On this day: a President Resigns

Oliver F. Atkins' photo of Nixon leaving the White House shortly before his resignation became effective, 9th August 1974.

These images, taken by Oliver F. Atkins on the 9th of August, 1974, show US President Richard Nixon leaving the White House after resigning. The resignation came into effect shortly after.

Nixon-departOliver F. Atkins_ photo of Nixon leaving the White House on Marine One shortly before his resignation became effective, August 9, 1974.

Republican Nixon gave up the Presidency following the Watergate scandal, in which he tried to cover up his involvement in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

On this day: the Irish government stands up to the Catholic Church

On the 12th of March, 1985, the government of the Republic of Ireland finally stood up to the powerful Catholic Church and legalised contraception.

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Women leave Dublin on their protest journey to Belfast.

The 1970s saw feminists travelling to Belfast in Northern Ireland and returning home with contraceptives, risking arrest for importing illegal products. They were met by protestors upon their arrival home.

Illegal in the Republic in all circumstances until 1980, a new law allowed some contraception to be dispensed by a pharmacist to people with a doctor’s prescription.

This highly restrictive law was finally changed five years later, despite conservative opposition.

american-letter-to-complain-about-womens-rights-and-ireland-legalising-contraception

Some Americans were so outraged that “Holy Ireland” now allowed contraception, they wrote to the Prime Minister to complain.

Even so, advertising of contraceptives was still banned, and Ireland continued to have one of the highest birth rates in the developed world.

On this day: the birth of Aleksandr Shaparenko

aleksandr-maksimovich-shaparenko-ukrainian-sprint-canoeist-aleksandr-shaparenko-olympic-champion-for-the-soviet-union-in-1968-and-1972

Ukrainian sprint canoeist Aleksandr Shaparenko was born in Stepanivka on the 16th of February, 1946.

Competing for the Soviet Union, he won Olympic gold in 1968 and 1972, as well as a silver in the 1968 Games.

Shaparenko also won thirteen World Championship medals, including the gold seven times.