William Harper (22 July 1916 – 8 September 2006) was a politician,
general contractor and Royal Air Force fighter pilot who served as a
Cabinet minister in Rhodesia (or Southern Rhodesia) from 1962 to 1968.
He signed Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain
in 1965. Born into an Anglo-Indian merchant family in Calcutta, he
joined the RAF in 1937. He served as an officer throughout the Second
World War and was wounded in the Battle of Britain. He emigrated to
Rhodesia on retiring from the air force. Entering politics with the
Dominion Party in 1958, he became Minister of Irrigation, Roads and Road
Traffic in the Rhodesian Front government in 1962. When the Prime
Minister Winston Field resigned in 1964, Harper was a front-runner to
succeed him, but lost out to Ian Smith. After leading opposition in the
Cabinet to some of Smith's negotiations, he was dismissed. He left for
South Africa before majority rule began in Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979.
Today's selected anniversaries:
Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie inscribed his name on a
rock near Dean Channel after becoming the first recorded person to
complete a transcontinental crossing of North America north of Mexico.
Wiley Post became the first pilot to fly solo around the world,
landing after a seven-day, nineteen-hour flight at Floyd Bennett Field
in Brooklyn, New York City.
Stanley Forman took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo Fire
Escape Collapse, which spurred action to improve the safety of fire
escapes across the United States.
The Israel Defense Forces dropped a bomb on the home of Salah
Shehade, the leader of the military arm of Hamas, killing him, his
family and some neighboring civilians, among them seven children.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (zoology) The spine of a sea urchin.
2. (zoology) A heavily ciliated feather-like tentacle occuring in
clusters on the crowns of certain tubeworms, especially those of the
order Canalipalpata (the fan-head worms), used for feeding and
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The spirit of man has awakened and the soul of man has gone
forth. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of
man's spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his
own brief span. Grant us honor for our dead who died in the faith, honor
for our living who work and strive for the faith, redemption and
security for all captive lands and peoples. Grant us patience with the
deluded and pity for the betrayed. And grant us the skill and valor that
shall cleanse the world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the
strong must eat the weak because they are strong. Yet most of all grant
us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years — a
brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us
children of earth — grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers
are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If
their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a
common faith that man shall know bread and peace — that he shall know
justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity
and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but
throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean
world our hands can make. Amen.
--Stephen Vincent Benét