Sunday, April 27, 2008

On April 27

On this day in ...
... 1960, the West African country of Togo won its independence from a U.N. trusteeship managed by 1 of its former colonizers, France. The day was not marked for nearly 3 decades when President Gnassingbé Eyadéma held sway; he ordered celebration instead on January 13, "the date he took power in 1967." After his death in 2005, his son and successor, President Faure Gnassingbé, returned the independence celebrations to this date.
... 1973 (35 years ago today), Beryl Plumptre was named chair of the new Food Prices Review Board of Canada. She saw her job "not merely to report on why food prices were increasing so rapidly, but to report, not to politicians, but directly to the Canadian public." At the time that Plumptre, a past president of the Consumers' Association of Canada and the Vanier Institute of the Family, launched the food board, Canadians spent 20% of their budget on food. Today it's about 10%. The food board was merged a few years later with Canada's Anti-Inflation Board; Plumptre became vice chair of the latter agency. Born in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in 1908, she died just this month, on April 4, at the age of 99. (credit for circa 2000 portrait of Plumptre, by Jerry Grey)

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