Monday, March 4, 2013

On my mind...

 ...and in my prayers today:  the elections in Kenya.

We live, here in Canada and the US, in lands where it is so commonplace to go cast a vote, and do it without violence or fear, that many simply don't bother.  They've forgotten the privilege that it truly is to be able to cast a free and secret ballot and have it count, and not be afraid of being killed trying to do so.

Yes, our elections can often be hotly contested beforehand, and people who lose are never happy.  We still go to the polls in peace, however, without threats made to try to keep us away.

In other parts of the world, it isn't so easy.  The last elections in Kenya resulted in terrible violence and bloodshed.  The constitution has been written there in such a way that the winners now have to have broad based support from around the country, and cannot just win because they got the most votes only among their own people because their own ethnic group is larger than other ethnic groups.

If no one wins over 50% of the vote the first time, there will be a run off election in April.  Again, the winner would have to have support from across the country and among all the different people groups.

Peaceful elections there at this time could go a long way toward bringing peace to that country and could demonstrate to the whole region that it is possible.

It would be nice to live, someday soon, in a world where every country has routine free elections, with no danger of being killed during violence at the polls.

Today is:

Casimir Pulaski Day -- Illinois, US (celebration of the Polish-American Revolutionary War Hero)

Celebrate Your Name Week -- Monday:  Fun Facts About Names Day, enjoy looking up things like, what is the name of the Monopoly dog, or do Ken and Barbie have last names

Charter Day -- St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada (1881)

Courageous Follower Day -- because leaders have to have someone to lead, and it can take as much courage to follow a great leader as to be the leader

Discovery Day -- Guam (a/k/a Magellan Day)

Election Day -- Kenya

Feast of Ra in His Barge at Heliopolis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

First Sitting of the People's Majlis/Public Holiday -- Maldives

Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Holiday -- British Virgin Islands (in lieu of Mar. 7)

Holy Experiment Day -- try something religious today

Hug a GI Day -- just don't get in trouble sneaking on base to do it

International Scrapbooking Industry Day -- can't find proof the industry actually set this day, but if you love scrapbooking, celebrate

Labour Day -- WA, Australia (a/k/a Eight Hour Day)

March Dryads' Festival -- Fairy Calendar

March Forth - Do Something Day

National Grammar Day -- sponsored by The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar on March 4th, which is both a date and an imperative

National Heroes' Day -- Paraguay

National Poundcake Day

Share a Story—shape a Future: a Literacy Blog Tour -- ensemble effort to celebrate reading; this year's topic is Literacy: The First Five Years, discussing fostering love of reading in young children

St. Casimir's Day (Patron of bachelors, kings, princes, single layment; Lithuania; Poland; against plague)

Tavern Day -- US (the first tavern in the US, a Puritan public house in Boston, MA, opened this date in 1634)

Toy Soldier Day -- Dr. Steel's Army, building a utopian playland and embarking on a worldwide mission of fun

Waltz Day -- some say National Waltz Day, and some Dance the Waltz Day, but no one says why this day; i say, waltz if you want to

Anniversaries Today:

Vermont becomes the 14th US state, 1791

Birthdays Today:

Patsy Kensit, 1968
Jason Curtis Newsted, 1963
Patricia Heaton, 1958
Chris Squire, 1948
Paula Prentiss, 1938
Miriam Makeba, 1932
Charles Rudolph Walgreen, Jr., 1906
Knute Rockne, 1888
Garrett Morgan, 1877
Antonio Vivaldi, 1678
Prince Henry the Navigator, 1394

Today in History:

Croatian Duke Trpimir I issued a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources, 852
Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam, 1351
Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, from his first voyage, 1493
Hernan Cortez arrives in Mexico in search of Aztec gold, 1519
The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a royal charter, 1629
John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England, 1675
France is divided into 83 départements, which cut across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on noble ownership of land, 1790
The first Jewish member of the US Congress, Israel Jacobs of Pennsylvania, takes office, 1791
A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario), 1791
In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington, 1797
In the Castle Hills Rebellion, in New South Wales, Australia, Irish convicts (some of whom had been involved in Ireland’s Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798) lead the colony’s only significant convict uprising, 1804
Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the Statuto Albertino that will later represent the first constitution of the Regno d'Italia, 1848
The day without a US president -- Zachary Taylor refuses to be sworn in on the Sabbath (Sunday), so there is, technically, no president on this day, 1849
The longest bridge in the Great Britain, the Forth Bridge (railway) (1,710 ft) in Scotland is opened, 1890
The great fire of Shanghai damages over 1,000 buildings, 1894
Victor Berger of Wisconsin becomes the first socialist congressman in the U.S., 1911
Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives, 1917
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia's renunciation of the throne is made public, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia publicly issues his abdication manifesto, 1917
Frances Perkins becomes the United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet, 1933
Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant, 1954
The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90, 1957
The United States Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first atomic power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica is in operation, 1962
The first Cray-1 supercomputer is shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, 1976
Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister, 1980
Bertha Wilson is appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada, 1983
The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus, 1986
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex, 1998
No response is received in the final attempt to contact Pioneer 10 by the Deep Space Network, 2006
Approximately 30,000 voters take advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world's first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting is allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet, 2007


  1. MINE TOO.
    my inlaws live part time there....

  2. Thanks for this Messymimi, I have to confess it wasn't even on my radar and will send nondenominational prayer-like positive thoughts!

  3. I agree with you: free worldwide elections would make the world a better place.

  4. Carla, i hope things stay safe for all people there, including your in-laws. It must be a beautiful place to live.

    Crabby, any positive thoughts are welcome. So far, things have gone mostly well, it seems.

    Stephen, it's a dream of mine, and i hope to pass it on to my children.

  5. God Bless the Kenyans. I wasn't aware of the voting/political issues there. So cooped up in my own little world sometimes. :(

  6. it is certainly a great privilege for us to cast a vote.