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.