June 12 was designated World Day Against Child Labour by the International Labour Organization in 2002. The effort to raise awareness and prevention of child labour internationally is regulated by the United Nations and recalls some of the most dreadful images of children’s plight recorded by Jacob Riis, while continuing to concentrate on today’s child labour problem, which affects an estimated 215 countries. Here in New York, the world’s most multi-national city and home of the United Nations, and a place where activism is a cherished calling for many, the issue is as relevant as it ever was.
On June 10, 2002 Gambino Family Boss John Gotti died of throat cancer while in federal prison. Long known as “the Teflon Don” because of three high-profile trials that ended in acquittal, Gotti was finally convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, loansharking, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and several other charges at the United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn in 1992. The convictions came largely due to testimony and wiretapping of Gotti’s underboss Sammy “the Bull” Gravano who had turned state’s evidence. While in prison, Gotti retained the title of boss and is believed to have continued to run the Gambino family operations through family members until shortly before his death. He was 61 years old.
Congratulations to ZB for getting the correct answer first!
On June 7, 1967, poet, author, and critic for The New Yorker Dorothy Parker died of a heart attack at the age of 73. Legendary as one of the guiding spirits of the Algonquin Round Table and expert and the searing and pointed bon mot, Parker did not relish her reputation as a wise-cracker, famously saying “There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it. Wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.” 40 years before her death, she had written on the subject in the famous work, Resume: “Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live.”
“Uncharitableness and lack of generosity have never been New York failings; the citizens are keenly sensible to any real, tangible distress or need. A blizzard in Dakota, an earthquake in South Carolina, a flood in Pennsylvania – after any such catastrophe hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised in New York at a day’s notice.” — Theodore Roosevelt