Saturday, May 3, 2008

On May 3

On this day in ...
... 1898 (110 years ago today), Golda Mabovitch was born in Kiev, in what was then the Russian Empire and is now Ukraine. She immigrated to the United States in 1906, joining her father, a carpenter, who had made the move 3 years earlier. She lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, until 1921, when she, her husband, and her sister went to Palestine, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the woman eventually known as Golda Meir (the last name means "illuminate") entered governmental service. Among the offices she held: Member of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, 1st Israeli Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Israel's 1st woman Foreign Minister (the only other woman, Tzipi Livni, now holds the post), and, from 1969 to 1974, Israel's only woman Prime Minister. Meir (above left) died from cancer in Jerusalem in 1978.
... 1808 (200 years ago today), near Príncipe Pío hill in Madrid, troops loyal to an appointee of France's Napoleon, who'd entered Spain and deposed the king the year before, summarily executed Spaniards who'd staged an uprising the day before. The painter Francisco Goya depicted the moment in the painting at right, entitled Los Fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo, or The Shootings of May 3rd. It was commissioned in 1814, to encourage Spaniards to resist "the forces of Napoleon."

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