7 October 1950

Mother Teresa sets up the Missionaries of Charity.

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Missionaries of Charity is a Roman Catholic Latin Rite religious congregation established in 1950 by Mother Teresa. It consists of over 4,501 religious sisters and is active in 133 countries. Members of the order designate their affiliation using the order’s initials, “M.C.” A member of the Congregation must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”

Today, the order consists of both Contemplative and Active Branches of Brothers and Sisters over several different countries. In 1963, both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers were founded, Brothers being co-founded by then Australian Jesuit (who became Brother Andrew, M.C.) Fr Ian Travers-Ball S.J. In 1979 the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added and in 1984 a priest branch, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, was founded by Mother Teresa with Fr. Joseph Langford, combining the vocation of the Missionaries of Charity with the Ministerial Priesthood. As with the Sisters, the Fathers live a very simple lifestyle without television, radios or items of convenience. They neither smoke nor drink alcohol and beg for their food. They make a visit to their families every five years but do not take annual holidays. Lay Catholics and non-Catholics constitute the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, and the Lay Missionaries of Charity.

27 June 1950

The USA decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War.

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On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.

At the Yalta Conference towards the end of World War II, the United States, the USSR, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. In 1947, the United States and Great Britain called for free elections throughout Korea, but the Soviets refused to comply. In May 1948 the Korean Democratic People’s Republic–a communist state–was proclaimed in North Korea. In August, the democratic Republic of Korea was established in South Korea. By 1949, both the United States and the USSR had withdrawn the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula.

8 April 1950

Pakistan and India sign the Liaquat–Nehru Pact.

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On April 8, 1950, the Delhi Pact was signed. It was the outcome of six days of talks between India and Pakistan. The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan wanted to ensure the rights of minorities in both countries. Most importantly, they wanted to avert another war, which seemed to be brewing since the partition in 1947.

A wave of fear spread among the people. The then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan decided to solve the issue. He issued a statement stating the need for an immediate solution and also proposed that his Indian counterpart hold a meeting to look into the problem. The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi on, April 2, 1950. They signed an agreement to safeguard the rights of the minorities. This pact, came to be known as the Liaquat-Nehru Pact. Some of the objectives of this pact were to lessen the fear of religious minorities, to put an end to communal riots and to create an atmosphere of peace.

It was agreed that both governments would ensure complete and equal right of citizenship and security of life and properties to their minorities. Ensuring full fundamental human rights which included the rights of freedom of movement, freedom of thoughts and expression and the right of religion, was part of the deal. A minorities commission was to be set up to make sure that they would be represented. They vowed to not violate the rules of the pact and to make all efforts to reinforce it. If the minorities faced any problem, it would be the duty of both the governments to redress their problems without delay. In short, this pact agreed to guarantee full right to their minorities and to accord them the status of citizens.

8 February 1950

The secret police of East Germany, the Stasi, is established.

The Ministry for State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, was the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic, colloquially known as East Germany. It has been described as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies to have ever existed.The Stasi was headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg and several smaller facilities throughout the city.  Erich Mielke was its longest-serving chief, in power for thirty-two of the GDR’s forty years of existence.

One of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures, including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents. Its Main Directorate for Reconnaissance was responsible for both espionage and for conducting covert operations in foreign countries. Under its long-time head Markus Wolf, this directorate gained a reputation as one of the most effective intelligence agencies of the Cold War.

Numerous Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after 1990. After German reunification, the surveillance files that the Stasi had maintained on millions of East Germans were laid open, so that any citizen could inspect their personal file on request; these files are now maintained by the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records.

 

 

14 January 1950

The first prototype of the Russian fighter MiG-17 makes its maiden flight.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War.

While the MiG-15bis introduced swept wings to air combat over Korea, the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau had already begun work on its replacement in 1949, originally the MiG-15bis45, which would fix any problems found with the MiG-15 in combat. The result was one of the most successful transonic fighters introduced before the advent of true supersonic types such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 and North American F-100 Super Sabre. The design would ultimately still prove effective into the 1960s when pressed into supersonic dogfights over Vietnam against much faster planes which were not optimized for maneuvering in such slower speed, short-range engagements.

The first prototype, designated I-330 “SI” by the construction bureau, was flown on the 14 January 1950, piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko.The MiG-17 first saw combat in 1958 over the Straits of Taiwan and was used as an effective threat against supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War.

Also on this day:
14 January 2017: The passing away of George Geppner

17 November 1950

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Lhamo Dondrub is made the 14th Dalai Lama.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is a living paradox; he upholds compassion and nonviolence while battling for his people’s rights. While his right foot was on the pulpit teaching the Buddhist canon, his left rested on the seat of the Tibetan government.There were 13 Dalai Lamas before him, but Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, or simply “Tenzin Gyatso,” may be the most loved and decorated of them all. Because of the belief that Dalai Lamas are reincarnated beings of their god, the 14th Dalai Lama must be considered the best of his reborn self.

But, really, the 14th Dalai Lama is different in many ways, perhaps because he was born at a chaotic time which called for an extraordinary spiritual and political leader to inspire the oppressed Tibetan people.The Dalai Lama has used his influence to rally for the support of nations for years. While he knows that he is fighting for justice, he is well aware of how dirty politics can be. But as long as he is there to cast light to his people, they will never get lost. In spite of what he has accomplished, he still humbly thinks of himself as a “simple monk.” Apparently, humility is another virtue he has also mastered.