Thursday, April 17, 2008

On April 17

On this day in ...
... 1982, Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed Canada's Constitution Act. Effective the next day, the Act ended British authority in Canada, though it remains a constitutional monarchy and part of the Commonwealth. The Act also brought into force the written Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These events were nominated as a Legal Wonder of the World in IntLawGrrls' contest. (Incidentally, nominations are still being accepted.)
... 1961, with U.S. support by sea and air, 1,400 Cuban exiles landed on "a beach surrounded by a mosquito-infested swamp" at the island country's Bahía de Cochinos. The troops of Fidel Castro, Cuba's Premier, routed the invaders in what has come to be known as the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Speaking of President John F. Kennedy, who gave the green light for an operation that had been in planning well before Kennedy's inauguration 2 months earlier, the BBC wrote:

It was the worst foreign policy embarrassment of his career.

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