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March 31 is Thomas Mundy Peterson Day in New Jersey, celebrated in honor of his being the first African-American to vote.
After just one month of the 15th amendment, the right of every male citizen of the United States to vote, Thomas Person voted in Perth Amboy, NJ. In 1884 the citizens of New Jersey presented Mr. Peterson with a voting metal to commemorate this historic event. Also March 31st was established as a day to recognize the right of all people to vote and named after Thomas.
Later Thomas Mundy Peterson was also the first African-American to hold and elected office as well as server on a jury.
With all the problems in today’s politics I hope people will take a moment to look back and remember the troubles that many people faced to be allowed the right to vote, not just in the United States with both suffrage and civil rights but going back to even the Magna Carta and further back, it has been a long road and we need not forget the travel.
I am having computer problems today and can not post at the moment. Hope to have it fixed soon.
Unfortunately due to my lack of time and the newness of this blog I am having a little difficulty getting a lot of information on some of the holidays that I am spotlighting.
March 28th is Teacher Appreciation Day in the Czech Republic. As I previously mentioned, I was unable to find when or why this day was chosen. It is well celebrated, which I feel is a very good thing, teachers need to be elevated to a much higher status with in our societies.
I have had more trouble coming up with today’s holiday then any other day so far, but it seems that Angola Victory Day is March 27th. The only problem is that I can not find why it is March 27th or what the victory was over. The only reference that I was able to find was a number of buses that where burned on March 27th and that does not seem likely to be the origins.
In the Buddhist religion there are many deities that are venerated throughout the year. March 26th is the date that Kuan Yin’s Birthday is celebrated on. Known as the Goddess of Mercy, childless couples will go to the temple in hopes to change their situation. Kuan Yin is considered one of the most important of the deities and actually has three separate birthdays that are celebrated through out the year.
Unfortunately, there is much too much that I do not know about the religion and am afraid that I may say something completely wrong so chose to leave it there.
I am very excited about today’s holiday, Våffeldagen.
In Sweden on the 25th of March Waffle Day is celebrated, known as Våffeldagen. This may seem a little silly but after consulting my brother, who has studied the Swedish language, after he did some research for me on a number of Swedish websites we have come to the conclusion that it is actually “Our Lady’s Day” orVårfrudagen . Now these are not the same word nor do they mean the same thing but when said fast they apparently sound very similar. It looks as if many Swedes do not even know the true reason for the holiday and now celebrate the day eating waffles with jam and cream. I should point out that Vårfrudagen is actually the Feast of the Annunciation.
I really wanted to do my podcast on this holiday but know that I would not be able to pronounce the words correctly and I have not set up my system to do interviews yet so was unable to get my brother to do it for me. You may be wondering why I am so excited by this, well that would be because my great grandparents on my fathers side were Swedish and have a special place in my heart for the country and people.
In 2002 Argentina put into place a law to commemorate the people who suffered during the coup of 1976. The day is known as Day of Memory for Truth and Justice and is recognized on March 24th, the day the military took power. Though the government had put the law into place it was not until 2006 when it was actually implemented. This is an indication of how deep and raw the wounds of this event are. The junta had retained control until 1983 and there have been a number of laws that where introduced to try and protect those who had committed crimes.
This day is to remember the 30,000 people who disappeared because of the military coup.
On December 22, 1992 the United Nations passed a resolution making March 22 the World Water Day. This day is to bring attention to the lack of clean potable water throughout the world. According to Water Partners International 200 million hours are walked each day for people to find usable water. Of course this does not affect the people who are reading this as they are most likely able to just walk to the kitchen and get a glass.
Along with today being World Water Day the UN has also declared 2005 to 2015 as International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”.
On March 21st, Australia recognizes Harmony Day. This coincides with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination sponsored by the United Nations. Started in 1999, the people of Australia realize that they live in a culture of vast diversity and wish to promote the understanding between all it’s citizens. With a special day set aside to promote understanding between all the people of Australia, this gives them the opportunity to come together and fight racism.
According to the government website there are over 300 different languages that are spoken in the country as well as more then six and a half million migrants to the country since 1945. To show support for this cause an orange ribbon is worn, with directions on how to make one on the site as well.
I have heard a couple of stories in the past year about subjects pertaining to the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally apologizing to the Aboriginal (1) people about wrongs from the past. This has not shown up in my research about the day and the people of Australia may not see the two connected but I do feel that with this and the addition of Harmony Day in 1999 shows an incredible step forward. These actions, though may have drawn criticism (I do not know this but just assume it has from someone), are examples of things many other countries could do to try and correct things from their pasts.
A side note, I want to compliment the ones who named this holiday, it does a much better job then the U.N. in naming something. Don’t get me wrong I fully support the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, it is just too long and I believe that Harmony Day conveys the same message and is more engaging to those who hear it.