What other nations remember on this fateful date
Today, June 12, 2015, the country officially marks its 117th year of independence.
While there continues to exist much contention over the accuracy of celebrating this important date in history books—whether General Emilio Aguinaldo had simply defeated the Japanese occupation by allowing the country to come under the “protection” of the United States—Filipinos in general hold on to June 12 as the anniversary of the nation’s sovereignty.
And, since the late president Diosdado Macapagal proclaimed this special holiday in 1962, Filipinos, whether here or abroad, have taken pride in being a free nation with celebrations from Cavite to Malacañang, and even small communities and barangays.
For a change this year, The Manila Times’ Lifestyle Staff came to wonder what the date June 12 signifies in other nations. While it is a cause for celebration in the Philippines, with recollections of the flag flying proudly for the first time at the home of General Emilio Aguinaldo, what memories do others around the world have on the anniversary of our independence?
Interestingly so, following June 12, 1898—whose events are summarized below—the date gave the world more reasons to celebrate through time with the birth of global icons and amazing human conquests, to—and quite ironically for Filipinos—the obstruction of freedom from situations caused by man to the effects of uncontrollable nature.
Below is a series of turning points in world history, beginning June 12, 1898 in the proud nation of the Philippines.
June 12, 1898: After the Asiatic Squadron of the US Navy defeated the Spanish forces in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the Philippine revolution, was transported back to the country from his exile in Hong Kong. He then established the first Philippine government and on June 12, he declared the first Philippine Independence at his house in Kawit, Cavite.
June 12, 1901: Cuba included the Platt Amendment in its constitution making the country an American protectorate, which allowed the United States to “exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence.”
June 12, 1937: The “Great Purge”, the political repression campaign of former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, continued as eight Red Army generals were charged with treason for allegedly preparing a military attack against the Soviet Union.
June 12, 1942: United States Army Air forces dropped bombs on Ploesti, Romania, to destroy oil refineries controlled by Nazi Germany.
June 12, 1967: USSR’s Venera 4 probe was launched to explore Venus. It successfully brought back analysis of the planet’s atmosphere.
June 12, 1967: The Supreme Court of the US ruled that states cannot outlaw interracial marriages in a 9-0 vote.
June 12, 1991: Mount Pinatubo started erupting after 600 years, prompting the evacuation of military personnel at the Clark Airbase. The climactic explosion happened three days later.
June 12, 2009: Protests broke out in Iran after the president elections results declared incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of almost 60 percent of votes.