Sunday, August 16, 2009

On August 16

On this day in ...
... 1946, Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca died in New York City, 52 years and 6 days after she'd been born in Zemel, Latvia, the youngest of 4 daughters. In 1900 the family immigrated to Baltimore, where her father worked as a tailor and she attended public schools. Her mother died, and at age 13 Dorothy went to work, hand-sewing buttonholes on men's coat for $3 a week. (As no image of Bellanca appears to exist online, we post above left a photo of New York garment workers performing such work. (credit)) By age 15 she'd "organized female immigrant buttonhole makers into Local 170 of the United Garment Workers of America"; she'd go on to become a leading labor organizer who "promoted class solidarity, but took particular interest in organizing women." During the New Deal era -- at the request of Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, an IntLawGrrls transnational foremother -- she served on the Maternal and Child Welfare Committee. Bellanca also ran to be the Member of Congress representing Brooklyn, losing to the incumbent by a margin of fewer than 16,000 votes out of more than a quarter-million cast. Bellanca recently was featured as "Immigrant of the Day" by our colleagues at Immigration Prof Blog.
... 1869 (140 years ago today), la batallas de Acosta Ñú/Campo Grande, a struggle that had raged for days, took a particularly tragic turn: the massacre of thousands of Paraguayan child soldiers by troops from the Triple Alliance comprising Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Some of the children -- who'd been impressed into service by the leader of Paraguay (flag at right) after many adults were killed or captured -- "fought with fake beards to conceal their age." To this day the event is commemorated as Children's Day in Paraguay.

(Prior August 16 posts are here and here.)

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