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Multicultural Calendar


Although August doesn't celebrate any particular heritage month, several notable people were born in this month, the United Nations holds two special celebrations, and the United States celebrates Women's Equality Day in August.

2. James Baldwin (1924-1987): African American.

Baldwin brought the harsh realities of racial injustice in the United States into the spotlight with his novels and plays and especially in his essays. In 1948, he established his permanent residence in France, though he returned to the United States periodically in the decades thereafter. He became an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement and served as its most prominent literary voice. Beyond such works as Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin explored issues of his self-identity as an American, Black man, and gay man in works such as Giovanni's Room and Another Country.

4. Louis Armstrong (1900-1971): African American.

Known by his nickname "Satchmo," Armstrong was one of the leading artists in jazz music. The New Orleans jazz cornet player, Joe "King" Oliver, gave Armstrong his first instrument and taught him to play by. After he took Oliver's place in Kid Ory's jazz band, he played with a number of groups in Chicago and New York, then founded his own big band in 1929. He later played with smaller groups, most notably the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, a sextet. Armstrong's virtuosity and musicianship brought him worldwide acclaim; he expanded his instrument's range to three octaves without losing any of his fluency and fullness of tone.

7. Ralph Bunche (1904-1971): African American.

Bunche was a diplomat, political scientist, and United Nations official. In 1949, he negotiated an agreement between Israel and Arab nations, which resulted in his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

9. International Day of the World's Indigenous People: United Nations.

First proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1994, this is a day celebrates the unique cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.

10. Pueblo Revolt (1680): American Indian.

The Pueblo peoples of the colony of New Mexico rose in revolt against the Spanish friars, soldiers, and colonists who had seized their lands, enslaved them, and forced them to renounce their ancestral gods. Beginning on this day, Pueblo leaders, inspired by a medicine man named Popé, planned a coordinated uprising, with simultaneous attacks on many Spanish settlements. The revolt came to an end on August 21, when the governor and his remaining forces abandoned Santa Fe and began a retreat south. After the victory, the Indians restored their shrines and resumed practicing their religion. Although in the next decade drought, hunger, and disease brought renewed hardships and fueled factional disputes among the Pueblos. By 1692, the Spanish had reconquered the territory.

12. Metacomet (Philip) (c. 1639-1676): American Indian (Wampanoag).

As European settlements expanded into Indian lands and as settlers persistently attempted to subjugate the Indians, tensions rose. Metacomet became leader of his people in 1662. In June of 1965, fighting broke out and spread to most of New England. Metacomet led his own people, allied with the neighboring Narragansetts and Nipmucks, in the 14 months of bloody conflict that have come to be known as "King Philip's War." Although more than 1,000 colonists were killed, the number of Indians killed or sold into slavery were uncounted. Crops and settlements were destroyed on both sides. Finally betrayed by an informer, Metacomet's wife and child captured and enslaved, and he was hunted down and killed on this date in 1676.

International Youth Day: United Nations

International Youth Day was established to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995. The Programme encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their country. U.N. General Assembly First declared this commemorative day in 1999.

14. Independence Day: Pakistan.

At the stroke of midnight on August 14, 1947, Pakistan came into existence after a 60-year formal and generally unarmed struggle for independence from the British Empire. In accordance with Britain's Indian Independence Act of July 1947, the British partitioned the British Indian Empire on that date into the two sovereign states: India and Pakistan. The central part of the empire, with a Hindu majority, would become India, while the Muslim majority areas in the northwest (West Punjab, Baluchistan, and Sindh provinces) and northeast (East Bengal) would become the state of Pakistan. Pakistan's independence day is observed on August 14, while India celebrates its independence on August 15.

19. Independence Day: Afghanistan.

This day commemorates the 1919 Treaty of Rawalpindi that granted Afghanistan complete independence from Britain, although Afghanistan was never officially a part of the British Empire.

26. Women's Equality Day: United States.

The U.S. Congress passed a law in 1974 that commemorates this day to mark the certification in 1920 of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting discrimination in voting based on sex.

29. Michael Joseph Jackson (1958-2009): African American.

Michael Jackson, known as the "King of Pop," was an innovative recording artist and captivating performer whose music was a unique fusion of pop, rock, disco, soul, funk, and R&B. His career began as a member of his family's singing group, The Jackson 5, which made their TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on December 14, 1969. Jackson began his solo career just as MTV was making its debut; he was the first Black singer to have a strong following on MTV. With his dazzling choreography and signature dance techniques such as the moonwalk and the robot, coupled with pyrotechnics and other spectacular special effects, Jackson transformed the music video into an art form. His solo album Thriller (1982), featuring hit singles "Billie Jean" and "Beat It", became the best-selling album of all time, with perhaps the most popular music video of all time, a 14-minute mini-film of the same name. Jackson debuted his famous moonwalk in 1983 while performing "Billie Jean" on Motown's 25th Anniversary show. His album Dangerous (1991) was in the new jack swing genre, a fusion of hip-hop and R&B. Its hit single "Black Or White" broke down racial barriers with its video that morphed people of different races. Michael Jackson influenced an entire generation of musicians and MTV performers. He was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once in 1997 as a member of The Jackson 5, and again in 2001 as a solo artist. His other works include the albums Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), the double album HIStory (1995), and Invincible (2001), and an autobiography, Moon Walk (1988). At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for a series of comeback concerts in London.

The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

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