08
Jun
09

On This Day, June 8: Muhammad

June 8, 632

Founder of Islam dies

In Medina, located in present-day Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, one of the most influential religious and political leaders in history, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third and favorite wife.

Born in Mecca of humble origins, Muhammad married a wealthy widow at 25 years old and lived the next 15 years as an unremarkable merchant. In 610, in a cave in Mount Hira north of Mecca, he had a vision in which he heard God, speaking through the angel Gabriel, command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.” Thus began a lifetime of religious revelations, which he and others collected as the Qur’an. These revelations provided the foundation for the Islamic religion. Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition, and he adopted the theology of these older religions while introducing new doctrines. His inspired teachings also brought unity to the Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia, an event that had sweeping consequences for the rest of the world.

By the summer of 622, Muhammad had gained a substantial number of converts in Mecca, leading the city’s authorities, who had a vested interest in preserving the city’s pagan religion, to plan his assassination. Muhammad fled to Medina, a city some 200 miles north of Mecca, where he was given a position of considerable political power. At Medina, he built a model theocratic state and administered a rapidly growing empire. In 629, Muhammad returned to Mecca as a conqueror. During the next two and a half years, numerous disparate Arab tribes converted to his religion. By his death on June 8, 632, he was the effective ruler of all southern Arabia, and his missionaries, or legates, were active in the Eastern Empire, Persia, and Ethiopia.

During the next century, vast conquests continued under Muhammad’s successors and allies, and the Muslim advance was not halted until the Battle of Tours in France in 732. By this time, the Muslim empire, among the largest the world had ever seen, stretched from India across the Middle East and North Africa, and up through Western Europe’s Iberian peninsula. The spread of Islam continued after the end of the Arab conquest, and many cultures in Africa and Asia voluntarily adopted the religion. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.

“Founder of Islam dies,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5075 [accessed Jun 8, 2009]

 

On This Day

0452 – Italy was invaded by Attila the Hun.

1783 – Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted and continued to spew lava for eight months. 9,350 people were killed and famine started and lasted until 1790.

1861 – Tennessee voted to secede from the Union and joined the Confederacy.

1915 – U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in a disagreement over U.S. handling of the sinking of the Lusitania.

1953 – The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregated restaurants in Washington, DC.

1961 – The Milwaukee Braves set a major league baseball record when four consecutive home runs in the seventh inning.

1968 – James Earl Ray was captured at the London Airport. He was suspected of assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1995 – U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was rescued by U.S. Marines after surviving alone in Bosnia after his F-16 fighter was shot down on June 2.

1996 – China set off an underground nuclear test blast.

1998 – Honda agreed to pay $17.1 million for disconnecting anti-pollution devices in 1.6 million cars.

1998 – The space shuttle Discovery pulled away from Mir, ending America‘s three-year partnership with Russia.

 

June 8, 1945

Truman issues order regarding release of classified scientific information

On this day in 1945, President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9568, permitting the release of scientific information from previously top-secret World War II documents. He hoped the information might help stimulate America’s developing industries in the post-World War II economy.

The order provided for the release of scientific and technical data, including highly sensitive information from World War II weapons programs, but only after it had been reviewed first by the War and Navy Departments and the director of War Mobilization and Reconversion. The order laid out specific types of classifications of information: secret, confidential and restricted. It also allowed for documents to be classified with some “other comparable designation [of secrecy level] or otherwise withheld from the public for purposes of the national military security.”

The new classification system was designed to protect sensitive documents that needed to remain secret in the interest of national security while at the same time using some information to help transition wartime industries to peacetime and create a robust post-war economy. Scientific research during World War II had produced new medicines, communications technology and materials that Truman believed could benefit consumers. Out of Executive Order 9568 came the establishment of the federal Publication Board, which reviewed all federally generated scientific and technical reports for national security issues. If documents were deemed safe to release, the Publication Board would publish the information, making it available to the private sector.

In 1950, the Publication Board came under the auspices of the Department of Commerce. Twenty years later, it was renamed the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). President Reagan tried to privatize the NTIS in 1988, but was prevented from doing so by Congress, which passed the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Authorization Act, keeping the NTIS within the Department of Commerce and under Congressional oversight.

Truman’s legislation responded to a growing concern among many Americans that citizens had a “right to know” what their government was doing. Executive Order 9568 was a stepping stone to future transparency-oriented legislation including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed in 1966, which granted Americans the right to petition the government for the release of information from federal agencies.

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1 Response to “On This Day, June 8: Muhammad”


  1. 1 nikolaykotev
    June 8, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Dear Friend!
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    Nikolay Kotev
    NEWS: approximately 1300 photos from the Second World War


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