Monday, May 5, 2008

On May 5

On this day in ...
... 1985, President Ronald Reagan laid a memorial wreath at a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany (right). The furor that ensued -- among those buried in the cemetery were many Nazi SS officers -- prompted Reagan to push for ratification of the Convention Against Genocide. (An internal memorandum sympathetic to ratification opponents, yet ultimately recommending ratification for geopolitical reasons, was penned, as I've written (pp. 1345-46), by Department of Justice lawyer John G. Roberts, Jr., now Chief Justice of the United States.) U.S. instruments of ratification were deposited on Nov. 25, 1988, 2 weeks shy of 40 years after the United States 1st signed the treaty.
... 1892, Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod (below left) was born in Oxford, England. Following studies in archeology at Newnham College Cambridge and Oxford University, Garrod launched a distinguished career in the field, conducting fieldwork through Europe and the Near East. At the Mount Carmel caves in what is now Israel, she became the 1st person to find a Neanderthal skeleton outside Europe. Garrod "also was a pioneer for women": in 1939 she became Cambridge's 1st woman professor, at a time when women were not permitted to obtain degrees there. Later she was the 1st women to win the Gold Medal of London's Society of Antiquaries. Garrod died in 1969.

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