... 1893, Vera Brittain was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. When World War I broke out, she urged her brother and his best friend, with whom she'd fallen in love, to enlist. Even before both were killed in that conflict, Brittain began to turn away from war and toward pacifism. In 1993, she published her memoir of that time, Testament of Youth. She has been an inspiration to IntLawGrrl Elizabeth Hillman.
... 1972 (35 years ago today), a 5-year moratorium that had been placed on executions in Canada ended. In that period support for the death penalty seemed to have increased. By a narrow vote the country abolished capital punishment in 1976. The penalty continues in Canada's neighbor to the south, of course, although abolition by New Jersey just this month (the global consequences of which our Opinio Juris colleague Peggy McGuinness posted here and here) reduced the number of U.S. retentionist jurisdictions to 38 -- 37 states plus the federal government -- though compared with prior years there were fewer executions in 2007. A reporter's even envisioned what a United States without the death penalty would look like.