mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Today in History

June 12 is one of those world-historical days whose significance is not as widely appreciated as it deserves to be.

At the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued a memorable challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev: “Tear down this wall!” It was an important moment for President Reagan and the world, but back in Washington a less visible and somewhat more ignoble event took place: the House of Representatives reversed an earlier decision and approved $24 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Other important events:

  • In 1776, the Virginia House of Burgesses adopted its Declaration of Rights.
  • In 1665, England set up its first municipal government in its newly acquired territory of New York.
  • In 1898, Philippine nationalists declare independence from Spain.
  • In 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered in Mississippi.
  • In 1964, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to prison by the apartheid government in South Africa.
  • In 1990, Russia proclaimed its independence and the date is still celebrated as “Russia Day” in the Federation.
  • In 1991, Russians went to the polls to elect Boris Yeltsin president.

There were also a number of important people born on this day years ago:

1915 David Rockefeller
1924 George Bush
1929 Anne Frank (who was given her diary on this date in 1942 as a 13th birthday present)
1941 Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea

It’s not often that June 12 is recognized as a special day in history, but here at Via Meadia, we remember, and we give thanks.

Features Icon
show comments
  • PBC

    Hey, today is my birthday. June 12 is a special day in history, at least from my perspective!

  • Ed Snyder

    Why was it ignoble for Congress to vote to give aid to a group that was fighting a Communist regime allied with Castro?

    If you were to say that the Contras violated human rights, Mr. Mead, then I would take your word. But Cuba with no effective opposition has not exactly been a shining example of human rights itself.

  • Soul

    And also on this date, big Happy 60’th Birthday!

  • stan

    Why was aid to the Contras bad? Opposition to communists in Berlin is good, but opposition to them in the Americas is bad?

    Perhaps you object that the Contras were not pure as the driven snow? Then obviously it was a mistake to ally with Stalin in WWII.

    Geez, with the corruption in DC and the murderous Fast and Furious actions of our government, maybe we shouldn’t even ally with ourselves.

  • Ed Snyder

    Happy Birthday, PBC! 🙂

  • jeff landaw

    I think the comment could be taken to mean that having to reverse was an ignoble but necessary move. Dr. Mead?

  • kris

    Soul@3 beat me to it: Happy Birthday.

  • dearieme

    “In 1898, Philippine nationalists declare independence from Spain” only to get a new Imperial Master, which used concentration camps in its war to suppress them.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service