Tag Archives: This day in history

Centenary of the Halifax Explosion: Time to disturb the sleep of the unjust

Act of God, the harbour pilot, the navy?

The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue

John Griffith Armstrong
(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002)
Hardcover, 256 pp, 6 x 9 inches, 16 b/w photos, maps
Index, Bibliography and Chapter end-notes
ISBN 0-7748-0890-X
$39.95
New in Paperback: July, 2003
ISBN 0774808918 $24.95

Reviewed by GARY ZATZMAN*

Painting of the Halifax Explosion

Was it an “accident”? Did the harbour-pilot do it? Why did the British Admiralty send such a dangerous ship into the harbour of Halifax in the first place? Why was it diverted from New York? Why did the Americans and the French load explosive cargo in such a way? How much did the navy know – and when did they know it? The Halifax Explosion of 6 December 1917, the most destructive man-made explosion before the dropping of The Bomb, left half the population homeless, levelled residential areas of the working class, the poor, parts of the African-Nova Scotian community at Africville and the Mi’kmaq community at Tufts Cove, discredited the reputations of a number of officials and continues to inflame controversy to this day. John Griffith Armstrong’s The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue heaps another faggot on this fire. Focusing on the official inquiry following the disaster, Armstrong clarifies the role and responsibility of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Continue reading

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Filed under Canada, History, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

On the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion: The organization of the city as a war port is the ‘business’ best adapted for profit

Painting of the Halifax Explosion

Infamy of the massacre of the Canadian people in Halifax

December 6th is the centenary of the horrific Halifax Explosion of 1917 – the largest explosion in history before the infamous devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US atomic bombs in 1945. The tragedy is being marked by an intensive program of events and initiatives, including scores of books, exhibits, radio and TV programs, memorial meetings in Halifax and Boston, and a stamp issued by Canada Post.

The following article by Tony Seed reports on a paper presented by anti-war activists in Halifax in 1983 and expands on it for this publication. On this date, we pay our deepest respects to the families of all those who died as a result of this disaster. Continue reading

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This Day. Faris Awdah martyred

Seventeen years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah (Fares Udah), 13, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks during an attack on the outskirts of Gaza City on 29 October 2000. The youth survived the encounter with the tank only to be assassinated by an Israeli sniper a week later on November 8th under the pretext the youth was a “terrorist”. Faris was memorialized on the front cover of the acclaimed Dossier on Palestine (Shunpiking Magazine, Halifax, 2002).

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Filed under Canada, History, Palestine

This Day. The silent sabotage Cuba will never forget

Cuban medical personnel lived very tense days during the epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue in 1981,which broke out across the country | Juventud Rebelde FILE photo

It was a nightmare. Emergency rooms were flooded with children, and then adults, with symptoms that began with what appeared to be those of a common cold, and then worsened rapidly when treated as such. Within a few day at the end of May 1981, all the country’s hospitals and polyclinics were facing the most lethal epidemic experienced since the triumph of the Revolution, and did not know how the disease had suddenly appeared, or how to stop its spread.  Continue reading

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Filed under Americas, History, United States

This day. Black Loyalists “voted with their feet,” leave Nova Scotia

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By Isaac Saney

(January 15) – Today is the 225th anniversary of the beginning of one of the most significant and dramatic chapters in the historic efforts of Africans in the Americas to reconnect with – indeed, return to – Africa. It was – and is also – a profound example of the active and conscious historical agency of the oppressed and exploited in their struggle to assert their democratic rights and achieve self-determination. Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Canada, History, Nova Scotia Government

213th Anniversary of the Haitian Revolution

Haitian people step up their heroic resistance

Monument in Cap Haitien dedicated to those who fought in the Battle of Vertières in November 1803, the decisive conflict of the Haitian revolution.

 

January 1, 2017 marked the 213th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution. Beginning in 1791, the organized resistance of the enslaved peoples of the French colony of Saint-Domingue took hold and eventually overthrew both slavery and colonial rule. The revolutionaries led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines fought off successive European powers — the French, Spanish and British — to proudly establish their independent republic, Haiti, in 1804. Continue reading

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December 26, 1862 – The past in the present

On December 26, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the public hanging of 38 Sioux for demanding food for their starving people in a concentration camp. The youngest hanged was a 12 year-old girl.

Saint Paul, Dec. 27, 1862. I have the honor to inform you [President Lincoln] that 38 Indians ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at Mankato [Minnesota] at 10 a.m. Everything went off quietly. The other prisoners are well secured.

– Respectfully, H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General.

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Filed under History, Indigenous Peoples, United States