Oct-2 Day of Infamy

1937 – Parsley Massacre

From Wikipedia:

The Parsley Massacre [also referred to as El Corte (the cutting) by Dominicans and as Kouto-a (the knife) by Haitians] was a government-sponsored genocide in October 1937, at the direct order of Dominican Republic President Rafael Trujillo who ordered the execution of the Haitian population living in the borderlands with Haiti. The violence resulted in the killing of 20,000  ethnic Haitian civilians during approximately five days.

The legend is that Dominican soldiers realized that most Haitians had difficulty pronouncing the spanish word for parsley (perejil), so if a person could not pronounce the word they were executed.  Bodies of dead Haitians were deposited en masse in a river that bordered the two countries nicknamed the Massacre River (from colonial days).

In the end, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Haitian President Sténio Vincent sought reparations of $750,000, of which the Dominican government paid $525,000 (US$ 8,384,201.39 in 2013 dollars). Of this 30 dollars per victim, survivors received only 2 cents each, due to corruption in the Haitian bureaucracy.

The massacre is portrayed in Edwidge Danticat’s critically acclaimed 1998 novel “The Farming of Bones.”

1944 – Nazis Crush Warsaw Uprising

From Wikipedia:

The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany. The rebellion was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union’s Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces. However, the Soviet advance stopped short, enabling the Germans to regroup and demolish the city while defeating the Polish resistance, which fought for 63 days with little outside support.

1968 – Massacre in Mexico City

From Wikipedia:

The Tlatelolco massacre, also known as The Night of Tlatelolco (from a book title by the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska), was the killing of student and civilian protesters as well as bystanders by Mexican government employees that took place during the afternoon and night of October 2, 1968, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The violence occurred ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics celebrations in Mexico City.

While at the time, government propaganda and the mainstream media in Mexico claimed that government forces had been provoked by protesters shooting at them, government documents that have been made public since 2000 suggest that the snipers had in fact been employed by the government. Although estimates of the death toll range from thirty to three-hundred, with eyewitnesses reporting hundreds of dead, Kate Doyle—a Senior Analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America—was only able to find evidence for the death of forty-four people. According to the reports of the head of the Federal Directorate of Security 1,345 people were arrested on October 2.


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