January 1, 2011

New Year's Day and World Peace Day, Global Family Day, and Universal Fraternity Day

Looking at the names given to this day is like looking at a list of global new year's resolutions. Yes, let's have peace, family, and fraternity this year!

This is one of oldest of all holidays and is the world's most widely celebrated holiday as well. For more on the day, see last year's post

This year, I would like to commemorate some of the steps to making the world more peaceful, with liberty and fraternity for all:

  • On this day in 1808, the importation of slaves into the United States was at long last outlawed.

  • On this day in 1863, slavery itself was at long last abolished in the U.S.
  • On this day in 1942 occurred the first declaration from a group of nations referred to as the United Nations. 

(I know it's super easy to bash the U.N. as ineffectual, but a worldwide organization dedicated to “maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights” IS a good idea, and much good comes from its various organizations. We humans just need to better carry out the good idea!)

  • On this day in 1949, a U.N. cease-fire took effect in Kashmir, stopping the war between India and Pakistan (for a decade or so).

  • On this day in 1983, the Internet was basically created. 
(What do I mean by “basically”? Well, the history of the Internet goes back to the 1960s with private and military research into computer networks. But on this date, all hosts on the ARPANET were switched over from the older NCP protocols to the Internet Protocol. Lost? Hey, you were the one who asked what I meant by “basically”!)

  • On this day in 2002, the Treaty on Open Skies came into effect. This treaty established aerial surveillance flights over member countries and thus promoted openness and transparency of military activities.

Onward and upward, guys—let's give peace and fraternity a chance!

Pictured here is the John Lennon Peace Memorial.

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