5 June 1915

Denmark amends its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.

Women’s suffrage refers to the right of women to vote in elections. It was a significant movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to significant changes in voting rights and women’s roles in society.

Early Beginnings

18th and Early 19th Century: The movement for women’s suffrage began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Early advocates were influenced by the Enlightenment ideals of equality and individual rights.
Mary Wollstonecraft: In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft published “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” advocating for equal education for women and laying the groundwork for future feminist movements.

The Suffrage Movement

Seneca Falls Convention (1848): The first women’s rights convention in the United States, held in Seneca Falls, New York, marked the formal beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, it produced the Declaration of Sentiments, calling for equal rights for women, including the right to vote.
National and International Organizations: Various organizations were formed to advocate for women’s suffrage, such as the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the U.S., and the International Woman Suffrage Alliance.

Major Milestones

New Zealand (1893): New Zealand became the first self-governing country to grant women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
Australia (1902): Australia granted women the right to vote in federal elections, although Indigenous women were excluded until much later.
United Kingdom: In the UK, women over 30 gained the right to vote in 1918, and in 1928, the voting age for women was lowered to 21, equalizing it with men.
United States (1920): The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting American women the right to vote.
Other Countries: Many countries followed suit in the early 20th century, including Canada (1917-1918), Germany (1918), and Sweden (1921).

Tactics and Strategies

Peaceful Protests and Petitions: Early efforts included peaceful protests, petitions, and lobbying. Suffragists like Susan B. Anthony used these methods to raise awareness and build support.
Civil Disobedience and Militant Tactics: Some suffrage groups, particularly in the UK under leaders like Emmeline Pankhurst and the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), adopted more militant tactics, including hunger strikes, demonstrations, and even acts of vandalism.

Opposition and Challenges

Social and Political Opposition: The suffrage movement faced significant opposition from those who believed women’s roles should be confined to the domestic sphere. Many argued that women lacked the capacity or need to participate in politics.
Internal Divisions: There were divisions within the movement itself over strategies, goals, and the inclusion of other social issues, such as racial equality and labor rights.

Legacy and Impact

Legal and Social Changes: The success of the women’s suffrage movement led to significant legal and social changes, including increased political participation by women and greater advocacy for women’s rights in other areas.
Continued Advocacy: While the right to vote was a major milestone, the broader fight for gender equality continued, influencing later feminist movements in the mid-to-late 20th century and beyond.

5 June 1981

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is a publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States. It is a vital source of public health information that provides data on various diseases, conditions, and public health topics.

The MMWR was first published in 1952 and has since become one of the most widely recognized and respected epidemiological publications globally. Its primary purpose is to share timely and reliable information about diseases and their impact on public health. The report covers a broad range of topics, including infectious diseases, chronic diseases, injury prevention, environmental health, and more.

The MMWR publishes both regular and special reports. Regular reports feature surveillance data, outbreak investigations, and analyses of public health trends. These reports often provide information on disease incidence, prevalence, and distribution, as well as recommendations for prevention and control. Special reports focus on specific public health issues or events, such as emerging infectious diseases, natural disasters, or public health emergencies.

The MMWR follows a rigorous review process to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information it presents. The data published in the report are collected from various sources, including state and local health departments, healthcare providers, and other public health agencies. The CDC analyzes the data and collaborates with experts to develop evidence-based recommendations and guidelines.

The MMWR plays a crucial role in informing public health professionals, policymakers, and healthcare providers about the latest developments in disease surveillance, prevention strategies, and outbreak investigations. It helps guide public health decision-making and facilitates the implementation of effective interventions to protect the population’s health.

In addition to its print publication, the MMWR is freely available online to the public. The reports are regularly disseminated through the CDC’s website, email subscriptions, and social media channels, ensuring broad accessibility and widespread distribution of vital public health information.

5 June 2017

Montenegro becomes the 29th member of the NATO.

Montenegro became NATO’s newest member on Monday 5 June 2017, upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the US State Department in Washington DC. At a ceremony marking the occasion, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that Montenegro’s accession to the Alliance contributes to international peace and security, and sends a strong signal that NATO’s door remains open. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Duško Markovi? and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Srdjan Darmanovi? and was hosted by the United States Undersecretary for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon.

“Today, Montenegro joins NATO with a seat at the table as an equal, with an equal voice in shaping our Alliance, and its independence guaranteed,” the Secretary General said. Mr. Stoltenberg noted that NATO will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Western Balkans “and the professionalism, bravery and dedication of its men and women in uniform”. He stressed that NATO’s collective pledge, Article 5, has kept Allies safe for almost seven decades.

Allied Foreign Ministers signed Montenegro’s Accession Protocol in May 2016, after which all 28 national parliaments voted to ratify Montenegro’s membership. A flag-raising ceremony for Montenegro will take place at NATO Headquarters on 7 June 2017.

Today marks NATO’s first enlargement since 1 April 2009, when Albania and Croatia joined the Alliance.

5 June 1963

John Profumo, the British Secretary of State for War, resigns in a sex scandal known as the “Profumo affair”.

On June 5, 1963, British Secretary of War John Profumo resigns his post following revelations that he had lied to the House of Commons about his sexual affair with Christine Keeler, an alleged prostitute. At the time of the affair, Keeler was also involved with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a Soviet naval attache who some suspected was a spy. Although Profumo assured the government that he had not compromised national security in any way, the scandal threatened to topple Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s government.

Age 48 in 1963, John Dennis Profumo was appointed secretary of war by Macmillan in 1960. As war minister, he was in charge of overseeing the British army. The post was a junior cabinet position, but Profumo looked a good candidate for future promotion. He was married to Valerie Hobson, a retired movie actress, and the Profumos were very much at the center of “swinging ’60s” society in the early 1960s. One night in July 1961, John Profumo was at the Cliveden estate of Lord “Bill” Astor when he was first introduced to 19-year-old Christine Keeler. She was frolicking naked by the Cliveden pool.

Keeler was at Cliveden as a guest of Dr. Stephen Ward, a society osteopath and part-time portraitist who rented a cottage at the estate from his friend Lord Astor. Keeler was working as a showgirl at a London nightclub when she first met Dr. Ward. Ward took her under his wing, and they lived together in his London flat but were not lovers. He encouraged her to pursue sexual relationships with his high-class friends, and on one or more occasions Keeler apparently accepted money in exchange for sex. Ward introduced her to his friend Ivanov, and she began a sexual relationship with the Soviet diplomat. Several weeks after meeting Profumo at Cliveden, she also began an affair with the war minister. There is no evidence that either of these men paid her for sex, but Profumo once gave Keeler some money to buy her mother a birthday present.

After an intense few months, Profumo ended his affair with Keeler before the end of 1961. His indiscretions might never have come to public attention were it not for an incident involving Keeler that occurred in early 1963. Johnny Edgecombe, a West Indian marijuana dealer, was arrested for shooting up the exterior of Ward’s London flat after Keeler, his ex-lover, refused to let him in. The press gave considerable coverage to the incident and subsequent trial, and rumors were soon abounding about Keeler’s earlier relationship with Profumo. When Keeler confirmed reports of her affair with Profumo, and admitted a concurrent relationship with Ivanov, what had been cocktail-party gossip grew into a scandal with serious security connotations.

On March 21, 1963, Colonel George Wigg, a Labour MP for Dudley, raised the issue in the House of Commons, inviting the member of government in question to affirm or deny the rumors of his improprieties. Wigg forced Profumo’s hand, not, he claimed, to embarrass the Conservative government but because the Ivanov connection was a matter of national security. Behind closed doors, however, British intelligence had already concluded that Profumo had not compromised national security in any way and found little evidence implicating Ivanov as a spy. Nevertheless, Wigg had raised the issue, and Profumo had no choice but to stand up before Parliament on March 22 and make a statement. He vehemently denied the charges, saying “there was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler.” To drive home his point, he continued, “I shall not hesitate to issue writs for libel and slander if scandalous allegations are made or repeated outside the House.”

Profumo’s convincing denial defused the scandal for several weeks, but in May Dr. Stephen Ward went on trial in London on charges of prostituting Keeler and other young women. In the highly sensationalized trial, Keeler testified under oath about her relationship with Profumo. Ward also wrote Harold Wilson, leader of the Labour opposition in Parliament, and affirmed that Profumo had lied to the House of Commons. On June 4, Profumo returned from a holiday in Italy with his wife and confessed to Conservative leaders that Miss Keeler had been his mistress and that his March 22 statement to the Commons was untrue. On June 5, he resigned as war minister.

Prime Minister Macmillan was widely criticized for his handling of the Profumo scandal. In the press and in Parliament, Macmillan was condemned as being old, out-of-touch, and incompetent. In October, he resigned under pressure from his own government. He was replaced by Conservative Alec Douglas-Home, but in the general election in 1964 the Conservatives were swept from power by Harold Wilson’s Labour Party.

Dr. Stephen Ward fell into a coma after attempting suicide by an overdose of pills. In his absence, he was found guilty of living off the immoral earnings of prostitution and died shortly after without regaining consciousness. Christine Keeler was convicted of perjury in a related trial and began a prison sentence in December 1963. John Profumo left politics after his resignation and dedicated himself to philanthropy in the East End of London. For his charitable work, Queen Elizabeth II named him a Commander of the British Empire, one of Britain’s highest honors, in 1975.

Keeler’s autobiography, The Truth at Last: My Story was published in 2001. Profumo died on March 10, 2006, two days after suffering a stroke.

5 June 1976

The Teton Dam in the Fremont and Madison counties in Idaho, United States, collapses.

Teton Dam, a 305-foot high earthfill dam across the Teton River in Madison County, southeast Idaho, failed completely and released the contents of its reservoir at 11:57 AM on June 5, 1976. Failure was initiated by a large leak near the right (northwest) abutment of the dam, about 130 feet below the crest. The dam, designed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, failed just as it was being completed and filled for the first time.

Eyewitnesses noticed the first major leak between 7:30 and 8:AM, June 5, although two days earlier engineers at the dam observed small springs in the right abutment downstream from the toe of the dam. The main leak was flowing about 20-30 cfs from rock in the right abutment near the toe of the dam and above the abutment-embankment contact. The flow increased to 40-50 cfs by 9 AM. At about the same time, 2 cfs seepage issued from the rock in the right abutment, approximately 130 feet below the crest of the dam at the abutment-embankment contact.

Between 9:30 and 10 AM, a wet spot developed on the downstream face of the dam, 15 to 20 feet out from the right abutment at about the same elevation as the seepage coming from the right abutment rock. This wet spot developed rapidly into seepage, and material soon began to slough, and erosion proceeded back into the dam embankment. The water quantity increased continually as the hole grew. Efforts to fill the increasing hole in the embankment were futile during the following 2 to 2 1/2 hour period until failure. The sheriff of Fremont County (St. Anthony, Idaho) said that his office was officially warned of the pending collapse of the dam at 10:43 AM on June 5. The sheriff of Madison County, Rexburg, Idaho, was not notified until 10:50 AM on June 5. He said that he did not immediately accept the warning as valid but concluded that while the matter was not too serious, he should begin telephoning people he knew who lived in the potential flood path.

The dam breached at 11:57 AM when the crest of the embankment fell into the enlarging hole and a wall of water surged through the opening. By 8 PM the flow of water through the breach had nearly stabilized. Downstream the channel was filled at least to a depth of 30 feet for a long distance. About 40 percent of the dam embankment was lost, and the powerhouse and warehouse structure were submerged completely in debris.