Monday, May 4, 2015

Ridley's Believe It Or Not May 4 History Anti-Bullying Day aka Pink Shirt Day

Ridley’s Believe It Or Not—May 4, 2015 Trust your weekend fulfilled all expectations and you are on all cylinders for Monday’s challenges. If you are rattled by the difficulties inherent in waiting to the last moment in picking out the appropriate Mothers’ Day gift which (see below) is easy to solve. As always, I  hope you enjoy the holidays and observances, factoids of interest, a music video of West End Girls and a relevant quote from Charles Carlson, having enjoyed a refreshing glass of orange juice to start your day, blessed  with a positive attitude even though you know you will have to wade through tons of spam in your inbox, and secure in the knowledge that if you want to find a gift for any memorable event like Mothers’ Day, birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries, you know that the Alaskanpoet can provide you with a unique customized poem at a great price tailored to the event and the recipient. You need only contact me for details.
       1. Anti-Bullying Day aka Pink Shirt Day—started in Canada in 2007and now observed by over 25 countries and made an world observance by the United Nations in 2012; whether it is bullying of a cyber nature or physical, this is a serious problem that far too many kids experience. Since there is a correlation between being bullied and youth suicide, this is another observance that should be taught and observed daily especially at the nation level for leaders like Putin.  
       2.  International Firefighters Day— commemorating the firefighters around the world who have lost their lives fighting fires and celebrated on this day because it coincides with the day of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters who if able from the heavens above watched the rioters in Baltimore throw rocks and bottles at the fire trucks responding to fires must have been saddened.
       3. 1986 Number One Song—celebrating the number one song in 1986 on a brief one week run West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys, not refugees from Petsmart but an English electronic pop duo formed in 1981 and still going strong with sales of 50 million records to their credit.  Here is a link to a music video of Pet Shop Boys performing a musical video of West End Girls.
       4. National Orange Juice Day—celebrating a great way to start your morning with a good dose of Vitamin C although given the proximity to Cinco De Mayo why this is not National Lime Day is a great unanswered mystery.
       5. Birthday Boy Opened His Present Early—celebrating the birthday on this day in 1989 of the Irish golfing phenom, Rory McIlroy who won yesterday the Cadillac Match Play Championship with its over $9 million purse.
       6. Star Wars Day—a celebration honoring Lucas Films and the creation of the Star Wars franchise which like a butterfly started out in a different form following Margaret Thatcher’s election as British Prime Minister on May 4, 1979 and the headlines of congratulations “May the Fourth be with you,” which with very little urging to Star Wars fans became “May the force be with you.” With that election and the headlines a new holiday was born.
On this day in
       a. 1904 the United States took over from the French the construction of the Panama Canal; in one of the most difficult engineering projects in history and plagued with killing diseases like Yellow Fever, the Canal was completed on August 14, 1914 just in time to enable the commercial ships to transit from the Pacific to the Atlantic and avoid the dangers of the Straits of Magellan only to then face the German U-Boat menace in the Atlantic during World War I.

       b. 1932 Al Capone began serving his 12 year prison sentence for tax evasion.
       c. 1953 Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for literature for the book The Old Man and the Sea. The book was immortalized on film with Spencer Tracy in the leading role which garnered him a nomination for Best Actor but not the Oscar.   
       d. 1970 the Ohio National Guard was sent to the campus of Kent State University to quell protests by students protesting the Vietnam War and the invasion of Cambodia; the soldiers opened fire on the unarmed students without their lives in anyway threatened, firing  killing four and wounding nine, one of whom was paralyzed for life. The headline from a Georgia newspaper indicates the deep division this war was causing in America.

Of the four students killed, two were merely walking between classes. The photo of a fifteen year old runaway, Mary Ann Vecchio screaming over the body of the dead student, Jeffrey Miller, who was standing 271 feet away won the Pulitzer Prize and is one of the iconic photos of protests over the Vietnam War. No Guardsman was ever brought to justice and the civil suits were settled for $675,000 for all plaintiffs. Tragic day for this country and the ability to assemble to redress grievances.
       e. 1989 Oliver North was convicted of three felonies arising out of the Iran Contra Affair—accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting the obstruction of a congressional inquiry and assisting in the destruction of documents (has a familiar ring to it as we approach the 2016 campaign). The convictions were overturned which explains why you see his commentary on Fox News.
Reflections on the protests resulting from the Kent State Massacre from Richard M. Nixon’s counsel, Charles Colson, during the 100,000 person March on Washington: "The 82nd Airborne was in the basement of the executive office building, so I went down just to talk to some of the guys and walk among them, and they're lying on the floor leaning on their packs and their helmets and their cartridge belts and their rifles cocked and you’re thinking, 'This can't be the United States of America. This is not the greatest free democracy in the world. This is a nation at war with itself.'" Charles Carlson Sadly even with the erosion of support following TET and the nationwide student protests to the Vietnam War, over 6,000 Americans would be killed following the Kent State Massacre.  
Please enjoy the 140 character poems on events of interest on my twitter account below (if you like them, retweet and join 158 growing followers and please follow me) and follow my blogs. Always good, incisive and entertaining poems on my blogs—click on the links below. Go to for Ridley’s Believe It Or Not—This Day In History, poems to inspire, touch, emote, elate and enjoy and poems on breaking news items of importance. Go to Rhymes On The Newsworthy Times for comments on important and breaking news events that should be of interest. Ridley's Believe It Or Not  Rhymes On The Newsworthy Times
© May 4 , 2015 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
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