Daily Archives: 4 March 2004

Virtual Vietnam Archive

Students, scholars, and researchers can now access nearly 1 million pages of Vietnam War related research materials through the Virtual Vietnam Archive. This free online resource is a part of the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University and currently includes the full text of more 80,000 documents, 60,000 photos and slides, hundreds of interviews with veterans and other participants (to include streaming audio and transcripts), other streaming audio and video recordings, and much more. The documents include official government and military records to include presidential office materials, unit and operation after action reports, unit rosters, staff journals and morning reports, personal letters, diaries, and many other materials. We add nearly 20,000 pages of new material online each month and expect this will increase significantly in the near future when we acquire some new digital scanning equipment. The Virtual Vietnam Archive is the most potent, dynamic, and easily accessible research tool available regarding the Vietnam War. To access these free online resources, just visit our website and select Virtual Vietnam Archive.

The Virtual Vietnam Archive is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

SOURCE: Stephen Maxner, Archivist, Associate Director, The Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University, Special Collections Library Room 108, Lubbock, TX 79409-1041; Phone: 806-742-9010; Fax: 806-742-0496; Email: steve.maxner@ttu.edu

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Saint Patrick’s Battalion in the U.S.-Mexican War

Geitner Simmons of Regions of Mind has a fascinating post on Saint Patrick’s Battalion in the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848. Many of the “San Patricios” were U.S. Army deserters who fought–fiercely and desperately–against their former comrades. Geitner quotes from an extended review of the book Shamrock and Sword: The Saint Patrick’s Battalion in the U.S.-Mexican War, by Robert Ryal Miller, which contains a fuller account.

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Chinese now no. 3 language in Canada

China’s People’s Daily recently reported that Chinese is now the no. 3 language in Canada:

In Canada if you don’t speak English or French it is most likely that you speak Chinese. This is indicated by the latest census conducted by the Canadian government. According to the statistics Chinese has become a No. 3 language used in Canada and the number of people who speak Chinese keeps on increasing.

According to Nouvelles d’Europe from 1996 to 2001, the population whose mother tongue is Chinese grew 18 percent and reached 870,000 – about 2.9 percent out of 31.4 million of the population in Canada, a rise 0.3 percent over the original Chinese proportion of 2.6 percent. Most of the Chinese-speaking population live in BC and Ontario, Vancouver and Toronto being the two most populous cities.

Is this really news to anyone? I wonder what the no. 3 language in Japan is: Chinese or Korean?

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Former Haitian President Aristide’s New Hosts

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Bangui grants Aristide asylum ‘on humanitarian grounds’

BANGUI, 2 March (IRIN) – The Central African Republic (CAR) has granted former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide asylum at the request of Gabonese President Omar Bongo and for humanitarian reasons, a government minister said on Monday.

“When a man in need knocks at your door, you do not consider his colour, his race or his rank, you welcome him and offer him the little you have,” Parfait Mbay, Communications Minister, said in a statement read on state-owned Radio Centrafrique.

He added, “At the request of his counterpart and dean of central African heads of state Gabonese President Omar Bongo, the president of the republic [Francois Bozize] accepted to receive the former president of the first black republic in the world, Jean Bertrand Aristide.”

By receiving Aristide, the CAR had confirmed its reputation as a land of asylum for people in difficulties, Mbay said.

Mbay, four other ministers and the CAR army chief of staff, Gen Antoine Gambi, received Aristide when he arrived on Monday at the Bangui-Mpoko Airport.

Mbay said that Bozize had consulted Vice-President Abel Goumba, Prime Minister Celestin Gaombalet and the chairman of the National Transitional Council, the country’s law advisory body, Nicolas Tiangaye, before allowing Aristide into the country.

“It is with sincere gratitude that we address the Central African Republic’s authorities for receiving us this morning,” the radio quoted Aristide as saying on his arrival in the capital, Bangui.

Referring to and paraphrasing Toussaint Louverture, the historical Haitian hero who was tortured and killed by French colonisers 200 years ago, Aristide said: “Today, in the shadow of Toussaint Louverture I declare: by overthrowing me, they have cut down the tree of peace but this tree will grow up again because its roots are Louverturian.”

The CAR government’s decision to welcome Aristide is perceived as an attempt to draw the attention of the international community to its own situation. The country is currently in a transitional period since the 15 March 2003 coup that brought Bozize to power. Since then, the authorities have been seeking international recognition. Now, with Aristide in exile in Bangui, the task may likely be easier.

[This Item is Delivered to the “Africa-English” Service of the UN’s IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: Irin@ocha.unon.org or Web: http://www.irinnews.org. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial sites requires written IRIN permission.]

Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004

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