Sunday, July 20, 2008

On July 20

On this day in ...
... 1953 (55 years ago today), Frances E. Willis became the 1st woman U.S. Foreign Service Officer to be appointed an Ambassador. Previously an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vassar College, Dr. Willis, who'd earned her Ph.D. at Stanford, was appointed Ambassador to Switzerland. She presented her credentials on October 9 and served until May 5, 1957. Willis later served as Ambassador to Norway, from 1957 to 1961, and Ambassador to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, from 1961 to 1964. The 3d woman ever to be a Foreign Service Officer, upon her appointment to that position on August 29, 1927, she was appointed a Career Ambassador on March 20, 1962. Willis, who died in 1983, was honored on the postage stamp above right.
... 1928 (80 years ago today), Hungary decreed that all traveling people -- then called Gypsies -- were to forsake their nomadic life and traditional clothing and adopt instead permanent dwellings and "modern European dress." Those born in Hungary who obeyed the decree were to be granted rights to vote and own property and to be required to serve in the military; the foreign-born were ordered to leave the country within a month or face imprisonment. Roma people, as they are called today, continue to face discrimination in Europe. (credit for 1902 photo of Gypsy camp in Hungary)

1 comment:

Digger said...

I have quoted your post here: