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On this day in History September 6, 1976: Lieutenant Viktor Belenko, a pilot with the 513th Fighter Regiment, 11th Air Army, based in Chuguyevka, Primorsky Krai, Russia finished flying maneuvers with his Mig-25 jet plane and instead of heading back to base, he decided to make a fateful detour. 

Lieutenant Belenko flew the secret Mig-25 towards the Japanese island of Hokkaido, landing his plane at a civilian airport in Hakodate. The article The Defection of Viktor Belenko: The Use of International Law to Justify Political Decisions by James P. Eyster, II from the Fordham International Law Journal Volume 1, Issue 1 1977 Article 3 describes what happened next:

Though two drag chutes were employed to aid in braking, the jet rolled past the end of the mile-long runway, knocking down two short antennae before coming to a halt. The pilot emerged from the cockpit, fired two warning pistol shots, and shouted his intentions: to defect from the U.S.S.R. and receive asylum in the United States.

Belenko was the first Soviet pilot to defect with his plane.

Belenko would indeed receive asylum from the United States while the West had their hands on the elusive Mig-25 jet fighter. To this day he still lives in the United States.

For Further Reading:


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On this day in history September 7, 1822: On the banks of the Ipiranga River in São Paulo, Crown Prince Regent Pedro declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal.

The article Brazil’s Independence Day - September 7: Independência ou Morte by Bonnie Hamre from the Go SouthAmerica About webpage briefly describes some of the events that led to Brazil’s Declaration of Independence by Prince Regent Pedro:

With Napoleon and the Peninsular Wars, and the invasion and occupation of Spain and Portugal, Dom João VI, the seventeenth king of Portugal, fled Lisbon and established his court in Rio de Janeiro, where for the next 13 years, he ruled Portugal’s Asian, African, and American colonies. Although Dom João VI (1769-1826) never ruled over an independent Brazil, historians call him the “Founder of the Brazilian Nationality.” One of his major contributions to the growth of Brazil was opening the colony’s ports to free trade with friendly nations, thus signaling a marked change in trade and the resulting improved consequence of Brazil. Additionally, Dom João VI spearheaded the founding of the Academia Naval (Naval Academy), Hospital Militar (Military Hospital), Arquivo Militar (Military Archives), Jardim Botânico (Botanic Garden), Intendência Geral de Polícia (Police Commissariat), Real Biblioteca (Royal Library), the Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil), and the gunpowder factory. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, he thought it safe to make Brazil another kingdom equal to Portugal. He also decided to remain in Brazil.

The Portuguese government disagreed with both decisions and in 1820 sent troops to assist his relocation to Portugal where the army headed a revolution designed to bring about a constitutional government with Dom João as the constitutional monarch. Dom João returned to Portugal, leaving his 23-year-old son Pedro as prince regent of Brazil. Pedro actively engaged in enlisting support from both able advisors and the people of Brazil.

With revolutions and the desire for independence active in other Latin American countries, Pedro realized Brazil would soon wish for the same. With the support of the Brazilian people and the Brazilian Senate who had bestowed on him the title of Defensor e Protetor Perpétuo do Brasil, Protector and Perpetual Defender of Brazil, he defied an order to return to Portugal. When the Portuguese parliament wished to return Brazil to colonial status, Pedro seized the moment. On September 7, 1822, after receiving orders from the Portuguese parliament limiting his powers in Brazil, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence near the Ipiranga River in São Paulo. Tearing the Portuguese blue and white insignia from his uniform, Pedro drew his sword, and swore: “By my blood, by my honor, and by God: I will make Brazil free.” Their motto, he said, would be Independência ou Morte, Independence or Death! This statement is known as the Grito do Ipiranga.

Pedro de Alcântara Francisco Antônio João Carlos Xavier de Paula Miguel Rafael Joaquim José Gonzaga Pascoal Cipriano Serafim de Bragança e Bourbom, became Dom Pedro I, the first emperor of Brazil and ruled for nine years.

Brazil’s independence was officially Britain and Portugal via the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro on August 29, 1825.

For Further Reading:

Though printed during the World War II era referring to when the Nazis burned books and art that they considered “degenerate”, FDR’s quote is as relevant today as it was back in 1942. Knowledge is indeed power.

File name: 07_01_000011

Title: Books are weapons in the war of ideas

Creator/Contributor: Broder, S. (artist); United States. Office of War Information (sponsor)

Created/Published: U.S. Government Printing Office

Date issued: 1942

Physical description: 1 print (poster) : color

Summary: Poster of Nazis burning books, with quotation by Franklin D. Roosevelt on a large book in the background: “Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons.” Poster produced by the United States Office of War Information (OWI) for distribution to libraries and book stores.

Genre: War posters

Subjects: Books; Propaganda; Book burning

Notes: U.S. Government Printing Office : 1942—O-487131; OWI poster no. 7; For additional copies write Division of Public Inquiry, Office of War Information, Washington, D. C. Specify O.W.I. No. 7

Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department

Rights: Rights status not evaluated

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