Thursday, July 31, 2008

On July 31

... 1998 (10 years ago today), Britain announced that it would ban the use of landmines unconditionally. Legislation passed a month earlier "after public pressure to do so" -- would have permitted "British troops to deploy mines in 'exceptional circumstances.'" On this day, however, that exception was removed. This paved the way for British ratification, on this same day, of the 1997 treaty banning landmines; that is, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer or Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. Britain's action came a month before the 1st anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, a vocal advocate of the treaty.
... 1811, Janie Currie Blaikie Hoge was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A welfare worker, fundraiser, and wartime nurse, she worked to recruit other nurses to care for wounded Union troops during the Civil War. Hoge wrote of her work in The Boys in Blue (1867) (left). Following the war, she helped to establish the Evanston College for Ladies. Among the leaders of the college was temperance advocate and suffragist Frances E.C. Willard; when the institution merged with Northwestern University, Willard became dean of the university's Women's College.

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