Friday, December 19, 2008

On December 19

On this day in ...

... 1966, the 2 international covenants, intended to make obligatory and enforceable the promises made decades earlier in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, were opened for signature by the U.N. General Assembly. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights was the 1st to enter into force, on January 3, 1976. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights followed by a couple months, entering into force on March 23, 1976.

... 1915, Édith Gassion was born in Paris to a father who was a street acrobat and a mother who aspired to be a cabaret singer. Often she "was left in the care of her Algerian grandmother, a Kabyle woman named Aïcha"; when her father left to fight in World War I, she "was left to her own devices, and generally ran wild with other children in the neighbourhood." After the war she and her father both worked as street entertainers; eventually she "was plucked off the streets, thrown into a chic little black dress and made resident singer of Le Gerny's, one of the most elegant cabarets on the Champs Elysées." Adopting a stage surname that means "sparrow," Édith Piaf went on to become one of France's most famous singers. During World War II she used her entertainers' access to Occupation officers in order to aided the French Resistance. In this video clip, she expresses her nonregrets in one of her signature songs, Non, je ne regrette rien:

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