Saturday, June 30, 2007

In the blackest black numbers on the calendar--June 28

Once again, the loss of focus on dates caused me to fail to comment on the most fateful of days--June 28. I'm not sure that people properly appreciate this date in European history, so a brief review is in order:

June 28, 1389: The Ottoman Turks defeat the forces of Prince Lazar of Serbia, on Kosovo polje(Blackbird field). The Serbs lose their Balkan empire and are plunged into despair and defeat. They will spend the next five centuries attempting to avenge this loss, and will partially succeed in l9l2, by recapturing Kosovo. But Bosnia-Hercegovina, a key component in Prince Lazar's empire, has eluded them--Austria-Hungary has it in l9l2.

Thus, on JUNE 28, l9l4, Serbian nationalists decide to send Austria-Hungary a message by assassinating Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne. They somehow think Austria-Hungary will exit Bosnia. Instead, they set in motion the series of events that will lead to World War I, the collapse of 4 empires and the deaths of 9 million people.

On JUNE 28, l9l9, the Versailles Treaty was signed in Paris, to general approbation. Serbia gets Bosnia, kind of, in the new Yugoslav state that they insist on ruling. The world will come to know that the signing of the treaty merely marks an armistice in the war, which concludes temporarily, then recommences on September 1, l939.

On JUNE 28, l948, the Soviet leader, Stalin, expels rebellious Tito and the Yugoslavs from the Soviet empire, confidently predicting that "I will move my little finger and Tito will disappear!" Tito does not disappear, but is encouraged in his neutrality by effusive praise and money coming from the western camp in the Cold War.

On JUNE 28, l989, Slobodan Milosevic sounds the death knell for Tito's Yugoslavia with an incendiary speech about the Serbs, Kosovo, and, implicitly, the coming Serbian domination of post-Tito Yugoslavia. These words resound like a cannon shot throughout Yugoslavia, ultimately resulting in the Slovene exit, the Croat-Serb war over Bosnia and the Kosovo hostilities.

On June 28, 2004. Slobodan Milosevic is arrested and indicted in the Hague for war crimes during the Bosnian war. He later dies in captivity.

Is there any other date that lives in fame/infamy like 28 June? Post your nominations, please


mishdiaz said...

How can one argue with you? The signing of the Versaille Treaty alone makes it a day that lives on even today...maybe one could argue that the obvious 9-11 sparked the "troubles" in the Middle East-and indeed much of the world-as evidenced in GB a day or two ago.

buckarooskidoo said...

well, i think it's hard to beat june 28, and i agree with you about versailles. the trouble with the modern middle east--you name the country- goes directly back to the versailles and related settlements.

i think we could argue november 9 is quite a day for german and european history...for kristallnacht, l938, and the crumbling of the berlin wall, on that miraculous day in l989.