On this day 76 years ago, the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite African-American Army unit, was activated – the first to consist of black pilots. For years they trained but were not deployed. In 1943, when Black leaders demanded equality–and World War II demanded more skilled soldiers–the Tuskegee Airmen, or “Red-Tail Angels,” were sent to Europe and proved their mettle as accomplished pilots. WATCH an inspiring clip. (1941)
The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel for the top-notch pilots. (See Books, DVDs and Memorabilia on Amazon)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- The Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads (1917)
- Bob Dylan’s debut album was released – Bob Dylan (1962)
- India and Bangladesh signed a friendship treaty (1972)
- Crowds cheered as the leaders of West and East Germany met for the first time since the country was divided – Willy Brandt and Willi Stoph (1970)
- US House of Representatives began daily broadcasts via C-SPAN (1979)
- The first free elections in 50 years lifted Latvia‘s political opposition (1990)
- The World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace convened for the second time [see below] (2006)
The First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for peace took place in Brussels in 2005 with 150 Rabbis and Imams participating. The focus of the conference was: “Islam and Judaism as instruments of peace – recognition and respect of others”. The goals of the meeting included 1) condemning violence perpetrated in the name of religion 2) creation of a dialog and partnership between the two religions 3) facilitate development of peaceful solutions to conflict by influential religious leaders 4) gather these leaders before the media to promote a message of peace. A final declaration was made as follows:
- We call upon all people to combat hate, ignorance and their causes and to build together a world of peace, rich in diversity, in which all faiths and their practices are respected and protected.
- We call upon the political leaders of all peoples to work for righteous and peaceful durable solutions around the world and in particular in the Holy Land for the benefit of all peoples and faith-communities who live in the land and hold it dear.
- We pledge ourselves to pursue a shared goal of respect for human rights for all people and peoples, without which no peace can be possible.
- We call upon all religious leaders in Jewish and Muslim congregations around the world to devote regular sermons and addresses to their communities on the importance of inter-religious respect and reverence for all human life under all circumstances.
- We announce the establishment of a permanent joint committee to help implement these commitments and propose programmatic initiatives on a regular basis, in keeping with the proposals presented during the congress and in its spirit for the well being of all peoples.
The Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for peace, on this date in 2006, was focused on building trust and confidence necessary for joint projects, creating a forum in which religious leaders can use their influence in conflict resolution, help religious leaders to challenge the misuse of religion in fanaticism, and to create structures to facilitate practical day to day work in prioritized areas. See the final declaration posted on the Hommes de Parole Web site.