Monday, October 27, 2008

Freedom for Nelson Mandela (South Africa)

Leading anti-apartheid campaigner, Nelson Mandela, was freed from a South African prison, on 11 February 1990, after 27 years. His release follows the relaxation of apartheid laws... including lifting the ban on leading black rights party the African National Congress (ANC) by South African President FW de Klerk.
Mandela appeared at the gates of Victor-Verster Prison in Paarl at 16:14 local time - an hour late - with his then wife, Winnie. Holding her hand and dressed in a light brown suit and tie he smiled at the ecstatic crowds and punched the air in a victory salute before taking a silver BMW sedan to Cape Town, 40 miles away.
People danced in the streets and thousands clamored to see him at a rally in Cape Town.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Patty Hearst and SLA Bank Robbery (USA)

The granddaughter of publishing magnate WIlliam Randolph Hearst, Patricia Hearst was a college student in Berkeley, California when she was kidnapped in February of 1974 by a neo-revolutionary group calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). For the next two months, by her account, Hearst was kept in a closet and "brainwashed" by the small group of radicals who targeted wealthy capitalists as the ultimate enemy. The Hearst family agreed to the initial demands but negotiations reached a stalemate.

Then the SLA publicized a photo of Patty, machine gun in hand, apparently a willing convert to revolution. She took the name "Tania" (tribute to the wife of Che Guevara) and participated in the robbery of a San Francisco bank. Instead of a victim, Hearst became a member of the F.B.I.'s Ten Most Wanted List.

She is pictured here holding an M1 Carbine while robbing a Hibernia bank in San Francisco on 15 April 1974.

Hearst was arrested in 1975 and was convicted of bank robbery, but in 1979 her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
Out of the limelight, she became a wife, mother, author and sometime actress. In 2001, President Bill Clinton granted her a pardon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

5 Year Old Mother (Peru)

Lina Medina is the world's youngest confirmed mother in medical history.
Born in Peru on 27 September 1933, Lina was brought to a hospital by her parents at the age of 5 because of an increasing abdominal size. Originally thought to have tumor, her doctors determined that she was in fact seven months pregnant.
Dr. Gerardo Lozada took her to Lima, Peru, prior to the surgery to have other specialists confirm that Lina was in fact pregnant. A month and a half later, on 14 May 1939, she gave birth to a boy by caesarean section.
Her son weighed 2.7 kg at birth and was named Gerardo after her doctor. Gerardo was raised believing that Lina was his sister, but found out at the age of ten that she was his mother. He grew up healthy but died in 1979 at the age of 40 of a disease of the bone marrow.
There was never evidence that Lina Medina's pregnancy occurred in any but the usual way, but she never revealed the father of the child, nor the circumstances of her impregnation. Dr. Escomel suggested she might not actually know herself by writing that Lina "couldn't give precise responses". Lina's father was arrested on suspicion of rape and incest, but was later released due to lack of evidence.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Untitled (South Africa)

Police is seen here shooting tear-gas at inhabitants of a squatter camp in Modderdam, outside of Cape Town (South Africa) during a protest against the demolition of their homes in August 1977.
Leslie Hammond had only moments to take a few pictures during the sudden charge by police.

Hammond received the World Press Photo in 1977 .

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