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1510 The muslim ruler of Goa surrendered on terms to the Christian Portuguese admiral Afonso de Alburquerque who ignored the terms and slaughtered the population of muslims because god told him to do so. Christianity struck again with the sword.


1799 France adopted the meter and the metric system. A meter was one ten-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the equator as it was calculated at the time. Several specimens were made but one survives.

1869 Governor John Campbell of the Wyoming Territory signed the first law in the U.S. explicitly granting women the right to vote. Twenty years later it was explicitly written into the state constitution making Wyoming the Equality State. While that slogan appears on the automobile license plates the logo is a cowboy on a horse. The cowboy is certainly a man. Get it? The one pictured below was hard to find.

Wyoming plate.jpg

1927 The Grand Old Opry made its first radio broadcast from Nashville, Tennessee. It is a foundation stone of Country and Western music. I spent a week in the state archives in Nashville once upon a time.


1948 The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Committee that brought it forward was chaired by Eleanor ‘Everywhere’ Roosevelt. The statement was written by Canadian lawyer John Humphrey. None of the diplomats at the founding of the United Nations wanted anything to do with such an airy fairy project and so they left it to Roosevelt who made it happen, overcoming indifference and hostility. It has been often cited since, justifying much of the work of the International Court of Justice in Den Haag. A biography of Eleanor Everywhere is discussed elsewhere on this blog.

Eleanor Human Rights.jpg

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Thoughts on the canon of poltical theory and life.

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