Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On October 9, ...

... 1950, Jody Williams, who shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for which she was the founding coordinator, was born in Putney, Vermont. Her advocacy contributed to adoption of the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, which now has 153 states parties. The United States is not a member state. (photo of Williams, right, courtesy of Nobelprize.org)
... 1967 (40 years ago today), the 39-year-old Argentinian physician who'd been given the birth name Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna but was widely known by his nom de guerre, Che Guevara, was executed by Bolivian troops a day after his capture during a gun battle, part of the insurgency he had been leading in Bolivia. (Initially Bolivia claimed that his death took place during the battle.) Buried in an unmarked grave near La Paz, Che's remains were not found for 30 years; thereafter, they were transferred to Cuba, where he was "a member of Fidel Castro's '26th of July Movement' which seized power in Cuba in 1959," and was "ultimately Minister of Industries, and many saw him as the intellectual force behind Castro's government. " A Los Angeles Times item on Che's legacy is here.

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