Barthélemy Boganda (1910 – 1959) was the leading nationalist politician
of what is now the Central African Republic. Born to subsistence
farmers and adopted by Roman Catholic missionaries, in 1938 Boganda was
ordained as the first Catholic priest from Oubangui-Chari in French
Equatorial Africa. During World War II Boganda served in a number of
missions and subsequently was persuaded by the Bishop of Bangui to
enter politics. In 1946, he became the first Oubanguian elected to the
French National Assembly, where he maintained a political platform
against racism and the colonial regime. He then returned to
Oubangui-Chari to form a grassroots movement in opposition to French
colonialism. The movement led to the foundation of the Movement for the
Social Evolution of Black Africa, and became popular among villagers
and the working class. In 1958, after the French Fourth Republic began
to consider granting independence to most of its African colonies,
Boganda met with Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle to discuss terms for
the independence of Oubangui-Chari. De Gaulle accepted Boganda's terms,
and on 1 December, Boganda declared the establishment of the Central
African Republic. He became the autonomous territory's first Prime
Minister and intended to serve as the first President of the
independent CAR. However, he was killed in a mysterious plane crash.
Although those responsible for the crash were never identified, people
have suspected the French secret service, and even Boganda's French
wife, of being involved.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Yorkist troops defeated Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton in
Yorkshire, England, the largest battle in the Wars of the Roses up
until that time with approximately 20,000 casualties.
Swedish settlers founded New Sweden near Delaware Bay, the first
Swedish colony in America.
German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 4 Vesta,
the brightest asteroid and the second-most massive body in the asteroid
Bosniak general Husein Gradaščević began an uprising against Sultan
Mahmud II and the Ottoman Empire.
The M1911 single-action, semi-automatic pistol developed by American
firearms designer John Browning became the standard-issue side arm in
the United States Army.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Of, or relating to an alkali, one of a class of caustic bases.
2. (chemistry) Having a pH greater than 7
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I have known exile and a wild passion
Of longing changing to a cold ache.
King, beggar and fool, I have
been all by turns,
Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind’s treason;
Taliesin still, I
show you a new world, risen,
Stubborn with beauty, out of the heart’s need.
--R. S. Thomas
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