Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On August 27

On this day in ...
... 1973 (35 years ago today), in Attorney General v. Lavell, a divided Canadian Supreme Court held that the Indian Act -- which stripped aboriginal women who married non-Indians of their Indian status but did not similarly deprive aboriginal men who married non-Indians -- was valid. The ruling, involving the cases of First Nations women Jeannette Corbière Lavell (right) and Yvonne Bédard, was reversed by legislation in 1985.
... 1896, the shortest war in history broke out and ended, in as few as 38 minutes. It was the Anglo-Zanzibar War, which pitted Britain, at that time engaged in trying to end the slave trade, against a nephew of the just-deceased leader of Zanzibar, an Indian Ocean archipelago now part of Tanzania. (map credit) Britain won, installed its preferred new leader, and, as recounted by the BBC's website:

As a final proof of their control over Zanzibar, the British demanded payment from the Zanzibar government to cover the cost of the shells fired on the country during the course of the war -- every last minute of it.

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