, Tom Robinson. She was inspired in part by Scottsboro, the case that, as it moved back and forth between state judges and the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, became an international cause célèbre. Mockingbird itself has an international readership: it's known in Spanish as Matar a un ruiseñor, in Portuguese as O sol é para todos, in German as Wer die Nachtigall stört, and in French as Ne tirez pas sur l'oiseau moqueur. A French website gushes: "The truth is that, while situating her story in Alabama at a precise period of time, Harper Lee wrote a universal novel about childhood confronting prejudices, lying, bigotry, and evil."
... 1995, in the Bosnian town that the United Nations had declared a safe haven --Srebrenica -- Bosnian Serb troops overcame Dutch peacekeepers. The troops subsequently separated by gender the Bosnian Muslims who had sought refuge there, then killed at least 7,000 boys and men. Eventually the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia would find some commanders guilty of genocide in this worst massacre to befall Europe since World War II; however, Gen. Ratko Mladić to this day remains a fugitive from ICTY justice. As we've posted, moreover, this year the International Court of Justice declined to find Serbia responsible for the genocide.
... 2007 (today), the United Nations marks World Population Day. This year's theme is "Men at Work," helping with parenting and household tasks too often relegated wholly to women -- as depicted in this poster, also available with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, or Arabic.

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