This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 17 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1995, the Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris.
The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. These accords put an end to the three and a half year long war in Bosnia, one of the armed conflicts in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Some articles erroneously refer to the agreement as the Treaty of Dayton.
Though the basic concepts of the Dayton Agreement began to appear in international talks since 1992, the negotiations were initiated following the unsuccessful previous peace efforts and arrangements, the August 1995 Croatian military Operation Storm and its aftermath, the government military offensive against the Republika Srpska, in concert with NATO’s Operation Deliberate Force. During September and October 1995, many of the world powers (especially the USA and Russia), gathered in the Contact Group, applied intense pressure to the leaders of the three sides to attend the negotiations in Dayton, Ohio.
The conference took place from November 1 to November 21, 1995. The main participants from the region were Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic (representing the Bosnian Serb interests due to absence of Karadzic), Croatian President Franjo Tudman, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic with Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey.
The peace conference was led by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and negotiator Richard Holbrooke with two Co-Chairmen in the form of EU Special Representative Carl Bildt and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov. A key participant in the US delegation was General Wesley Clark (later to become NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in 1997). The UK military representative was Col Arundell David Leakey (later to become Commander of EUFOR in 2005). The Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) served as legal counsel to the Bosnian Government delegation during the negotiations.
The secure site was chosen in a bid to curb the participants’ ability to negotiate in the media rather than at the bargaining table.
After having been initiated in Dayton, Ohio on November 21, 1995 the full and formal agreement was signed in Paris, France, on December 14, 1995 also by French President Jacques Chirac, U.S. President Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister John Major, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.
The present political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its structure of government were agreed upon as part the constitution that makes up Annex 4 of the General Framework Agreement concluded at Dayton. A key component of this was the delineation of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line, to which many of the tasks listed in the Annexes referred.
The agreement mandated a wide range of international organizations to monitor, oversee, and implement components of the agreement. The NATO-led IFOR (Implementation Force) was responsible for implementing military aspects of the agreement and deployed on the 20th December 1995, taking over the forces of the UNPROFOR.
Ironically, the chief architect of the Dayton Accord, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, died yesterday, December 13, in Washington, DC. May he rest in peace.
557 – Constantinople is severely damaged by an earthquake.
835 – Sweet Dew Incident: Emperor Wenzong of the Tang Dynasty conspires to kill the powerful eunuchs of the Tang court, but the plot is foiled.
1287 – St. Lucia’s flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses, killing over 50,000 people.
1542 – Princess Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots.
1751 – The Theresian Military Academy is founded as the first Military Academy in the world.
1782 – The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifts off on its first test flight.
1812 – The French invasion of Russia comes to an end as the remnants of the Grande Armee are expelled from Russia.
1819 – Alabama becomes the 22nd U.S. state.
1825 – Advocates of Liberalism in Russia rise up against Tsar Nicholas I and are put down in the Decembrist Revolt in St. Petersburg.
1836 – The Toledo War unofficially ends.
1896 – The Glasgow Underground Railway is opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.
1900 – Quantum Mechanics: Max Planck presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.
1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company lays the first Pacific telegraph cable, from Ocean Beach, San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.
1903 – The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1909 – New South Wales Premier Charles Wade signed the Seat of Government Surrender Act 1909, formally completing the transfer of State land to the Commonwealth to create the Australian Capital Territory.
1911 – Roald Amundsen’s team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1913 – Haruna, the fourth and last ship of the Kongo-class, launches, eventually becoming one of the Japanese workhorses during World War I and World War II.
1914 – Lisandro de la Torre and others found the Democratic Progressive Party (Partido Democrata Progresista, PDP) at the Hotel Savoy, Buenos Aires.
1918 – Friedrich Karl von Hessen, a German prince elected by the Parliament of Finland to become King Vaino I, renounces the Finnish throne.
1939 – Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
1941 – World War II: Japan signs treaty of alliance with Thailand.
1946 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York City.
1947 – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida.
1955 – Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sri Lanka join the United Nations.
1958 – The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition becomes the first expedition to reach The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility in the Antarctic.
1961 – The United Republic of Tanzania joins the United Nations.
1962 – NASA’s Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.
1963 – Baldwin Hills Reservoir wall bursts, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles.
1964 – American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States – The United States Supreme Court rules that the U.S.
Congress can use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause power to fight discrimination.
1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission. This is the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.
1981 – Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel’s Knesset passes The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights.
1983 – The 3rd Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece starts.
1994 – Construction begins on the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River.
1995 – Yugoslav Wars: The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments.
1999 – Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga join the United Nations.
2003 – President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
2004 – The Millau viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened.
2004 – Cuba and Venezuela found the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.
2006 – American spy satellite USA-193 is launched.
2008 – Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then U.S. President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq.
2008 – President George W. Bush makes his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and is almost struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a news conference in Baghdad.
2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Twenty-eight people, including the gunman, are killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
2013 – A reported coup attempt in South Sudan leads to continued fighting and hundreds of casualties.
* Alabama Day (Alabama)
* Christian Feast Day
o John of the Cross
* Monkey Day (Unofficial holidays)