Explore the history of 7th June, from the significance of World Food Safety Day to pivotal events like the US and Britain’s treaty against the slave trade, Gandhi’s use of civil disobedience in South Africa, and the declaration of Vatican City as a sovereign country.
Before I share the history of 7th June, some thoughts on World Food Safety Day. My mind wanders back to the days of my childhood, when I would tightly grip my father’s hand and venture into the Goneshguri market in Guwahati. Our purpose was simple yet profound: to procure the finest fish, meat, and vegetables. The mustard oil we acquired, known as Ghanir Tel, was freshly extracted. The vegetables were abundant with life, their vibrant colors a testament to their vitality. As for the fish, it graced our palates with both deliciousness and nourishment, offering a taste that resonated deeply within.
During those days, I possessed a boundless reservoir of energy, surpassing that of contemporary children. I would frolic in the fields, reveling in the embrace of nature. When thirst beckoned, we quenched it with freshly squeezed lebur jol (Lemon Water), leaving us revitalized. In retrospect, every day was a celebration of Food Safety, as there were no corporate companies advising us on healthy food.
Times have shifted, and the tide of change has swept us along its current. We now eat ‘safe’ food packed 3-4 days earlier, we drink ‘safe’ carbonated drinks, we buy ‘safe’ oil in plastic packets, and we celebrate ‘World Food Safety Day’ only on one day. With this thought on slavery of consumerism, we now shift our focus to the history of 7th June with another story of slavery.
US and Britain wake up
History of 7th June 1862. On this day United States and Britain, renowned for their influence and power, came together to address the issue of the slave trade and express their criticism of slavery. This agreement marked an important step toward the ultimate abolition of slavery.
At the time, the United States was embroiled in the American Civil War, a conflict primarily fought over the issue of slavery. While the Union, led by President Abraham Lincoln, had declared its intention to abolish slavery, the Confederacy in the South sought to preserve the institution. Amidst this turmoil, the United States recognized the need for international support to strengthen its position and secure the abolition of the slave trade.
On June 7, 1862, the United States and Britain signed a treaty known as the Lyons-Seward Treaty, named after Lord Lyons, the British envoy to the United States, and William H. Seward, the U.S. Secretary of State. The treaty explicitly condemned the slave trade and committed both nations to cooperate in efforts to suppress it. It also established joint naval patrols to intercept and seize any ships involved in the transatlantic slave trade.
Although the treaty did not immediately end the slave trade, it served as a crucial step in the right direction. It paved the way for further international cooperation and efforts to combat the trade of enslaved individuals. Over the following decades, the transatlantic slave trade was gradually dismantled, and slavery itself was abolished in the United States through the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.
With this, I come to my next story from the history of 7th June.
Gandhi’s protest in South Africa
History of 7th June 1893. It was on this day that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi initiated the use of civil disobedience as a means of peaceful protest for the first time during his stay in South Africa. This momentous event would mark the beginning of Gandhi’s lifelong commitment to nonviolent resistance, shaping his philosophy and influencing movements for social justice worldwide.
Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 to serve as a legal representative for an Indian trading firm. During his time there, he faced firsthand the pervasive discrimination and racial injustice inflicted upon the Indian community. His experiences on South African soil profoundly impacted him, fueling his determination to fight against injustice and oppression.
The incident that led to Gandhi’s decision to employ civil disobedience occurred when he was forcibly ejected from a first-class train compartment despite holding a valid ticket. This incident served as a catalyst, igniting a fire within Gandhi to challenge the discriminatory policies prevalent in South Africa.
Following his expulsion from the train, Gandhi organized a mass meeting in Johannesburg, rallying the Indian community and urging them to resist unjust laws through nonviolent means. This marked the first public instance of Gandhi advocating for civil disobedience, which would become a cornerstone of his philosophy and his subsequent fight for India’s independence.
Now we come to the smallest country in the world – The Vatican City. My final story from the history of 7th June.
City becomes Country
On June 7, 1929, Vatican City was officially declared as a sovereign country. Situated within the city of Rome, Vatican City is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The Lateran Treaty, signed on this momentous day, granted Vatican City its independent status, recognizing its autonomy and sovereignty as a distinct entity. This agreement, reached between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, marked the resolution of longstanding disputes and solidified the Vatican’s position as a self-governing state. Since then, Vatican City has continued to serve as the spiritual heart of the Catholic faith and a symbol of religious influence and cultural heritage worldwide.
That’s all for the day.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.