Thursday, June 25, 2009

On June 25

On this day in ...
1950, the Korean War began with the crossing of the 38th parallel into South Korea by North Korean troops. In 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union had decided to dismantle the Japanese colonial system on the peninsula by dividing it into 2 occupation zones, American and Soviet. It is said that U.S. intelligence judged that the north could not take over the south without Soviet assistance and that the Soviets would not provide such assistance. But North Korea's Kim Il-sung, who was committed to unifying the country under his rule,managed to secure assent to military action from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The war that followed would devastate Korea, lead to a large expansion of the U.S. armed forces and America’s military presence around the world, and frustrate many on both sides by ending in an armistice that left the peninsula still divided. As we have posted, this conflict remains in a state of ceasefire-without-final-peace-treaty. (credit for photo of South Korean and U.N. troops withdrawing behind the 38th parallel)
1954 (55 years ago today), Judge Sonia Sotomayor (left) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and, as we've posted, the nominee for appointment to the Supreme Court, was born in the Bronx, New York. (photo credit) If confirmed, she would be the Court's 111th justice, its 1st Latina and its 3d woman. At the age of 8, Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her father, a factory worker with a 3d-grade education who did not speak English, died a year later. Her mother raised her and her younger brother, Juan, now a physician. Her mother, a nurse who worked 6 days a week and whom the judge has described as her biggest inspiration, stressed the value of an education, buying Encyclopædia Britannica for her children.

(Prior June 25 posts are here and here.)

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