22nd August
It was on this day...
1992 Incident at Ruby Ridge

The FBI had put Randy Weaver's remote northern Idaho ranch under surveillance, apparently after he failed to appear in court on firearms charges.

On 21st August 1991 US marshals came across Kevin Harris, Randy Weaver; Weaver's 14-year-old son, Sammy; and the family dog, Striker. Accounts of who shot first are disputed: Weaver said the US Marshall shot the dog and they returned fire. The US Marshall's say they only returned fire after being shot at first.

In the ensuing shoot-out Sammy and US marshal Michael Degan were shot dead.

A tense standoff resulted.

The FBI joined the surveillance on this day, 22nd August 1992.

An FBI sharpshooter wounds Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris, and shoots Weaver's wife, Vicki, in the head, dead (she was holding a door open with one hand, and had her infant child in the other arm at the time).

After a 10 day long siege, Weaver decides to take his chances with the legal route and surrenders.

Weaver's defense team argued he had acted in self-defense and he was cleared of all charges except missing the original court date. He was sentenced to 18 months and a $10,000 fine.

Harris was acquitted of all charges.

In 1994 Weaver and Harris filed suit against the FBI and US Marshall's, for which they won $3.1mn damages.

For a fuller account of this complicated case go to wikipedia's entry here.

It was on this day...
1864 International Red Cross Founded

It was created by the adoption, by 12 nations, of 'The Geneva Convention of 1864 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field' on this day.

The treaty was the brainchild of Swiss national Jean-Henri Dunant.

The treaty recognized the military neutrality of medical personnel and in recognition of Dunant's nationality a red cross on a white background was chosen as its emblem (it is the Swiss flag in reverse).

Dunant was the very first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.

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1642 The English Civil War begins. King Charles I vs Parliament.

1791 Slaves in Haiti start a rebellion against French plantation owners, starting a 13-year long war which would lead to independence.

1922 Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary and Sinn Fein member, is assassinated in west County Cork, Ireland.

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