The Task

Groups working on this task are reminded that they must first offer an abstract or summary to introduce / induct the reader to the event before offering their answers to the questions.


1. Why were each of the event considered important milestones?



What is annivesary?
Annivesary is a date which is remembered or celebrated because a special event happened on that date in a previous year.

The Geneva Convention

Articles referred to in this entry are from


The Conventions were the results of efforts by Henry Dunant, who was motivated by the horrors of war he witnessed at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. In 1977 and 2005 three separate amendments, called protocols, were made part of the Geneva Conventions.
The adoption of the First Convention followed the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. The text is given in the Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference, Geneva, 26-29 October 1863.
As of 2 August 2006,[1] when the Republic of Montenegro adopted the four conventions, they have been ratified by 194 countries.
As per article 49, 50, 129 and 146 of the Geneva Conventions I, II, III and IV, respectively, all signatory states are required to enact sufficient national laws that make grave violations of the Geneva Conventions a punishable criminal offense.

The First Convention
The First Geneva Convention is one of several Geneva Conventions. It is more formally known as the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field, 1864. It covers the treatment of battlefield casualties and was adopted in 1864 as part of the establishment of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The convention was inspired by the experiences of a Swiss businessman, Henri Dunant, who witnessed the sufferings of 40,000 soldiers wounded during a bloody conflict in 1859 between French-Piedmontese and Austrian armies after the Battle of Solferino. There was no mechanism in place to arrange truces to retrieve the wounded, who were typically left to perish of their wounds or of thirst.
Dunant rallied nearby villagers to render what relief they could, insisting on impartiality between the sides. He later wrote a book, A Memory of Solferino, that described the horrors he had seen and called for the establishment of civilian volunteer relief corps to care for the wounded in battle.
In 1863, the Geneva Society for Public Welfare took up his cause and created a committee of five, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross. On August 22, 1864, this committee brought together the representatives of 16 European states who adopted the first Geneva Convention, a treaty designed to save lives, to alleviate the suffering of wounded and sick military personnel, and to protect civilians in the act of rendering aid. The conference also established the red cross on a white field (the reverse of the Swiss flag) as the protective emblem for those serving the wounded.
As of 27 June 2006, when Nauru adopted the convention, it had been ratified by 194 countries.

The Second Convention
The Second Geneva Convention of 1906, "Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field" (Geneva, 6 July 1906) extended the principles from the First Geneva Convention of 1864 on the treatment of battlefield casualties. The Convention of 1906 should not be confused with "Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea" (Geneva, 12 August 1949).
As of 27 June 2006, when Nauru adopted the convention, it has been ratified by 194 countries.

The Third Convention
The Third Geneva Convention (or GCIII) of 1949, one of the Geneva Conventions, is a treaty agreement that primarily concerns the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs), and also touched on other topics. It replaced the Geneva Convention (1929).

General Provisions
This part sets out the overall parameters for GCIII:
Articles 1 and 2 cover which parties are bound by GCIII
Article 2 specifies when the parties are bound by GCIII
That any armed conflict between two or more "High Contracting Parties" is covered by GCIII;
That it applies to occupations of a "High Contracting Party";
That the relationship between the "High Contracting Parties" and a non-signatory, the party will remain bound until the non-signatory no longer acts under the strictures of the convention. "...Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof."
Article 3 describes minimal protections which must be adhered to by all individuals within a signatory's territory during an armed conflict not of an international character (regardless of citizenship or lack thereof): Noncombatants, combatants who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Article 3's protections exist even if one is not classified as a prisoner of war. Article 3 also states that parties to the internal conflict should endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of GCIII.
Article 4 defines prisoners of war to include:
4.1.1 Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict and members of militias of such armed forces
4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
that of carrying arms openly;
that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
4.1.3 Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.
4.1.4 Civilians who have non-combat support roles with the military and who carry a valid identity card issued by the military they support.
4.1.5 Merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.
4.1.6 Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
4.3 makes explicit that Article 33 takes precedence for the treatment of medical personnel of the enemy and chaplains of the enemy.
Article 5 specifies that prisoners of war (as defined in article 4) are protected from the time of their capture until their final repatriation. It also specifies that when there is any doubt as to whether a combatant belongs to the categories in article 4, they should be treated as such until their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.
The treatment of prisoners who do not fall into the categories described in Article 4 has led to the current controversy regarding the Bush Administration's interpretation of "unlawful combatants". The phrase "unlawful combatants", although not appearing in the Convention itself, has been used since at least the 1940s to describe prisoners not subject to the protections of the Convention.

The Fourth Convention
The Fourth Geneva Convention (or GCIV) relates to the protection of civilians during times of war "in the hands" of an enemy and under any occupation by a foreign power. This should not be confused with the better known Third Geneva Convention, which deals with the treatment of prisoners of war. The convention was published on August 12, 1949, at the end of a conference held in Geneva from April 21 to August 12, 1949. The convention entered into force on October 21, 1950.
As of 27 June 2006, when Nauru adopted the convention, it has been ratified by 194 countries.

Part I. General Provisions
This sets out the overall parameters for GCIV:
Article 2 states that signatories are bound by the convention both in war, armed conflicts where war has not been declared and in an occupation of another country's territory.
Article 3 states that even where there is not a conflict of international character the parties must as a minimum adhere to minimal protections described as: noncombatants, members of armed forces who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, with the following prohibitions:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;(b) taking of hostages;(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
Article 4 defines who is a Protected person Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. But it explicitly excludes Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention and the citizens of a neutral state or an allied state if that state has normal diplomatic relations with in the State in whose hands they are.
A number of articles specify how Protecting Powers, ICRC and other humanitarian organizations may aid Protected persons.
Protected person is the most important definition in this section because many of the articles in the rest of GCIV only apply to Protected persons.
Article 5 is currently one of the most controversial articles of GCIV, because it forms, (along with Article 5 of the GCIII and parts of GCIV Article 4,) the Administration of the USA's interpretation of unlawful combatants.

Space Shuttle Columbia accident

Space Shuttle Columbia (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-102) was the first spaceworthy space shuttle in NASA's orbital fleet. Its first mission, STS-1, lasted from April 12th to April 14th, 1981. On Febuary 1,2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas, on its 28th mission. All seven crew members aboard perished.
Space Shuttle Columbia flew 28 flights, spent 300.74-days in space, completed 4,808 orbits, and flew 125,204,911 miles in total, including its final mission. It is the only spaceworthy shuttle to have never visited either the Russian Space Station Mir or the International Space Station while those stations have been in operation.
On its final mission, Columbia carried a crew of seven astronauts. They were Rick Husband (commander), Willie McCool (pilot), Michael P. Anderson, Laurel B. Clark, and David M. Brown, Isreali astronaut Ilan Ramon, and Kalpana Chawla
On the morning of Febuary 1,2003, the shuttle re-entered the atmosphere after a 16-day scientific mission. NASA lost radio contact at about 0900 EST, only minutes before the expected 0916 landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Video recordings show the craft breaking up in flames over Texas, at an altitude of approximately 39 miles (63 km) and a speed of 12,500 mph (5.6 km/s).
NASA scientists determined that a hole was punctured in the leading edge on one of Columbia's wings, made of a carbon-carbon composite. The hole had formed when a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank peeled off during the launch 16 days earlier, puncturing the edge of the wing. Hot gases, inaccurately described in initial reports as plasma, penetrated the interior of the wing, destroying the support structure and causing the rest of the shuttle to break apart during the intense heat of re-entry.

Columbia launches on its final mission, STS-107


The Black Death, 1348

The Black Death, 1348 was a worldwide pandemic, which started in the mid-14th century.

Pattern Of the Pandemic

Asian Outbreak

The outbreak of the plague was first reported in China in the early 1339s. Many provinces including Hubei,
Jiangxi, Shanxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan and Suiyuan were affected by the disease. The Mongols and merchant caravans are likely to have indirectly brought the infected mouse from Asia to other parts of the world, when trading cites like Constantinople and Trebizond were infected. In that same year, the Genoese possession of Caffa, a great trade emporium on the Crimean peninsula, came under siege by an army of Mongol warriors, backed by Venetian forces. The Mongol Army made use of the corpses as a biological weapon, increasing the speed of the spread of the plague.

European Outbreak

The Black Death rapidly spread along the major European sea and land trade routes,
from Genoa and Venice. Trading ships from Genovese reached the port of Messina. By then, the sailors were already infected or dead.No one survived. The disease also spread from Italy across Europe. In a short period of time Germany, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Russia,Poland and Netherland were all infected.

Middle Eastern outbreak

A dramatic change in both economic and social structures occurred in the Middle East countries. It first entered from southern Russia in 1347, then reached

Alexandria in Egypt, probably through the port's trade with Constantinople and ports on the Black Sea. During 1348, it travelled east, to Gaza, and north along the eastern coast to cities in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, including Asqalan, Acre, Jerusalem, Sidon, Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo. Most of the citizens died while escaping from the disease, but the infection had already been spread.
Mecca too became infected by 1349, records show that the city of Mawsil (Mosul) suffered a massive epidemic, and the city of Baghdad experienced a second round of it. In 1351 , Yemen experienced an outbreak of the plague. The party held for the return of King Mujahid of Yemen from imprissonment in Cairo may have brought the disease with them from Eqypt.


The plague repeatedly returned to haunt Europe and the Mediterranean, although the plague still exists with isolated cases today, the

Great Plague of London in 16651666 is recognized as one of the last major outbreaks. It killed off any remaining plague-bearing rats and fleas, reducing the plaque’s outbreak cases. According to the bubonic plague theory, one possible explanation for the disappearance of plague from Europe may be that the black rat infection reservoir and its disease vector was displaced and succeeded by the bigger Norwegian, or brown, rat, which is less prone to transmiting germ-bearing fleas to humans in large rat die-offs.


Bubonic and septicemia plague are transmitted by direct contact with fleas. The bacteria multiplies inside a flea make it really hungry. And in turn the fleabite on humans to fill its stomach, but unfortunately it does not get filled. While feeding on the human, the infected blood carrying the bacteria flows from the flea into the open wound, in the end the flea dies of starvation.
The pneumonic plague spreads itself differently between human, the plagues spreads through human saliva. The airborne bacteria have yet to have any official cure. And this is how it becomes contagious and people get the disease.

Signs and Symptoms

The plague brought signs and symptoms from those who were affected by it. Firstly there will be painful lymph node swellings, the buboes. They will appear in the groin area, the neck and armpits, which ooze pus, and blood. This symptom is call necrosis. Most victims died within 4-7 days after infection. Next the mortality rate increased from 30 to 75%. And this included fever of 38-41 degree celcius, headaches, aching joints, nausea and comitting. And also skin turned to shades of purple.

Alternative Explanations

There are doubts that the Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague.
As in Iceland there weren’t any rats, but two third of the population was killed.
A biological reappraisal also said that it was impossible for rats and fleas to spread the bubonic plague.



Estimates of the demographic impact of the plague in Asia are based on both population figures during this time and estimates of the disease's toll on population centres. The initial outbreak of plague in the

Chinese province of Hubei in 1334 claimed up to ninety percent of the population, an estimated five million people. During 1353–54, outbreaks in eight distinct areas throughout the Mongol/Chinese empires may have caused the death of two-thirds of China's population, often yielding an estimate of twenty-five million deaths.

Europe and Middle East

It is estimated that between one-quarter and two-thirds of the European population died from the outbreak between 1348 and 1350. Many rural villages were depopulated, mostly the smaller communities, as the few survivors fled to larger towns and cities leaving behind

abandoned villages. The Black Death hit the culture of towns and cities disproportionately hard, although rural areas were also largely affected. Places such as Eastern Poland and Lithuania, had so low populations and were so isolated that the plague made little progress. Parts of Hungary and, in modern Belgium, the Brabant region, Hainaut and Limbourg, as well as Santiago de Compostella, were unaffected for unknown reasons. Other areas, which escaped the plague, were isolated mountainous regions (e.g. the Pyrenees). Larger cities were the worst off, as population densities and close living quarters made disease transmission easier. Cities were also strikingly filthy, infested with lice, fleas and rats, and subject to diseases related to malnutrition and poor hygiene. The influx of new citizens facilitated the movement of the plague between communities, and contributed to the longevity of the plague within larger communities.
All social classes were affected, as they live together in unhealthy places.

Alfonso XI of Castile was the only royal victim of the plague, but other royals lost their loved ones in the plague.
Furthermore, there were resurgences of the plague in later years. The plague was not eradicated until the 19th century. Many surviving rural people fled, leaving their fields and crops, and entire rural provinces are recorded as being totally depopulated. Surviving records in some cities reveal a devastating number of deaths.


People became pessimistic towards religious officials who could not keep their promises of curing the plague-infected victims and stopping the spread of the disease. The reasons for the outbreak could not be accurately determined by anyone and neither could a cure be found. Extreme isolation resulted in the increase support for different religious groups or an increased interest in the finding of more alternatives to problems faced by Europeans.

Other Effects

The European culture became very morbid where people became more pessimistic.
Europeans realized that some potions and cures used by alchemists worsened the condition of the patients and so the practice decreased. Europeans drank more liquor instead of applying it as a remedy like they previously did. Studies conducted by Dr Thomas van Hoof of Utrecht University concluded that the Black Death also contributed to the Little Ice Age. Millions of trees suddenly sprang upon abandoned farmland, soaking up the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which caused the planet to cool down.

The Black Death is also responsible for the high frequency of a particular genetic defect in people of European descent.

Treaty of Versailles

Background of Treaty

Signed on 28 June 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles
Went into effect on 10 January 1920
Signed by nearly all the 32 victorious Allied and associated nations including France, United Kingdom, Italy and Japan
China never signed
Negotiated during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that ended World War I
It imposed disarmament, reparations, and territorial changes
Treaty established the League of Nations
Drafted by President Woodrow Wilson(US), Prime Minister David Lloyd George(UK), Premier Georges Clemenceau(France), Premier Vittorio Orlando(Italy)
These men were called the Big Four


Terms dictated to Germany included a war guilt clause
Accepted responsibility as the aggressor in the war; pay reparations of £6,600 million
Boundaries of Germany and other parts of Europe were changed
Return the territories of Alsace and Lorraine to France and to place the Saarland under the supervision of the League of Nations until 1935
Territories were given to Belgium and Holland, and the nation of Poland was created from portions of German Silesia and Prussia.
Austro-Hungarian Empire was dismantled
Treaty reduced the German army to 100,000 troops
Limit its navy to 24 ships, with no submarines, naval personnel not to exceed 15,000
Prohibited Germany from manufacturing armored cars, tanks, submarines, airplanes, and poison gas
Rhine River (Rhineland) was established as a demilitarized zone

The lost land and huge reparations greatly angered many Germans
Germans felt bitter about “war guilt” in treaty which declared Germany solely responsible for war
May have contributed to the rise of German dictator Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (1930)