On this day 30 years ago, jubilant supporters in the Philippines swore in a new female president, Corazon Aquino, ending 20 years of authoritarian dictatorship under Ferdinand Marcos. Ms. Aquino was later selected as Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year. Before bravely leading the restoration of Democracy in her country, she had not held any other elective office. (1986)
A self-proclaimed “plain housewife”, she was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the staunchest critic of President Marcos who was assassinated three years earlier. When the dictator called for snap elections, Aquino ran for president with a former senator as her running mate. After the elections were held on February 7, Marcos was proclaimed the winner amid allegations of fraud, and Aquino called for massive civil disobedience. Defections from the Armed Forces and the support of the local Catholic hierarchy fueled the People Power Revolution that ousted Marcos and secured Aquino’s accession.
She served as president for six years, pushing through civil and human rights–as well as economic–reforms. When Corazon died of cancer in 2009, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos filled the streets to say a final farewell to their beloved “Cory”. (Click to enlarge CC photo by Richel King)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Hiram Rhodes Revels, (R-MS), became first black member of U.S. Congress (1870)
- Glacier Bay National Monument was established in Alaska (1925)
- People in Amsterdam protested against Nazis and anti-Jewish laws (1941)
- Beatles guitarist George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England (1943)
- Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the brutality of Joseph Stalin in his speech, On the Personality Cult and its Consequences (1956)
- Van Halen’s song “Jump” started a five-week run at #1 on the US singles chart (1984)
- Court rulings banned certain corporal punishment in British schools under the Human Rights Convention (1982)
And, on this day in 1995, Frank Sinatra sang to a live audience for the last time, performing before 1,200 invited guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament. His closing song (at 80 years old) was ‘The Best is Yet to Come’. (Watch the video below)
Esquire reported of the show that Sinatra was “clear, tough, on the money” and “in absolute control”.