This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened today!
People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 12th June”.
1942: Anne Frank receives a diary
On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, received a diary for her 13th birthday. A month later, she and her family would go into hiding from the Nazis. For two years, the Franks and four other families hid. The Gestapo found them in 1944, consequence to a tip-off and took the Franks to Auschwitz. Anne’s father was the only one who got out of there alive. He published Anne’s diary in 1947 as The Diary of a Young Girl. The book has been translated into more than 60 languages.
1963: White supremacist assassinates civil rights leader Medgar Evers
White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith had shot African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers to death, in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi. Evers had volunteered for the US Army during World War II and joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1952. He was also instrumental in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmett Till murder case. It brought national attention to the plight of African Americans in the South. In February 1994, a racially mixed jury had found Beckwith guilty of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
1964: Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa
Forty-four years ago, Nelson Mandela and seven of his comrades went to jail for life in the Rivonia Trial. They were convicted for sabotage. The next day, all but Denis Goldberg, who was the only white person convicted in the case, were shackled and flown to Robben Island Maximum Security Prison. Because apartheid rules applied also to prisoners, he was held in Pretoria Central Prison, where he spent the next 21 years. He had used his speech from the dock in the Rivonia Trial to outline the history of racial oppression in South Africa and to explain how the African National Congress had tried every available method of peaceful protest before deciding to turn to the armed struggle.
1975: Indira Gandhi convicted of election fraud
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was found guilty of electoral corruption in her successful 1971 campaign. Despite calls for her resignation, she had refused to give up India’s top office. She then later declared martial law in the country when public demonstrations threatened to topple her administration. In 1975, the Allahabad High Court convicted her of a minor election infraction and banned her from politics for six years. In response, she declared a state of emergency throughout India, imprisoned thousands of political opponents, and restricted personal freedoms in the country.
1987: President Reagan challenges Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall”
In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan had challenged Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. It was a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany. “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace—if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe—if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” Reagan said in his speech. He had indeed foreshadowed the events to come as the infamous barrier did come down on November 9, 1989.