Monday, April 7, 2008

On this day

On April 7, ...
... 1970, Josina Machel (left), a fighter for the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), died in a gun battle with Portuguese troops. She was the wife and "comrade-in-arms" of Samora Machel, the president of FRELIMO, who would become the 1st President of Mozambique when it gained its independence in 1975. (He later married Graça Machel; as we've posted, she later would become a U.N. Special Rapporteur on the plight of child soldiers.) In Josina's honor Mozambicans observe Women's Day every April 7.
... 2003 (5 years ago today), in Virginia v. Black, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed convictions of 2 persons charged with violating a state's hate crimes law, which prohibited "any person … with the intent of intimidating any person or group … to burn … a cross on the property of another, a highway or other public place," and further provided that cross burning "shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to intimidate a person or group." Based on a principal opinion by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (right) a divided Court rebuffed defendants' claim that the statute violated the free speech guarantees of the 1st Amendment.

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