Friday, June 12, 2009

On June 12

On this day in ...
1827, Swiss author Johanna Spyri (right) was born Johanna Heusser in Hirzel, a village near Zürich. Most famous for her children’s book Heidi, a story about a young orphan who went to live with her grandfather in the Alps, Spyri also wrote numerous short stories for children and adults. She wrote during the Franco-Prussian War to raise money for the newly founded Red Cross. After the death of her husband and son, Spyri spent the rest of her life working for charity, raising a niece, and writing many other stories. She died in 1901. (photo credit)
... 1987, a criminal court in the capital city of Bangui levied a death sentence against Jean-Bédel Bokassa, former dictator of the Central African Republic. Following a 6-month trial, the court had convicted Bokassa, "who once proclaimed himself Emperor Bokassa I" (left), "for at least 20 murders of real or imagined opponents in his 14-year reign"; it acquitted him of charges of cannibalism. Bokassa would see his sentence reduced to life imprisonment in 1988, would be released during a general amnesty in 1993, and would die at age 75 after suffering a heart attack in Bangui in 1996.

(Prior June 12 posts are here and here.)

No comments: